A great drink with many health benefits is Kombucha. You see the bottles for it in the store, and wonder what the heck or you’ve tried them and loved it much like myself. The only hate side is the price. So if you are wondering, "Can I make this at home?", the answer is yes you can.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented drink by way of a SCOBY or a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast and a mixture of Black and Green Tea. (Okay, yes I know I said Bacteria and Yeast, but don't turn away just yet, I promise it gets and tastes better!) The SCOBY acts a sponge and eats up the sugar and caffeine , while fermenting the rest of the mixture to create a sour fizzy liquid called Kombucha. This drink originated in Chinese culture as a medicinal aliment, and it made it's resurgence in western culture in the 1990's. During this time most people were brewing it in their homes,but now you see them in the store and mixed with many different, and delicious flavors.
What are the benefits?
So kombucha is a great probiotic, it helps your digestion because it is filled with enzymes that help break down your food. It is also an alkaline balancing drink with is great for our blood alkalinity. It is also filled with the B vitamin which gives us energy. These B vitamins are great for helping with depression as well. Kombucha also has immune boosting properties.
*Note: though Kombucha has great benefits, it doesn't work with everyone. So make sure you try a little bit first to see how your body reacts.
Now the first thing you need is a Scoby (that is the weird looking object floating inside the jar) and no not the Hanna-Barbera character but a Symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. Scoby for short. Now I got mine from a friend but you can also make them from leftover kombucha you have purchased from the store. It will take about 3-4 weeks to form a new Scoby from scratch but it is totally worth it.
How to brew kombucha
To make a SCOBY the easiest way is to use leftover store bought kombucha
Pour 1 cup of store bought kombucha into a glass jar
Cover this mixture with a cheesecloth or coffee filter and use a rubber band to secure.
Place in a warm dark place like a pantry or laundry area and let the scoby form for a few weeks.
*Note your scoby may be small at first, but with each fermentation you do the scoby will create a new scoby.
Now once you have a scoby this is how you make your very own batch of Kombucha
3 Bags of Green and Black tea, you can do either two black tea bags and one green tea bag or two bags of Green tea and one black tea bag
½ cup of white sugar
6 cups of water
This will make 6 cups of Kombucha
Brew your tea and add sugar into the mixture and mix until dissolved
Once completely cooled to room temperature, Pour this into a glass jar I found this one at Target, then add your scoby
Cover with a coffee filter or cheesecloth
Place in a warm dark place, like I said earlier I put mine in the pantry and just forget about it for eight to nine days
So during this time your scoby will make another scoby, which is kind of cool. The kombucha will also become fizzy as well. After eight or nine days you will do a second fermentation where you will add some fruit. I like waiting eight or nine days because I love the fizz flavor that the kombucha brings and I noticed that the fizz doesn’t happen until about days six or seven, so I like that extra fizz.
So now it’s time for your second fermentation! (Yay! You are so close to tasting this beautiful creation)
For this part you are going to need:
Glass bottles. You can use mason jars, recycled kombucha bottles or recycled jar (I used an olive jar). Just make sure that you clean these out thoroughly. Also make sure that you have a sturdy cap to hold in the fizz. Some people also use those super cute bottle neck jars with the flip top. You can use these but I would caution it because sometimes the pressure can pop the cap open.
Remove your Scoby into a jar and pour 1 Cup of kombucha with it, you can either put this in your fridge to make more later or just start a new batch.
Put your cut ginger and desired fruit into your jars. I only fill the bottom with a thin layer of fruit.
Pour in your Kombucha into your bottles I like to try to leave a little room just for the fizz
Place in a warm dark room for 2-6 days and then you can refrigerate and enjoy!
Happy Brewing! As a bonus I have also created an alcoholic drink with Kombucha, the Watermelon Kombucha Cocktail. See it here!