Kombucha seems to be trending… Which bugs me. I hate being involved in trends because I feel like it affects my individuality. Yet, I guess if it’s trending, maybe people will find this and read it and enjoy it. I will say this though, everyone seems to LOVE the taste. NOT SO MUCH here. My first experience with Kombucha tea was my mother in law (Superwoman) and my father in law toting it’s benefits and how they felt better when drinking it. You know, a lot of old timers swear by it though not Kom-buch-a… Kombuchie tea… Though not pronounced right, it’s still the same.
For me, I thought it tasted like pure vinegar! YIKES! Though I fully believe in benefits of raw apple cider vinegar, I don’t enjoy drinking it personally. I more or less treat it like a whiskey shot (Not a fan of whiskey either lol) and mix a little with lemon and honey and down the hatch! followed by orange juice to drown out my gag reflex 😉 BUT it definitely helps me when I have a cold or whatnot so I bear through it. Really isn’t a happy time to be a picky person in those moments. You should see the look on my face…
Back to Kombucha aka Kombuchie, I never latched on because it was so horrid when I tried it at the in laws place. I lost touch with it for a couple of years until further researching it and the many benefits it exudes. Just some of the things are that it enhances mental clarity, energy boost, aids in detox process, promotes longevity, maintain probiotic health, etc. The properties in this probiotic tea are the obvious: probiotics, malic acid, amino acids, oxalic acid, nucleic acid, acetic acid, enzymes, lactic acid, gluconic acid, analgesics, vitamins, and don’t forget caffeine from the tea itself.
What’s not to like right?? As for me and my household… We would say: The Taste.
But keep in mind, we are picky. So before I come up with some simple solution for this, let’s dive in to the HOW DO WE MAKE THIS LIFE CONDITIONING ELIXIR?? THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH!
What You’ll Need to Make Kombucha
- 8 tea bags or 2 tbs of loose tea (black tea or green tea, unflavored–good chance of flavors killing the good SCOBY except I’ve heard Jasmine Green Tea seems to work but I haven’t tried it yet)
- 1 gallon jar
- SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria & Yeast) which is the brains of the outfit–you can get this from a friend or a health food store
- 1 cup of sugar
- 3.5 quarts of water
- 1-2 cups of starter Kombucha which you can get from a friend or use store bought
- Clean breathable fabric or coffee filter
- vinegar (I just used some Apple Cider Vinegar)
So relatively simple ingredients other than the acquiring of the SCOBY
Before we move on to the ‘How to’ part of this, you need to make sure everything is sanitized and I don’t mean with bleach. What I did was clean all my utensils and containers then I rinsed with Apple Cider Vinegar even my hands as well. Otherwise there could be a chance it messes up your batch. I do know this from experience. When we first started milking our cows and trying to improve on the cream extraction– we bought one of those 3 gallon mason jar looking pitchers that have the spout at the bottom. We used it for quite a while and then changed our process so I stopped using it. I thought it would be perfect for Kombucha batches but after a few weeks, mold popped up on my SCOBY and I tried another batch and it happened again. The spout, no matter how much I tried to clean it was causing things to go wrong, they never fully would get sanitized. On my third try, in just a regular gallon jar, it went perfectly.
How to Make Kombucha
- Brew your 3.5 quarts of water with your 8 tea bags
- Add your sugar and let this cool, other wise it can kill your SCOBY, which is a living organism affected by temperatures
- Pour in the SCOBY after temperature has cooled and isn’t hot anymore
- Add in your 1-2 cups of starter Kombucha
- Cover with a paper towel, coffee filter, clean breathable fabric, whichever–and put rubberband in place to hold it there.
- Put it in a dark area with a temperature ranging from 68-75 degrees F for 7-12 days
The other Old SCOBY should have New one attached to it so your brew should be done. So here is where my solution to the sour vinegar taste can be altered and it’s just simple and most people know it, it’s just that I had no clue at the time. The easy solution to get the benefits of Kombucha tea is to flavor it. There are many different flavors your can come up with, the sky is the limit but I’ll let you know what I did.
First off, I really suggest in purchasing some swing top bottles. I avoided it until I absolutely needed to but ultimately they aren’t too expensive especially since they are reusable. I bought mine at The Home Brewery in Ozark, MO which I’ve previously mentioned in the Homemade Wine post.
Like i previously mentioned, the sky is the limit but let’s go VERY easy with this. What I used is frozen fruit but you can use fruits, juices, honey, herbs, spices.
Flavoring Kombucha along with the Fizz Bonus
- Sanitize your bottles and add in your brewed kombucha
- Add fruits and if using the bottles then you’ll definitely need to chop up to fit in and easy to strain. Also, fruit tends to sink to the bottom so you might not have to strain. The mixed berry version I did was that way (I did read one article on pureeing fruit and putting in the bottom and pouring in the kombucha and personally I didn’t like this. One, the texture if you drank it straight is… bleh. The mix floated to the top so you had to drink it through that. Makes me cringe just thinking about it. Two, it’s hard to strain if you don’t like said texture)
- If you want a fizzy kombucha like soda then you’ll need to go through a second ferment so the bottles need to be latched in place and put in the same area you fermented before but this time it will only be 3-5 days.
- Put in the fridge to stop fermentation process. When you open these, they will flavored, slightly sweet, and surprisingly bubbly 🙂
After the bottling process, you’re left with the Old and New SCOBY so you’ll divide them by pulling apart from each other and you can make 2 new batches or just one more batch and give the other to a friend in need of the addiction that is Kombucha hehe
I hope this was helpful and that you can start making your own batches and get those health benefits it doles out. I’m pretty new to this so if I left anything out, please let me know! What are your experiences with Kombucha???