** When I share SCOBY to friends, I refer them to this post to make their first brew, but over the years I've changed my thinking about using plastics in our home, so it was time to amend and update.
More people are drinking Kombucha these days for it's great taste and for its healthful value. Whilst it is available to buy ready made at some Farmer's Markets, Health Food Stores and many other outlets, it's quite costly. However, it is so easy to make for a few cents per bottle and I believe our own brew is far superior in both taste and purity.
To get started you need to find someone who will give you a SCOBY. (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria & Yeast)
This is a jelly fungal like substance that grows and multiplies while fermenting.
(Many great friendships have been formed when sharing SCOBY's.)
When you receive your SCOBY it should be in a jar or small container with a cup of Kombucha liquid, and hopefully, some dregs from the bottom of the brewing jar.
Put your SCOBY and small amount of its liquid into a glass jar that will easily hold 1.5litres and put aside until later.
**I no longer put hot liquid or foods into plastic. Everything else in this photo is still as it should be, but I don't use a plastic jug for making the hot brew. See the photo below.**
** This is the mixing jar that I now use because I make a double batch (3 litres) and I make the tea in a teapot first. Pour the tea into the glass mixing jar, then top up with more hot water.
Put 1/2 cup of sugar into a glass mixing jar that is large enough to hold 1.5 litres.
Peg 2 tea-bags to the side. Pour in enough hot water to dissolve sugar and release the tea from the teabags, then top up with warm water.
*Take care not to add too much hot water at once or the glass jar may break.
(Don't use honey. The natural anti-bacterial in honey will slowly kill the SCOBY)
Set aside this container of sweetened tea until it cools to body temperature or cooler.
*Do NOT pour the hot mixture over your SCOBY because heat will kill it.
When the tea mixture has cooled, tip into the glass jar with the SCOBY. The SCOBY may float to the top or it may float around in the jar. Either is OK and makes no difference to the speed of fermentation.
Cover with a cloth to allow natural yeasts to move around.
** This is the 3 litre glass jar of Kombucha brew that now sits on our kitchen bench.
After approximately seven to nine days, depending on the warmth of your kitchen, a new SCOBY will have formed on the top of the jar of tea.
Lift out the SCOBY and its newly formed SCOBY into a clean bowl.
Strain through a cloth into screw top bottles.
Leave approx 2cm of sediment in the bottom of the jar for making your next batch of Kombucha.
For a berry taste add approx 6 raspberries, strawberries, mulberries or whatever you have in the garden or freezer.
These are our favourites but there are many flavorings to experiment with. eg, lemon zest, turmeric etc.
Leave a small space in the top of the bottle for the gas to form. Screw lids on tight. Write the date on each bottle.
Store in a cupboard until ready to drink after approx seven days.
Refrigerate & drink.
The kombucha that you make yourself has its own unique flavour. Some bottles are fizzier than others. The sugar is converted during the fermentation process and if kept too long it will develop a sour, vinegar taste.
We like to drink it up to two weeks from bottling, but some folks enjoy the more vinegar taste.
Each to their own! Either way, the health benefits are many.
So now it's time to make a fresh batch again.
Starting from the first step.
Make up a jug of tea with 2 tea-bags, 1.5litres of boiling water, 1/2 cup of sugar.
When cool, pour into large glass jar on top of the sediment from the previous batch and one SCOBY.
Cover and sit on bench top.
Store the remaining SCOBY in a jar in the fridge with a bit of the Kombucha sediment and liquid.
This is the SCOBY that you can give to a friend.
If you start to accumulate too many SCOBY's they can be fed to your chickens, pigs or mixed with the cow's chaff at milking time for a healthy boost to their gut health.
I know it all sounds quite detailed and time consuming, but this entire process takes me no longer than it takes to make a cup of tea.
The benefits I feel from drinking a glass of Kombucha tea every day are, less bloating, more energy, better sleep, less joint pain, high immunity to colds and contagious illnesses, and a general sense of good health and well being.
We wouldn't be without our Kombucha now.
How do you make your Kombucha?
If you love the idea of making your own Kombucha, but are still unsure about the instructions detailed here, please feel free to email me with any of your questions.