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Kombucha. A yummy fizzy drink that is good for your gut health but at about $4 a bottle, it’s not so great for your wallet. So I decided to make my own. At first, I was a little intimidated after reading about the process and what the heck was a SCOBY? But it was actually very easy to make, just time consuming. Read on to learn how to make your own homemade kombucha.
Benefits of drinking kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented tea that has several probiotic benefits. The main ingredient that gives the drink it’s healthy benefits is what’s referred to as “the Mother” or a SCOBY – symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. It’s a flat, mushroom-looking thing that floats around the jar. So how does one acquire a SCOBY? If you know someone who makes homemade kombucha, you can ask them if you can use on of their SCOBY’s, or buy one online or from a health food store. You can also grow your own.
(If you really want to make it easy on yourself, check out this Kombucha starter kit on Amazon. It has everything you need to make your first batch including a SCOBY and starter tea.)
To make a SCOBY
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tbsp of loose leaf black tea or 2 black tea bags
- 2 tbsp of granulated sugar
- 1 16oz of bottle of raw unpasteurized kombucha
1.) In a small pot, bring water to a boil.
2.) In a clean glass jar, combine hot water and tea, and let steep for at least 5 minutes.
3.) Remove the tea bags or strain out the tea. Stir in the sugar and let cool until room temperature.
4.) Pour in kombucha and stir well making sure to combine all the sediment from the kombucha. Cover with a cheesecloth or coffee filter and keep in a cool place out of direct sunlight. (Ideally you want the temperature to be between 75-80 degrees).
5.) Eventually, a glossy film will start to form on the surface. This is your SCOBY. Once your SCOBY is about 1/4″ in thickness it is ready to use to make your own kombucha (this can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks about). Save your SCOBY and existing tea mixture to make your first batch of kombucha.
To make Kombucha
You will need
- 16 cups of filtered water
- 7 black tea bags
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1-2 cups of starter tea
- gallon glass jar
- cheesecloth or coffee filter
1.) Bring 16 cups of filtered water to a boil.
2.) Add your tea bags, then with a wooden spoon stir in 1 cup of sugar. Let steep for 10-15 minutes then remove tea bags. Let liquid come to room temperature.
3.) Pour into a gallon glass jug. Add your starter tea and carefully place your SCOBY on top.
4.) Cover with a breathable cloth cover. Let sit for 1-3 weeks out of direct sunlight (again about 75-80F. If the temp is too cool, your SCOBY will grow mold.)
5.) After a few weeks, pour your kombucha into glass mason jars or pitchers and add whatever fruit and herbs you wish for tasting. (My favorite combinations are strawberry-mango and strawberry-lemon but there are endless pairings). This will be your secondary fermentation and what gives you the carbonation. Seal tight and once a day be sure to “burp” to release excess carbonation. Once you reach your desired level of carbonation, (about 2-3 days), bottle and refrigerate.
6.) Save some of the leftover kombucha and SCOBY as this will be your starter tea for your next batch.
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