Kombucha Bucha Babe
Kombucha? Fermented Tea? Why? Why would anyone in their right mind drink this stuff?
Many people say they drink it because it is great for gut health just like kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir. We've been brewing beer for the past three years and who doesn't like a good home brew? We've also been eating kimchi since we were knee high to a grasshopper thanks to our Korean native mother.
One day while shopping at an overly priced health food store, I am sure everyone knows which store I speak of. We came across this brand of kombucha by Health-Ade. It was the best kombucha we had ever had. So after brewing beer and making wine, we felt we would venture into a world we loved the most...tea.
We are avid tea drinkers. We actually have a, "Tea Lady." Most people have mechanics, hairstylists, chiropractors, primary care physicians, we have our tea lady. And If you are interested in our tea lady feel free to contact us for her info.
Now, I am getting a bit off the subject, but basically we drink tea morning, afternoon, and night. From green, rooibos, blacks, and herbal teas we love all kinds of combinations. We drink our teas hot and we drink our teas warm. We love loose leaf and have no snobby issue with prepackaged bags from brands like Traditional Medicine, Gaia, and Yogi.
So we started with two prepackaged scobies, the first was dehydrated and I would never recommend it, and the second was in a sealed bag with liquid. For beginners I would suggest buying the second scoby that is sealed in a bag with liquid, it will make like easier and you can start having your kombucha within a week or so.
What is SCOBY? Any website or blog that tells you how to make kombucha goes over SCOBY. I am just going to briefly say that SCOBY is actually an acronym: "Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. And that's exactly what it is! A scoby is the living home for the bacteria and yeast that transform sweet tea into tangy, fizzy kombucha — think of the scoby as the coral reef of the bacteria and yeast world (thekitchn.com)."
For more information on making your own SCOBY check out Food Renegade's website.
Once you have your Kombucha SCOBY starter you will then follow this wonderful steps:
1. First off clean your work space, make sure that all the equipment you are using is thoroughly clean. If you brew beer than you get this step
2. Bring 1 cup of distilled water to a bowl
3. Add 6 teabags or 6 to 8.5 tsp of loose leaf tea to the hot water
4. Let steep for 10 minutes or as instructed by the tea package
5. After the tea has steeped add 1 cup of sugar and allow it to dissolve
6. Add the remaining 9 cups of water to bring the mixture to room temperature
7. Transfer the mixture into a gallon mason jar (as pictured above, from Target)
8. Secure coffee filter over the opening or a cloth with a rubber band. I have used cheesecloth, but you will need to have a thick layer to keep bugs out
9. Place the jar out of direct sunlight and ferment for 7 days, I find that 9 days works really well with green tea and 12 days works best with oolong tea.
10. After 7 days give it a taste and see if it is still sweet, if the tea is still sweet allow it to ferment for a few more days, tasting it each day
11. Once you have the right or preferred flavor go ahead and remove the SCOBY and 1 to 2 cups (I do 2 cups) of the liquid to use as a starter for your next batch
12. Transfer Kombucha to smaller bottles or continue with a second fermentation
13. For a second fermentation you can add fresh fruit or freshly juiced fruit into the Kombucha, mix it, and then put it into smaller bottles to ferment for 3 to 5 more days.
My favorite flavor so far has been my Jasmine Green Tea Ginger Lemon Kombucha, it is great for energy and an upset stomach. I have made a Paris Breakfast Pink Lady Apple, Oolong Turmeric Carrot Apple Cider, and Rose hips Ginger Lemon Kombucha as well.
For sugar I use an organic raw sugar and for my fresh fruit juice as well as tea I get all organic. Now, you don't have to copy my methods and the amount of fruits or fruit juice you use depends on your own preference. I can say that this process has been the easiest fermentation I have done yet in comparison to sourdough, beer, and wine. We have yet to do kimchi, but when we do I will be sure to post it.
Thank you and Happy Homesteading!