Monday, April 28, 2014

How to Make Kombucha Tea

How to make Kombucha tea

I had a scoby in my fridge for some time, plus had all the ingredients and supplies needed, before I finally decided to just do it. Had I known how easy it would be, I wouldn't have waited so long.

What are you waiting for? Scoby's are readily available. If you're making Kombucha, the scoby naturally replicates. Ask someone brewing the fermented tea—if they don't have a scoby baby at the moment, they will soon have one they can pass on to you.

What is a SCOBY?
SCOBY is an acronym for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria & Yeast. It's similar to the mother that makes  vinegar. Kombucha begins as a sugary tea—the scoby infuses bacteria which devours most of the sugar during the fermenting process. The tea is transformed into a refreshing, fizzy, slightly sour fermented beverage.

After a few brewings using the scoby, you'll begin to feel like you have a new household pet. It is alive after all. So the first time you have something go wrong with a batch and you have to discard it, you might feel a bit weird about how to do that—discard the scoby. Should I give it a proper burial? Some say you grind it up in your next smoothie. What? You decide what to do, but tell me if you don't develop a weird feeling about this organism. Okay… maybe that's just me. Moving along now.
Supplies needed to make Kombucha Fermented Tea
What You'll Need:
  • 1 large pot, preferably stainless steel
  • 1 gallon glass container
  • 1 cup of organic pure cane sugar
  • 6 tea bags or equivalent loose tea
  • 1 coffee filter or cloth to cover tea while it ferments (I use a rubber band to secure it)
  • 1 room temperature scoby (normally stored in the fridge with a coffee filter or similar cover)
  • 8 16 oz glass bottles with tight-fitting lids
  • flavoring (optional)
I use an organic hojicha loose green tea from Mighty Leaf. Using cheese cloth, I measure out 6 servings and secure the cheese cloth with a rubber band.

When the tea is ready to bottle, you can flavor it. I add a cranberry concentrate I got from Trader Joe's. I add about 1/4 teaspoon to each bottle and then pour in the finished Kombucha using a funnel. I'm going to add some ginger in this next batch.

Why Make & Drink Kombucha?
This thirst-quenching bubbly tea is a part of our immune strengthening regimen. It provides a myriad of healthy bacteria to our bodies. Since the American gut is the most deficient in good bacteria because of poor diet and over use of antibiotics and antibacterial this-and-that, we can use all the help we can get to boost our immunity, which begins in the gut. If it isn't healthy, you won't be healthy. That's all there is to it.

Start yourself on a routine of drinking Kombucha tea and see if you can escape all those nasty little illnesses that snag you throughout the year. Works for me!

Fermented Tea

from Adapted from Food Renegade
yield 1 gallon

category Drink
cuisine Vegan

1 Gallon filtered water
1 Kombucha mother/scoby plus 1 C of finished Kombucha tea
6 bags of orgainc black tea or tea of choice
1 C orgainc sugar
1 Gallon glass jar
Porous filter to seal jar (e.g., dish towel, coffee filter, paper towel plus rubber band to secure)
16 oz and/or 32 oz glass bottles with secure lids to bottle finished brew

Fermenting Kombucha Teadirections
1. Bring 1 gallon of water to boil in stainless steel pot.
2. Once boiling, remove from heat, add tea bags then let steep for 6 minutes.
3. Disolve 1 C organic sugar in the hot tea. Let tea cool to room temperature.
4. Remove scoby from refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
5. Pour cooled tea into 1 gallon glass jar. Top with scoby and 1 C of finsihed Kombucha tea (should be the tea scoby is stored in).
6. Cover the glass jar with porous towel to let the scoby breathe then secure with a rubber band. Let the tea ferment for 5-7 days in a corner of the kitchen that does not get direct light. CAUTION: This is a sweet tea, so it may attract ants!
7. After 5 -7 days, remove the scoby and 1 C of tea (enough to cover it). Store in a glass bowl or jar in the refrigerator until ready to make another batch.
8. Bottle your brew! Put approximately 1 1/2 oz organic fruit juice (no sugar added) in 16 oz bottles and fill with fermented tea leaving about 1/4" at the top. Screw lid on securely. Let set in a corner of the kitchen that does not get direct light for 2 days to complete fermentation.
9. "Burp" your bottles daily (unscrew lids and let excess gas out). When ready, place in the fridge to stop the fermentation process. Drink for enjoyment and health.

notes: • Search the Internet for additional information on brew times and flavoring amounts. Experiment until you find what tastes best to you.
• After a cycle or two you'll notice that your scoby is getting thick and seems to want to peel in two. Copngratulations! That is a baby scoby. Peel them apart and start an additional batch with it or adopt it out to a deserving Kombucha drinker. Don't worry if it tears a bit—it will grow and fill itslelf in.

Make a batch and let me know how yours turned out.


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