February 23, 2012
kombucha
what it is. what you do with it. why you want it. how you make it. 
  • kombucha is a fizzy tea-based beverage. it's tangy and bright and sparkling. 
  • if you like the taste of cider vinegar, you will love kombucha tea.
  • you drink kombucha for fun, for your health, or both. read about all the awesome benefits! (it's detoxifying, cancer-preventing, probiotic rich, digestion improving, anxiety reducing..)
  • you'll see it at Whole Foods by the cold bottled fruit drinks (please buy the strawberry kind of G.T.'s kombucha sometime. uhhmazing), but you'll have to shell out $4 a bottle.
  • you can make it at home for super cheap! 
  • kombucha is made by fermenting tea (just regular old tea) with a scoby. 
  • a kombucha scoby looks like a wet pancake. don't be too scared of it. 
  • SCOBY is an acronym for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. in other words, the good stuff we want in our gut.
  • making kombucha is easy. drinking your homemade kombucha is fun. buy some swing-top bottles and it's like having a teeny tiny brewery in your kitchen. 
so. would you try it? do you already drink it? and you want it every day? let's make some!

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Home Brewed Kombucha

get your gear: buy a starter culture (scoby), or find a friend who can give you one. you'll also need a pot, a gallon glass jar, thin towel, rubber band, and tightly sealing bottles or jars for bottling

3 quarts filtered water
1 cup organic sugar
5 black tea bags, organic
1 kombucha scoby
1/2 cup kombucha tea from a previous batch (or store-bought kombucha)

**these amounts are for making 1 gallon of tea. if you'd like to start smaller, you can make 1 quart! use 3 cups of water, 1/4 cup sugar, 2 or 3 tea bags, 1 scoby and 1/2 cup finished kombucha

1. Make the tea. Add filtered water to the pot, cover and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat, pour in the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Add the tea bags and remove the pot from the burner. Let steep for 3-4 minutes and then remove tea bags. Let most of the steam out, then cover and let cool. (this takes awhile, so plan ahead.)
2. Prep the 'bucha. When the tea is at room temp (if it's too hot it can kill the starter culture) pour it into the gallon glass jar (or quart jar if you're making the small batch). Add 1/2 cup of kombucha from a previous batch and the scoby to the jar. Cover the jar with a thin towel or coffee filter, something that will let a bit of air in but keep dust out, and use a rubber band to secure it.
3. Let it do it's thing. Leave your kombucha undisturbed in a warm, dark place for several days to let it ferment. You'll know you have finished kombucha when you see a new baby scoby has grown! And depending on how sweet or sour you like it, you can let it ferment anywhere from 4 days to a couple weeks. One week is pretty average. Just give it a taste and if it's too sweet for you, let it sit longer. Keep in mind that the fermentation process takes longer in the winter, or if your kitchen is cool, like mine. Still, 7 days is about right for our tastes.
4. Bottle it. When the kombucha tastes just right to you, remove the starter culture (there should be 2 scoby's now) and put them in another bowl or glass jar. Pour enough kombucha over to completely cover them. Set aside. Pour the finished kombucha into pretty soda bottles or glass jars, seal, and store in the fridge. As you pour you should see lots of tiny bubbles. You want to keep the bottles tightly sealed so it stays nice and carbonated!

What to do with your starter culture: You can either start the process over again with both of your scoby's, give one away to a friend, or add one to your compost. Or, you can take a little break from brewing and just leave your scoby's covered with kombucha and a dish towel in a cupboard. It will stay alive without any babysitting. If after a couple weeks you are concerned about starving your little scoby's, add a couple cups of sugared tea or some store-bought kombucha. They'll be ready to roll when you want to make your next batch.

My scoby supply is thriving. If you'd like to buy one of mine, leave me a note in the comments! 

Next time we'll talk about flavoring your kombucha with fruit. oh goodness.


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18 comments:

Jes said...

So excited for your kombucha post! That stuff really grows on you. I'm going to try to make Rejuvalec this weekend (well, start it at least). It's only water and grains fermented and tastes like sour lemonade. Fun stuff!

Eeny said...

I remember that my mom had a bottle of kombucha in the fridge all the time. The scoby thingy always freaked me out a bit. But when I didn't see it and my mom gave me a glass of kombucha I was fine with it =)
I loved the taste.

Now I want to make some myself again. Need to go and see if I can get a scoby at our organic food store.

Liz said...

Hey Summer! I just had my first try of kombucha the other day and I LOVED it. I have been contemplating buying a starter but was worried about where to get one from. I would love to buy one from you!! :)

Whitney Lane said...

Hey Summer,
I would LOVE to buy a scoby from you, too!

Johanna said...

Dude, I love kombucha. Especially the ginger flavored ones. I'm stoked to make a big bottle for my own self!

Maggie May said...

Summer, what brand of sugar and black tea do you use for yours, pretty please?

Bridget said...

i need a picture of this scoby you speak of! or maybe i could just google image it. wet pancake... i'm gonna go check it out.

Anonymous said...

You are awesome. Thank you for this!

Mom Judy said...

I would like to buy one. I was going to ask you if I could all week and now I can. Do I need to bring a jar to you?

Bridget said...

can you mail a scoby??? let me know :]

dwyer.bridget@gmail.com

summer said...

@Maggie May
sure! the tea is Newman's Own Royal Tea and the sugar is Golden Cane Raw organic sugar- both purchased on amazon. 

Chiara said...

Oh, I wish I lived in the US and could buy a scoby from you! There are not many sources in Italy and I don't know wich one to trust... I am going to be in NYC on holidays in a month and I will definitely try the Whole Foods kombucha! Thanks for suggesting it!

hb12red said...

I loved your post on fermented foods and just tried some kombucha recently and love it. Just curious, did you drink it while you were pregnant?

Michelle {lovely little things} said...

I've never tried it before, but it sounds interesting

Elise said...

Mine is fermenting now! Its been nine days and it's still a little sweet for my liking! Can't wait until it's done!!

Jessica said...

Hi Summer...can this be made with decaf black tea?

Jessica said...

Ps: I'd like to buy a scoby :)

Katie said...

hey Summer - I am interested in buying a scoby from you- if there are any left!

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about this blog

Hello, I'm Summer. A people-loving introvert whose hope and life is in Jesus. His promises are my passion and my ministry is homelife. This blog is a place for me to write about everyday things. Especially food. My favorite thing to do is sit around a table, lingering over a long meal with good conversation. I live with my husband and our 2 littles. We like blizzards, thrifting, grammar, guacamole, cheerful hearts, nice manners, good movies, and making simple, real, nutrient-dense food.

"If Christ be anything, He must be everything."
-C.H. Spurgeon

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