You hear people talking about kombucha. You see it in the store. Ever wonder what the heck it is?
What is kombucha?
Kombucha is a probiotic rich, naturally fermented sweet tea. Gross, huh?! You ain’t seen nothing until you see the SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). The SCOBY is the necessary part of making the sweet tea ferment.
Just so you know, Kombucha is awesome. Especially after the second ferment. Very reminiscent of a berry soda.
Step by Step Instructions
To make the kombucha you need to brew strong black tea. 2 tea bags or 2 Tablespoons of tea leaves for a gallon of water. Make sure to use organic tea and organic sugar. While the tea is still warm add 1 cup of sugar to sweeten the tea. Wait several hours until the tea is room temperature. Hot tea will kill the SCOBY.
Once the tea is cooled add in 1 cup of starter kombucha (starter kombucha is just 1 cup of leftover kombucha) and the SCOBY. Cover your kombucha with a cloth and set in a warm place. I have mine next to the coffee maker so its always kind of warm. In about a week it will be ready.
A few things about kombucha, it will get more sour the longer it ferments. So if you like it sweeter don’t ferment more than a week. Play around with the timing and see what works best for you. Try tasting it daily to see what flavor you like.
The Goodness of the Second Ferment
If you like it bubbly and like soda, you will want to ferment a second time in an air tight bottle. You can get them on Amazon for a great price.
Now comes the fun customizable part. Add flavoring in at the second ferment. I buy fruit juice and mix it at a 1:4 ratio, 1 part juice with 4 parts kombucha. Currently, my kids are in love with grape flavoring, which is just organic grape juice. My favorite is ginger ale, 1 part lemonade, 4 parts kombucha, and 2 slices of ginger.
Don’t worry the second ferment is only a few days. You’re almost there! After you have poured your kombucha with juice into the air tight bottle it’s time to find a safe place for it. I have to put mine on top of the refrigerator or my kids open and drink them before they are ready. It really doesn’t matter but then I never get any!! Burp the bottles once a day. When you notice the bubbles rush up when you burp it, it’s ready!!
The Gift that Keeps on Giving
Every time you make a new batch of kombucha your SCOBY will grow a new layer. In time you may have a big fat SCOBY. You can store the extra SCOBY’s in a SCOBY motel. A SCOBY motel is nothing more than a quart jar with kombucha liquid and the extra SCOBY’s. Just store it in the pantry, they will die in the refrigerator.
If you are interested in getting started with kombucha and need a SCOBY, I have plenty I don’t mind giving you one and some starter liquid. I just ask for $10 to cover shipping and packaging.
Share with me some of your favorite kombucha mixtures. Comment below.
You might also enjoy making homemade ginger ale from your own ginger starter.
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