As a kid my mum used to buy us the big glass bottle of Kombucha (from Carpe Diem- before it was married to RedBull). I liked it then, the fizzy, mellow and slightly acidic drink, that I referred to as the „red lemonade“. I had no clue why drinking it could be beneficial!
A few months ago I was speaking to a client- he’s been doing his own Kombucha for a while- I was intrigued- and he then brought me my first SCOBY! Since then I’ve been making about 2 Batches of homemade Kombucha per month!
OK so let’s take a step back first- What is Kombucha?
Humans have been drinking Kombucha for thousand of years! It is thought to have it’s origins in China/Japan! It’s basically fermented tea and provides the benefits of tea and probiotics! The Fermentation process is possible thanks to specific strains of Bacteria, yeast and sugar. The SCOBY (symbiotic culture of Bacteria and yeast) is the „mushroom“ or slimy blob that grows during this process- which is the starter and a product of the ready drink! During the fermentation acetic acid and other acids are produced, as is a small amount of alcohol and gas that causes the carbonation! At the same time lots of healthy probiotics are born- which are known to promote gut & digestive health and a strong immune System.
There aren’t many/any in vivo human studies (but other scientific evidence) to underline suggested Health benefits- but the benefits of tea (black & green) and probiotics are well known! And hey- if we’ve been drinking this stuff for centuries- it has to be good for somthing right?!
I would like to walk you through the steps to making your own Kombucha at home 🙂 If you follow me on Instagram- I have 2 videos on my IGTV as well (if you’re more of the visual type).
WHAT YOU NEED – EQUIPMENT
- A really big pot to prepare the tea (like a stock pot)
- 1x 4L glass jars ( or 2x 2L …–> the more jars, the more Scobys you will need!) = for the fermentation
- paper towls or tightly woven cloth to cover the jars
- a couple of glass bottles (swing-top/ plastic lids/ soda bottles)- 0.5L
INGREDIENTS- 1st FERMENTATION
- 3L of water
- 250ml of starter tea (optional if it’s your first batch) = it’s the product you get after fermenting with the scoby
- 1 scoby per fermentation jar
- 100g sugar
- 8 teabags (black/green) or 2 tablespoons of loose tea
- Boil the water – pour into your large pot – add sugar and stirr in well – add tea – let cool completely.
- Transfer cool, sugary tea to your fermentation jars/glasses.
- Choose your (hungriest) SCOBY and gently place it into it’s „tank“.
- Cover jar with the Cloth and fix it with a rubber band
- Leave it in a quiet, dark corner of your kitchen for about 7-10 days. Speak to it now and again. It enjoys being read to – but gets aggrevated by too much heavy metal.
During this process, your SCOBY might do some backflips, float at the top and sink to the bottom. That’s all fine. After a couple of days you will have twins- a second SCOBY will have formed at the top (to protect the fermenting liquid- super cool!).
After the time is up- you have a fresh and ready batch of the so called „first fermentation“. Now it’s time for the exciting stuff!
First you remove your SCOBY(s) and check on its health (there shouldn’t be any weird colours/hair or holes). When your SCOBYs are not brewing for you, you can put them in a „Hotel“. Multiple fellows can live in harmony- they’ll just need some sweet tea or some of the first fermentation to keep em going every two week!
Now we will start flavouring and make it fizzy! You will need:
- Those smaller glass bottles I mentioned earlier (plastic is OK too- I use plantbottles!)
- Optional flavoring extras for bottling: 1 to 2 (250-500ml) cups chopped fruit ∴ 2 to 3 cups ( 1 Cup_ 250ml) fruit Juice ∴ 1 to 2 tablespoons flavored tea (like hibiscus or Earl Grey) ∴ 1/4 Cup (60ml) honey ∴ 2 to 4 tablespoons fresh herbs or spices
Pour your first fermentation into the clean glass bottles (with your choice of fruit/herbs/sweetener) but spare about 300-400ml (this will be your starter tea for the next batch!). Don’t fill the bottles right up to the top, give it some room.
Let this now sit on your counter for about 3 days (for the flavour to develop)- to stop the fermentation/carbonation, put them into the fridge!
And there you are 🙂 At first it seems complicated or time consuming- but you’ll get the hang of it! There’s not much that can go wrong. and there is a BIG Kombucha brewing community out there haha- I am in 2 Groups on Facebook, so you can Always look Things up 🙂 Also there isn’t 1 only way to make the Kombucha- you will see with time!
Let me know how it goes!