More & more people are drinking Kombucha for it's great taste and for health reasons. Whilst it is available to buy ready made at some Farmer's Markets & Health Food Stores, it's quite costly and is so easy to make for a few cents per bottle.
To get started you need to find someone who will give you a SCOBY. (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria & Yeast)
This is a jelly like substance that grows and doubles itself 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 half cup of Kombucha liquid.
Into another jug, pour 1.5litres of boiling water.
Dissolve 1/2 cup of sugar & add 2 tea-bags until a mid strength tea is obtained.
Don't use honey. The natural antiseptic in honey will kill the fermenting process.
Set aside this jug of sweetened tea until body temperature or cooler. Heat will kill the fermenting process.
When 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 and secure with a rubber band. (As in top picture)
After approximately seven days, depending on the warmth of your kitchen, a new SCOBY will have formed on the top of the jar of tea.
The new SCOBY has formed & is ready for bottling the Kombucha Tea.
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.
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.
Each batch has it's 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.
Add one SCOBY.
Cover & sit on bench top.
Store the remaining SCOBY in a jar in the fridge with a bit of the Kombucha sediment & 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 are in Australia and having difficulty finding a SCOBY to get you started, you could email me or leave a comment so I can send you one of my excess SCOBYs lurking in my fridge.