Do you guys like kombucha? I think you either love it or hate it. The first time I tasted it, I wasn’t a fan. BUT, I learned to love it and loved the way it makes my “gut” feel. I don’t know the history or the science of kombucha but I will tell you what little I know using my own words… therefore sounding very UN-scientific and probably pretty stupey. ????
Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been around for YEARS. It is made by adding a scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) to black or green tea and sugar and letting it set for a week or so to ferment. The scoby just floats around on the top and makes another layer of bacteria with each brew. Oh…. and the scoby looks like a slimy piece of raw chicken. YUM!
I would suggest googling kombucha to read about all of the great benefits, because obviously I’m no scientist. But it has been requested a numerous amount of times asking how we make it. So that will be a little easier to explain.
We have made kombucha in the past so many times. It was a regular weekly event when we lived in the tiny house. I even had a scoby hotel at one point. As I said above, a scoby will produce a new layer every week. Well, a scoby hotel is a jar of baby scobies that just hang out for future use, to be given to friends, in case yours goes bad, etc. BUT, I neglected all of my babies and they dried up.
Deb started buying kombucha a few weeks ago and it all came flooding back to me. My gut feels so good when I drink it, but it’s really pricey. You can spend $3-6 for one bottle. We both thought it would be fun to start making it again. The girls who bought our old house actually have a scoby hotel… so they gave us one of theirs. And that’s how it all began again.
One Large Glass Jar – I use a large pickle jar
Organic Black or Green Tea (We use black)
Cheese Cloth and rubber band to cover your tea
Funnel (if using the flip top bottles)
Kombucha Kits are available too, if you just want to buy everything in one swoop.
Like I said above, you have to have a scoby and some starter tea the first time you make it. You can actually purchase them on Amazon. Once you purchase everything to get started, you have no more expense except the tea bags… and any fruit that you want to add for flavoring. You don’t need fruit… we make half with fruit and half without.
There are several different ways to make kombucha which I’m sure work, but this is how we make ours.
We boil 14 cups of water. Once it is at a rolling boil, turn off the burner. Then, we dissolve 1 cup of sugar into the hot water and add 8 black tea bags. Deb came up with this clever dowel rod idea. ???? She ties them to the dowel rod so that she doesn’t have to go fishing later. We let the tea brew until the water cools to room temperature. If you add the scoby to HOT water, you will kill the bacteria.
Once the water is cool, we remove the tea bags, and pour it into our big glass jar. And then we add the scoby and 2 cups of tea from the last batch of kombucha. Again, if you are starting with a new scoby, it comes with the starter tea. We cover ours with a piece of cheese cloth held with a rubber band so that no gnats or bugs can get into it. We usually leave ours brew on the counter for about 7 days. This is the time that the scoby grows another layer on top. You can see the different layers each time you brew.
We remove the scoby from the top of the brew along with 2 cups of tea and set aside in a glass bowl. You don’t have to, but we strain ours at this point because you will have floaters. ???? ???? We have flip top bottles in storage which we usually use but have no idea where they are. So we picked up these glass bottles which work perfect when we add fruit.
It is ready to drink, but we usually leave our bottles out on the counter for about three more days so that they can build up carbonation. We like ours a little bubbly. Sometimes we burp the bottles and some times we don’t. It’s no big deal if you don’t but sometimes the carbonation can build up and explode when opening like a shaken up coke bottle does.
And then we start the process all over. If we don’t want to make another batch right away, we keep a lot more tea for the scoby to live in… maybe 4 cups. And we cover it up with cheese cloth and leave it alone.
You aren’t supposed to use metal utensils while brewing. And make sure to wash your hands before touching the scoby. You could kill the bacteria. Supposedly, it’s best if it stays between 65-75 degrees. We have a stick-on thermometer but most people keep their homes between those temps so we don’t watch that too close, but it is nice to have.
Making kombucha is a fun little hobby… that saves lots of money if you buy it on the regular.