Man, oh man, I love me some kombucha.
Kombucha is the original soda pop. It’s fizzy, but not too much, and you can flavor it any way you like. Literally, the flavor combinations are limitless, but even so, it’s just as good plain.
I really like that on top of being delicious, it’s also good for me! The naturally occurring probiotics feel great to my gut—they help me with digestion and also boost my immune system.
I especially like to drink kombucha when I’m traveling because you can find raw kombucha it in nearly any grocery store (unlike raw kefir). However, it’s expensive to buy in the grocery store on a regular basis, which is why I make it at home.
I got my SCOBY from my dear friend, Shaye Elliott, who blogs at The Elliott Homestead. SCOBY (sko-bee) stands for “Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.” We affectionately call ours “The Jellyfish.” ;)
If you have a friend that brews kombucha, you can ask them for one of their SCOBY babies, or you can buy one online from my friend Hannah Crum at Kombucha Kamp.
Watch the video below for a quick, visual kombucha how-to.
How to Brew Kombucha
1.) Boil half the filtered water in a large pan.
2.) Once the water comes to a rolling boil, turn off the heat, and add the tea bags.
3.) Seep the tea for 20 minutes, then stir in the sugar.
4.) Once the sugar is dissolved, add the remaining half gallon of water.
5.) Test to make sure the water is completely room temperature, then pour into your large glass vessel, and add your SCOBY on top.
6.) Cover with a cloth, secure with a rubberband, and set in a warm spot. The top of the refrigerator works great.
7.) Allow to ferment for 2-4 weeks. If you live in a warm place, the fermentation process will happen more quickly. If it’s cold, it will take longer. As the tea ferments, the SCOBY culture will consume the sugar in the liquid. It’s a good idea to taste your tea periodically until it reaches the flavor you desire. I prefer mine less sweet because I flavor it with fruit juice, which is sweet. If you let your tea go too long, it can acquire a more vinegary taste. If this happens, it’s easy enough to fix this by adding more sugar-water and letting the tea fermented just a few more days until the flavor mellows.
8.) If you want to increase the carbonation in the tea, you can do what’s called “Second Fermentation.” This is where you downpour the tea into smaller vessels, flavor with fruit (optional), close tightly with a lid, and set out at room temp for 3-7 days before refrigerating. We use quart mason jars (buy here), but you can also use fancy stopper bottles (buy here).
What about you? Do you brew kombucha? How do you do it? What are your favorite flavors?
More things you can do with kombucha
Kombucha Popsicles from Healy Real Food Vegetarian
Kombucha Jerky from Holistic Squid
Kombucha Waffles from Natural Family Today
Candied Kombucha Mother from The Cultivated Life
Kombucha Jello from 20 Something Allergies