Smoothie's and drinks

DIY Kombucha

Making your own kombucha is so easy! I started brewing my own as soon as I found out how good it was for you- that was nearly 3 years ago. Addicted since the first sip.

In nutritionist world, probiotics and fermented foods are pretty important and can play an integral role in overall health- luckily kombucha falls into both of these categories and provides some amazing beneficial probiotics πŸ™‚

Kombucha is basically tea that has been fermented, the fermentation process occurs while the SCOBY/mother (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast- good ones!) lives on the sugar and caffeine in the tea all the while putting good bacteria into it.

This process makes the end result tea very beneficial for our gut bacteria- it benefits digestion and helps to colonise the bacteria in our gut, some people have even said that their teeth feel cleaner after drinking it!

Miracle super food right? And its so easy to make!

To get started you will need:

  • A scoby (if you don’t have one see below)
  • A large jar- 4-8 litres
  • 6 bags of Green, white or black tea
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 3-5 liters boiling water
  • Cloth to cover the jar- not muslin- I use a tea towel folded in half twice to keep fruit flies out!
  • Elastic band to make sure the cloth is on tight
  • 2 cups of already fermented kombucha
  • air tight jars that equal the amount of tea that you start with

Instructions:

1 Make the tea base: Bring your water to the boil then turn the what off, stir in the sugar then drop in the tea and leave to steep until its completely room temperature- this could take hours guys so be patient πŸ™‚

2 Add the starter tea: once your tea has cooled down completely add the starter tea- this is your 2 cups of already fermented tea. This kick starts the fermentation process and you’ll have to do this for every new batch.

3 Transfer to jar and add the scoby: Now that your tea is ready add it to your fermentation jar and gently slide the scoby on top. It won’t always sit at the top- sometimes it will be sideways and sometimes at the bottom- don’t panic this is normal πŸ™‚
Cover the jar with your cloth and make sure the elastic is super tight around the top- you do not want any fruit flies getting in there! If that happens chuck it and start again.

4 Ferment for 7-14 days: Make sure your kombucha is out of sunlight in an area where it will remain completely still and check on it periodically. If you like your kombucha very sweet you might want to change it at 7 days. If you like it a little more tart leave it for closer to 14 days- you can taste test it as you go.

5 Remove scoby: Once its fermented for your desired length of time remove the scoby with clean hands and place on a plate- make sure to have a new pot of strong tea at the ready so the scoby doesn’t sit out for too long.

6 Bottle the finished kombucha: keep 2 cups aside for the starter tea of your new batch. Bottle the fermented tea into the airtight jars and leave a little room at the top- about an inch. If you’d like to flavour your kombucha, now is the time to add these πŸ™‚

7 Second Ferment: Leave the bottled kombucha in the airtight containers for 1-3 days, this is the second ferment and the stage when the kombucha carbonates itself to become fizzy and delicious! After 3 days refrigerate and drink πŸ™‚ An easy way to do this if you’re new to it- use plastic bottles, like a water bottle. When your brew is ready the bottle will become rock hard- this is your cue πŸ˜‰ drink up!

8 On the to the next: Clean your ferment jar and start again. Easy peasy πŸ˜‰

 

My top flavouring picks!

  1. Pear and rosemary- all time. Must try!
  2. Ginger! Standard but theres a reason for that πŸ™‚
  3. Vanilla and strawberry- this one is for the sweet tooth.

Is it safe to brew at home?

Kombucha has been around for a very, very long time and undisputedly would have been brewed in environments far dirtier than ours!
As always, use common sense and if you’re worried about the way your scoby looks, check out the trouble shooting section below πŸ™‚

The scoby

So now for the scoby. SCOBY is an acronym: symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.Β There’s really no denying it… they look creepy AF like an alien from another planet! And take my word for it- they will freak all of your dinner guests out! Everytime. It’s ugly.

The scoby is a naturally occurring part of kombucha, it’s like a raft that floats in the top of your kombucha and is forever growing and constantly renewing itself, with each batch of kombucha a new scoby will grow and usually attach to older ones.

My advice is to find a friend that brews kombucha and beg them for a scoby! Otherwise you can buy one, but its also super easy to make your own. You will need 1 bottle of plain, unflavoured kombucha made by your favourite brand, your fermentation jar and a cloth. Pour the kombucha into the jar, cover and literally leave it alone for 2-3 weeks and a scoby will form on top πŸ™‚

Trouble shooting your booch

  • Its totally normal for the scoby to float sideways, at the bottom, at the top- it moves πŸ™‚
  • To begin with your brew won’t smell like much, but as the fermentation process progresses it will start to smell quite vinegary… this is normal πŸ™‚ but if it starts to smell off or cheesy thats your cue to chuck it and start again.
  • Scoby’s last a very long time but sometimes the unthinkable can happen.. if it gets mouldy its no good.
  • Stringy bits usually form on the underside and sometimes they can be dark in colour- totally normal, you can peel these off when you change the tea πŸ™‚

 

You can read more on kombucha here:

  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24192111
  • http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1541-4337.12073/full
  • https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/8-benefits-of-kombucha-tea#section6

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