If you haven’t already seen it in your grocery store, Kombucha is an up and coming drink that is made with brewed tea and a “Scoby” which contains millions of good bacteria and yeast.
The only problem is that it is very expensive. At close to $4.00 a bottle, the sooner you learn to brew your own Kombucha the better! You can also add some ginger or fruit juices making it a delicious carbonated refreshing drink that gives your stomach the probiotic’s it needs to strengthen your immune system.
Making the best Kombucha is not very difficult, but there are a lot of steps. It also takes up to two weeks for the Kombucha to ferment to perfection, but with time, you should have at least one a day to drink.
After making my own Kombucha for about a year, I noticed that my Kombucha never tasted as good as my son Ryan’s who was also making his own Kombucha. He told me the secret is to ferment the Kombucha in capped beer bottles for an additional week after the first fermentation process has finished. After I followed his recipe, my Kombucha is delicious and tastes as good as his. Each batch will taste a little different, but after several weeks, you will know how to adjust the time of your fermentation process to your liking.
EQUIPMENT YOU WILL NEED FOR YOUR HOMEMADE KOMBUCHA CAN BE FOUND AT THE END OF THIS RECIPE:
- Fill the jar about 3/4 with boiling water.
- Scobys food! SUGAR! Add one cup of Organic white sugar (Scobys do not like brown sugar, maple syrup or other healthier alternatives) Stir the sugar until it is completely melted. Next choosing teas!
- Black tea is best for your Scoby but I have had success with mixing both black and green tea! Avoid flavored tea. You can add your own flavoring later. I use 4 black and 4 green tea bags. I put a rubber band around the mouth of the jar so they don’t fall in. Let the tea steep for about 2 hours.
4) Remove the tea bags. Let the tea cool to room temperature, or 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Add one cup of cold water from the fridge to bring the temperature down to about 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
5) Time to add your SCOBY into the jar of brewed tea. Cover it with cheese cloth to keep out any small bugs and it will need to breath as it ferments.
Now it is time to let your Mother Scoby sit and ferment in her new home. Monitor your batch’s progress closely. If you let it ferment too long the yeast will die off as it runs out of sugar. This will result in a very vinegar tasting product, but stop the fermentation process too soon and you’ve essentially made regular sweet tea. I taste it at day 6 and 7. Sometimes even longer for the perfect blend of tart and slightly sweet tea.
The key is to get the right balance of sweet and vinegar tasting Kombucha to bottle. You want some sweetness left over so that it continues to ferment during the secondary fermentation process which will be another week. That is where you need the 12 beer bottles. Six for your second fermentation process and six will be your drinking Kombucha that has fermented for two weeks. Initially you have to wait two weeks to enjoy your home made Kombucha, but eventually while your Mother Scoby is making another Primary batch, you will have six bottles to enjoy. Your Kombucha should look something like this after a few days of fermentation:
If your scoby sinks to the bottom, that’s fine. You may even see bubbles forming around the Scoby. The bubbles are the carbon-dioxide from the fermenting tea and a sign that everything is healthy and happy! After you’ve deemed it “just right,” you’ll need to transfer the tea to six of your beer bottles with the tightly-fitting lid for the second fermentation! This second fermentation allows for more carbonation buildup (a.k.a. bubbles), and is also an opportunity to add flavorings, like fresh ginger or fruit juice. It then again sits for another 7 to 8 days where it should be delicious! Again, too sweet (it needs more time to ferment) too much sour vinegar taste (next time check at 5 or 6 days).
2)Remove 2 cups of Kombucha from the gallon jug and transfer it to the bowl with the SCOBY. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside.
3) Ladle the kombucha into clean beer bottles or mason jars. Leave about half-inch of empty space at the top of the bottle neck.
4) Add 1 tsp of ginger juice to each bottle
6) Store bottles in a dark place at room temperature. Temperature shouldn’t drop much lower than 70 degrees. SCOBYs are most happy between 70-80 degrees. If it gets too cold, the SCOBY becomes inactive and doesn’t eat the sugar, which means no fermentation.
7) Let sit for 7-10 days and put all bottles in the fridge. I find that carbonation is perfect at day 7. If you like it extra fizzy, let sit until day 10. I know you want to drink your brew before the 7th day, but have patience. That fizz is worth the wait! Once you put it in the fridge, the fermentation process stops and your brew will remain delicious for the next few weeks! I drink one a day to fill my healthy fizzy addiction! Good luck and Enjoy!
EQUIPMENT you will need:
SMALL JAR BOTTELING FUNNEL WITH STRAINER This will strain the Kombucha while putting the liquid into your beer bottles!