Kombucha is a super health drink that is really quick to make so it is easy to fit brewing a few batches into your weekly routine.
In my last post I talked about the benefits of drinking Kombucha. I also looked at what it is and its long history. Benefits of drinking this fermented carbonated drink made with sweet tea includes its high amounts of probiotics, vitamins and minerals. Probiotics are said to promote gut health which in turn improves the health of your brain, boosting your mood and memory. Kombucha is also very refreshing to drink.
Considering how simple it is to make and how it can boost your physical health and mental wellbeing, I hope you try making some.
Here’s how to make Kombucha:
Obtain a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts – this will ferment your tea) from a friend or buy online. A SCOBY is also called a “Kombucha Starter Culture”. It will be sitting in a jar or packet in liquid, your “starter tea”.
If it is in a packet you will need to put the contents gently into a jar washed in hot soapy water and rinsed well.
Make the fresh tea mixture that will be fermented by the SCOBY: boil a full kettle of water and pour into a non-metal container.
Add 1/2 cup white sugar and 2-4 organic black teabags (must be organic) and leave to brew and cool completely.
Remove SCOBY from its jar and place on a non-metal plate.
Add 1 cup starter tea from jar into tea with teabags in it and stir. Remove teabags.
Empty remaining liquid from jar and add the fresh tea mixture you just brewed. Leave space at top of jar.
Gently place SCOBY back in jar so it floats just at the top of the liquid.
Cover top of jar with muslin or other material. Allow the jar to sit for 3 days or so on a bench out of direct sunlight to be fermented by the SCOBY. It will consume the sugar in the process so virtually none remains.
After 3 or so days taste the liquid with a plastic or ceramic spoon. If its a bit sweet and a bit tart, it’s ready to bottle. If not, wait another day and taste again. If it has fermented too far and turned into vinegar you can use it as a base for salad dressing and start again from Step Two.
Repeat Steps One to Five but this time at Step Five empty the contents of the jar into flip top bottle/s (thoroughly washed in hot soapy water and rinsed well). Sit them on the bench for up to 4 days to continue fementing so the drink carbonates lightly.
Refrigerate and drink within 3 days. Enjoy!
Warning: if there is any mould or foam on the liquid throw it out and start over. Cloudiness and strands of SCOBY in the liquid are normal.
Never use metal vessels or utensils as the metal reacts with the SCOBY.
This recipe was given to me by a friend. It is from the excellent fermented and cultured food website Cultures for Health. You can buy your SCOBY in their online shop and lots of other supplies. They also have many helpful tutorials.
I asked on Facebook what other people’s tips are for making Kombucha. I got a huge response, as it seems lots of other people are hooked on this drink like I am!
Here are some of the ideas:
- Add fruits and juice that you like at Step Nine. This will be a “second fermentation” as the SCOBY will consume the fruit sugars. It will create bubbles in the drink and also flavour it nicely. Some suggestions were pineapple juice, ginger pieces, orange cinnamon, ginger apple, tamarind, blueberries, berries.
- Use green tea or white tea instead of black tea for a lighter taste and colour.
- Try the fermented drink “kefir” if you like Kombucha. I’m yet to look into this drink.
- Some of the Facebook groups suggested to learn more about Kombucha and other ferments/cultures were: Preserving, Fermenting and Healthy Eating Australia, The Kombucha Farm and NourishMeOrganics.
Do you make or drink Kombucha? What’s your experience?