Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Kombucha

Please note, I've been making Kombucha for a couple months. I'm not an expert. But we certainly enjoy drinking it!

(For an expert's instructions, check here:

http://site.getkombucha.com/Proof7DayMiniCourse.html )

My procedure for making 2 Quarts of Kombucha
Ingredients
distilled white vinegar
2 quarts water (bottled water or tap water that you put in a pitcher overnight)
½ cup sugar
8 teabags (green or black, not store brand, not Tetley, not decaf, not flavored or spiced)
1 scoby
1 cup unflavored Kombucha tea (a little short on tea? use distilled white vinegar to make up the difference)
Equipment
stainless or glass pot for boiling tea
wooden or sturdy plastic spoon
glass jar
rubber band
coffee filter

Rinse the pot and the jar with distilled white vinegar. Pour the water into the pot and bring it to a boil.
Stir in the sugar, and let it boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add teabags. Let it steep for 20 minutes. Remove the teabags. Let it cool down to room temperature (usually for an hour or so).
Place the scoby and the Kombucha tea in the glass jar. Pour the room temperature tea-sugar-water mixture into the jar. Cover it with the coffee filter, keeping it tight with the rubber band. Put it in a dark corner of your pantry where you won't have to move it for a week.
In a couple days, you will notice a white substance forming on the top of the liquid. This is your new scoby. The old scoby may move up and down in the jar during the fermentation process. If you move it, the new scoby will dip beneath the surface and another one will start growing on the top.
After 7 to 9 days the new scoby will cover the top of the liquid. It should be white. Now you're ready to make a new batch and flavor this one!
(We live in the desert; I have read that kombucha takes longer in cooler climates)

Flavoring the Kombucha
Ingredients

Your new batch of Kombucha tea
5 or 6 slices of ginger
sliced fresh or frozen fruit—about ¼ or ½ cup
(we like raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries)
Equipment
Glass bowl or pitcher
Glass pitcher with a lid to hold the new tea (I found rectangular pitchers at a reasonable price at Walmart)

There are many ideas for flavoring Kombucha and I have not experimented with very many of them. Here's what I do:
Take the new batch of Kombucha out of the pantry. Pour it into a bowl or big glass measuring pitcher. (I find this easier than trying to fish the scobys out of the narrow jar it ferments in, but if your jar has a wider mouth you may be able to fish them out with a wooden spoon).
Remove the scobys and a cup of tea for your next batch (remember the starter tea needs to be unflavored). Place your fruit and ginger in the pitcher and put it in your pantry. I've been keeping mine in the fridge, but I just learned that keeping it in the pantry allows it to fizz a little.
I usually rinse the scoby (new or not) with distilled white vinegar before making a new batch with it.


Note: if you want a thicker scoby (which may ferment a new batch quicker or more intensely), make a small batch and let it sit for three or four weeks. I make a small batch with 1 cup water, 1/8 cup sugar, 4 tea-bags, ½ cup kombucha tea, and 1 scoby. Using a scoby made in this way will give you more fizz.

I bought my scoby from an e-bay seller, stichingtime. If you buy a scoby and you aren't quite ready to start the kombucha-making process, keep the scoby in the fridge in a glass jar, with enough unflavored kombucha tea or distilled white vinegar to cover it.

(What IS Kombucha? Read about Kombucha here.)
If you are Kombucha maker and you have a different process or different flavoring ideas, I would love to read your comments.

3 comments:

Blue Castle said...

I've tried making kombucha before, but I used flavored tea, I didn't flavor it afterwards like you suggest. I may just have to try it again. We get it from the store every so often and I could never get my kombucha to taste as good as the store stuff. :) We got spoiled, I guess. Your post makes me want to try again.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

Georgetta Nextdoor said...

All the information I read said that kombucha couldn't be made with flavored tea, that the flavorings would interfere with the fermenting process.

Carrie said...

THANK YOU for that info on how to make a THICK scoby!! I had no idea how to make my new scobys thicker. YOu can bet I'm gonna try that ASAP!!

Carrie @ Heart of a Servant
http://2livinglightly.blogspot.com