Make Your Own Kombucha – It is Sooo Easy
Too often I hear people comment that their kombucha addiction is straining the financial reserves. I say “too often” because ANYTIME this is happening is too often. Kombucha is extremely easy and affordable to make at home and involves very little time commitment. Forget that $4/16 oz price tag on the kombucha sold at retail stores, and wild ferment your own for approximately $1-$2 per 3 quart batch.
For those who are not familiar with the fermented beverage, the basic version is quite tasty, a bit like a sparkling apple cider. Different tea blends can be used as well to change up the flavor. There are many purported health claims associated with the drink, such as acting as digestive aid, relieving symptoms of allergies and yeast, and building immunology. For other alleged health benefits, investigate here, and further beyond in the worldwide web of fact and fiction.
Our first home-brewed batch was a fermenting success. The “mother” SCOBY ((Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria & Yeast) (it’s actually a lichen)) we were given had fed off sugar that was dissolved in tea and quickly grew a baby SCOBY that we could share with others. One time some friends of ours excitedly told us of the new drink they’d been brewing, passed on to them by anther friend. They had brought a baby SCOBY to share with us. Turns out the SCOBY they had brought to us was a great-great-grand baby of a SCOBY we had passed on to a unknown-at-the-time mutual friend. If you’re interesting in making some, live in the area and need a SCOBY contact us and we’ll share what we have. It’s bad karma to sell SCOBYs. Don’t try it.
If you’re interested in seeing a kefir making demo, there’ll be one this Tuesday, March 16, 2010 at Noon at the Old Hadley Town Hall in downtown Hadley at Lapeer chapter meeting of the Weston A Price Foundation. Contact GLO Chapter Leader, Kim Lockard, at 810-667-1707 KimLockard@gmail.com for more questions.
The Kombucha process goes something like this.
Step 1) Boil 3.5 quarts of filtered water in pot. Turn off heat once boiling.
Step 2) Dissolve 1 cup of granulated sugar into bowling water.
Step 3) Add 4 bags of black tea or an equivocal amount into water/sugar mixture and cover with lid.
Step 4) After sweetened tea has cooled, pour it into a glass gallon jar or ceramic bowl or anything of the natural world that can fit its contents.
Step 5) Add ¼ - ½ cup of kombucha from a previous batch to inoculate. If no kombucha is available for inoculation, add raw apple cider vinegar instead.
Step 6) Add SCOBY. Simply drop it into the jar. If will float somewhere in the middle of the jar. No need to give it a second thought.
Step 7) Cover opening of jar or bowl with breathable material. Cheesecloth is one option. I use bread towels. Any material whose fibers are loosely woven will work. Use a large rubber band to secure the material in place.
Step 8) Place covered jar in a warm, dry, dark place where is will not be disturbed for 7-10 day.
Step 9) After 7-10 days remove original and new SCOBY from kombucha. If the jar is in an unusually warm place or it is the summer, the kombucha will probably be ready in 7 days. In cooler locations, expect 10 days. The SCOBYs will be connected, but are very easily pulled apart with a fork. Store in canning jar or reused glass container covered in kombucha from freshly brewed batch. Refrigerate until next use (they keep a long time). Share SCOBYs with whoever is willing to take them. If you make kombucha consistently, you will never be short a SCOBY.
Step 10) Refrigerate kombucha and enjoy.