Kombucha

 

Our family has been home-brewing Kombucha for many years.  When I first started brewing Kombucha, I was quite nervous about keeping up with another task in the kitchen.  After a few batches, this routine easily fit into the rhythm of my kitchen, and has become a mindless delight to prepare for my family.  Our girls adore Kombucha, in fact, they lovingly refer to it as their "booch".  Even though our favorite variety of booch is Jun Tea, we still brew traditional Kombucha because of it's different flavor profile.

 

 Kombucha SCOBY

Kombucha SCOBY

Ingredients

Approximately 2-4 cups filtered water

1 Kombucha SCOBY

1 cup organic sugar or evaporated cane juice

1 cup plain Kombucha from previous batch (this is your starter liquid)

4-5 teaspoons  organic green, black or white tea

Filtered Water

 

Bring 2-4 cups of water to a boil. Once the water has come to a boil, remove the pot from the burner and add the loose tea or teabags and steep for 5 to 10 minutes.  I allow my tea to steep in the pan on top of the stove away from the heat.  Once steeped, remove your teabags or strain loose tea into another vessel, I use a Pyrex liquid measuring cup.  Now stir in your sugar until it is completely dissolved.  Cool to room temperature.

In a one gallon jar, add your sweetened tea, Kombucha starter, and SCOBY.  Then fill with filtered water up to the "shoulders" of the jar.  Cover with a fabric scrap or cheese cloth secured with a rubber band.  Set it in a dark place or wrap it in a towel to keep out the light.  Allow to ferment for roughly 7-14 days, checking the taste periodically.  This process will go quicker in the summer months and slow when the house is cool in the winter.

Once it has fermented, reserve one cup of Kombucha that will be used as a starter as well as the scoby for your next batch. At this point, the Kombucha is ready to drink and can be stored in the refrigerator.  You can also do a second fermentation by adding flavorings to your brewed Kombucha.  To do this, add your flavorings of choice to a bottle and pour over your brewed Kombucha, leaving little headspace.  Cover tightly with a lid.  Allow to sit out and ferment for another 1-2 days, or until your desired flavor has been achieved.  Pressure and natural carbonation can build up during this second ferment, it is best to open over the sink just in case . 

Flavorings should be roughly 10-20% of your second ferment, up to 30% if using fresh fruit.  Some of our favorites are:

Organic grape juice

Organic berries

Organic apples and cinnamon

Lemon juice & ginger

Strawberries & basil

Lavender

If you've chosen a second fermentation, strain the flavorings from your finished Kombucha through a fine mesh sieve.  Store the booch in an air-tight bottle in the fridge until you're ready to enjoy it.

As you continue to brew Kombucha, additional "baby" SCOBYs will form.  Save them in a SCOBY hotel or pass one onto a friend.  To make a SCOBY hotel, simply place extra SCOBYs in a quart or half gallon sized mason jar and pour plain Kombucha over the SCOBYs and secure with a lid.  Keep the SCOBY hotel at room temperature in a dark cabinet.  This is an easy insurance policy in the rare case something were to go awry in your Kombucha fermentation.  It is also nice to gift extra SCOBYs to others interested in brewing their own Kombucha.

If you are interested in aquiring a SCOBY for yourself, check in with us, we love to give our SCOBYs good homes.