Kombucha. The fizzy, fermented, good-for-you drink that’s fun to make and even more fun to drink. It looks like a crazy science experiment or like an extra from that old sci-fi movie, The Blob. But kombucha is SO good for you, and so easy to make. I’m on my third round of bucha brewin, so I thought I’d share a little bit about the process and how you can brew your own kombucha.
What is it?
Kombucha has been around for centuries. In a nutshell, it’s a fermented tea with a bajillion health benefits. It helps with digestion. It fights yeast overgrowth (kombucha literally eats the sugar in your gut, gross, but effective). It is a probiotic. It’s high in b vitamins. It’s even said to improve you mood and mental stability. (Can I get an amen?! All the raised hands emojis…)
How do you make it?
Kombucha, it turns out, is pretty easy to make. The process in particular, but not difficult. The basic ingredients are filtered water, black tea, sugar, and the SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast). You also need a large jug with a lid. It is critical that metal doesn’t come in contact with your SCOBY, so I use plastic wrap as a barrier between my lid and my brew.
I was given my SCOBY from a friend’s mom. To make my kombucha, I put my SCOBY and it’s starter tea in my large, clean glass jar. I then brewed a saucepan of tea (I used one of Lipton’s large, black ice tea bags) with one cup of sugar. I then let the tea cool completely; hot temperatures will kill your SCOBY. I poured the cooled tea into my jar with the SCOBY and then topped it off with more filtered water so that the jar was 80% full.
Air is what ferments your kombucha, so that is why you don’t want your jar completely full. You are supposed to cover your jar with cheesecloth, attached with a rubber band. I don’t have cheesecloth (yet), and, kombucha can attract bugs. So…for now, I keep mine covered. So far this hasn’t been a problem. I leave some headspace in my jar (thus allowing some air into the mix).
I read two helpful blogs (along with bugging my friend and her mom with lots of questions) to get me started in my kombucha journey:
If you don’t have a friend with a SCOBY baby to give you, you can purchase them online.
I let my kombucha ferment for about a week. Then I pour it into bottles (again, glass!), and fill it 75% full. Top off with some juice (optional) for flavor. Keep 1/2 inch of headspace. Replace the lids, then allow the bottles to sit out on the counter 1-2 more days to allow the kombucha to carbonate. Refrigerate when done. Refrigerated kombucha can last up to three months.
First batch of Kombucha in my pitcher, getting ready to bottle it, with my second batch in my jar and ready to ferment.
This is what the kombucha looked like after I added my juice and started to bottle it.
That’s it! Has anyone else made their own kombucha? Any tips, questions, or suggestions for me?