Why Kombucha? What's beneath the sudden popularity of this vinegary, carbonated drink? I jumped onboard the Kombucha express last year after realizing 20% of my monthly food expenses were going towards this easy to craft drink. That's a pretty significant amount towards something that you can brew in 30 min. It was my secret elixir to pms. The bloating, cramping and moodiness all disappeared once I started incorporating Kombucha into my daily routine.
What is Kombucha? It is a fermentation of black or green tea mixed with sugar using a SCOBY (or symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). The SCOBY acts as a "mother" in the fermentation process feeding off the sugary tea, and eventually giving birth by the end of each batch. While Kombucha has been around for 2,000 years, it's been on the rise since the 90's, gaining momentum as Americans with food sensitivities search for gut health. There are many claims that Kombucha's "healthy bacteria" aids in digestion, energy, and focus. It's the millennial's soda and I'm not mad about it. Enjoy this simple to follow recipe, and maybe ditch your soda addiction for good.
Yields: 6 bottles 18oz | PrepTime: 20 min | Total Time: 1 hour
1 gallon glass jar
tight weave cloth ( I use a cheesecloth)
rubberband for sealing cloth
One Gallon Batch Ingredients:
2 table spoons loose tea, or 8 tea bags ( black tea for starter batch)
1 cup pure cane sugar
14 cups filtered water (chlorinated water can affect the good bacteria)
2 cup pre made kombucha fluid known as starter fluid ( generally in sack of scoby) or vinegar if first batch
1 fresh Scoby
1. In a pot add half the water and bring to a boil. The remaining water add to the gallon jar to help cool the hot liquid once you pour it in.
2. Add the tea to boiling water and steep for about 5 to 10 min. Depends on preference. Remove bags, or loose tea. Add sugar and stir to till it dissolves. Transfer to gallon container and let chill till it reaches around room temperature, then add scoby/starter liquid.
3. Cover with cloth and rubber band. Find a nice dark place that is generally around 75 to 85 degrees. I placed mine in a kitchen cabinet above the fridge. Allow to sit for 7 to 10 days and taste for your flavor profile. I like mines to be a bit sweet, with a little acidity. I did the fermentation process after 12 days. Also, if you have had your scoby in the fridge for more then 15 days it takes longer for it to activate.
4. The sweetness or tartness is modified in the brewing cycle. If you wish for more sweetness, then you would shorten the cycle. Taste regularly till you reach your favor profile.
5. Make sure your hands are clean without soap, and just vinegar to prevent any bacteria from contaminating the Kombucha. Set aside your scoby with two cups of starter fluid in a clean jar.
6. Decant with funnel and flavor your Kombucha if desired. If flavoring the ratio is 20% flavoring liquid, or juice.