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KOMBUCHA

 Start with 3 quarts of filtered water (cause chlorine and fluoride are bad for the SCOBY) and bring it to a boil.  Right as it starts to boil I add 1 cup of organic sugar (Costco has a 10# bag) or table sugar.  Don’t worry too much about the sugar because the yeast and bacteria will feast on it, so you won’t be drinking it.  I boil the sugar water for about 3 minutes and then I steep 2 green tea bags and 2 black tea bags for 20 minutes.  I use organic, and DO NOT use flavored, most flavored teas have antibiotic properties and will damage your SCOBY.  Then allow the sweet tea to cool to room temperature.  I then add it to my gallon jug with a SCOBY and at least a cup of starter tea from a previous batch.  Place a cloth lid on the jug and put somewhere warmer (78 degrees is ideal, but at least above 70) but not in direct sunlight.  I ferment mine for a week, but I have the process down, it may take 10 or even 15 days for it to turn more sour than sweet.  If you have pH strips, it should register less than 3, more than 2.  At that point, I put 2.5 ounces of fruit juice (cherry, cran’s, things like that) in a 16 oz bottle, and I fill it the rest of the way with Kombucha.  I then tightly lid them and leave them 4 more days in my fermentation room.  At that point they are fizzy (sometimes very fizzy) and delicious.  Now, when I bottle I usually leave 16 – 20 oz of tea in my jug with the SCOBY and just replace the tea with another 3 qts of sweet tea, having the extra starter ensures that mine is the same every week.  I brew 3 X’s the recipe every Sunday and have 3 separate jugs going.  Usually I bottle between 6-7 16oz bottles from each jug, and with my wife and my two daughters (almost 10 and almost 2) we drink them all each week.  I truly believe that in this winter of flu and stomach bugs that are going like crazy, we have not really experienced any of it, and I think it starts with a healthy gut from drinking our Kombucha daily.  We also eat a lot of kraut, and fermented carrots and asparagus too.