Happy Monday Friends! What is it about Mondays? They just take it out of me! I sure am grateful to be in my comfies now, all cozied up on the couch – that’s for sure! I may have made up a couple of words there, but sometimes I find that necessary to more accurately describe how I’m feeling! I bet you are doing the same thing right now (the comfy pants – not the word inventing).
Anywho… Kombucha! I’m currently up to my ears in home brews & new scoby “babies” as I’ve been learning & drinking my home brewed Kombucha for a few months now! I’m in love! Where to even begin? My first run in with the fizzy, fermented tea was at a health food store when a good friend (with a bad hangover) recommended it for it’s detoxifying properties! I spent four dollars, drank one teensie sip, grimaced & dumped the rest. Water has always been my drink of choice anyways – hydrating, delicious & nothing fancy!
Fast forward several years & I decided to give Kombucha a second chance. I tend to be motivated to try things known for their health benefits as I’m always looking for new ways to boost my immune system, detoxify my body & support digestive health. Plus, Kombucha turned out to be a tasty, carbonated drink (unlike the time I tried to make homemade sauerkraut not knowing how it should taste or if I even like it)! So I’m plugging along in Kombucha heaven and I begin to realize I’ve developed an expensive habit. By asking around I learn that Kombucha can be easily made by using a starter scoby often referred to as the “mother” & apparently many of the women I know have mothers & grandmothers who have been brewing this tea for decades! Lucky me!
My Kombucha teacher (also my girlfriend’s mother) gave me a personal home brew tutorial, starter scoby, & an awesome packet of information including history, recipes & anecdotes! By the way, I love discovering new health routines via word of mouth, doing my own research & trusting intuition. So Kombucha fits the bill! I’ll show you a snippet of my modified version of this method below, but for the original recipe (plus a plethora of other fun stories & info) check out The Kombucha Center website.
You can read many stories of amazing benefits like detoxification, grey hair reduction, alleviated menopause & allergy symptoms, increased fat burn and even healing from illnesses. So far I have experienced increased energy, healthier digestion, and lots of fun while enjoying the brewing process, sipping my tea & sharing with friends!
5 tea bags – I use a combo of green & black tea for my preferred flavor & to reduce the caffeine. There are simple methods available for removing the caffeine from your tea bags if that is a concern for you.
1 cup organic sugar – I’ve used light brown & white sugar successfully
3 quarts boiled water – I have been using sun tea lately but the jury is still out on my preferred method of steeping the tea
1 scoby “baby” in 1 cup Kombucha from previous batch
1 large glass jar – that holds around 4 quarts
1 coffee filter & rubber band to secure
1 wooden spoon *Never touch the tea or Kombucha with any metal
Kombucha Ingredients: Tea, sugar, purified H2O, scoby & kombucha
HOW TO MAKE KOMBUCHA
Make tea using boiling method (glass tea kettle on stove, ceramic dish in oven) – but – I like sun tea & haven’t had problems so far. I steep all day in the sun & then add sugar until dissolved.
Green and Black Teas brewing in the Sunshine
Add 3 quarts of fresh brewed tea to brew jar, add sugar & stir until dissolved.
Cool tea to room temperature & add the scoby with 1 cup of previous batch of Kombucha.
LEFT: “Mother” Scoby ready for retirement (the compost bin) RIGHT: New “baby” Scoby in 1 c. Kombucha ready to be added to the new batch TOP: Bottle leftover from tasty store bought Kombucha & two mason jars filled with my previous finished batch (ready to be bottled & consumed).
Cover the container with a coffee filter & rubber band for protection. Store in a cupboard that isn’t disturbed often & let ferment for 7 or more days depending on temperature and conditions. After 7 days, it is helpful to taste the brew every couple days until it reaches desired fermentation.
New batch of tea ready to be covered & stored for fermentation.
After Kombucha has fermented to your taste preference, just remove the Scoby “Mother” & “Baby” (they will probably be connected) & it is ready to be consumed! However, I like to bottle with fresh ginger & fruit at this stage to enhance flavor & promote carbonation. Add whatever fruit you prefer, seal bottle(s) with plastic or rubber lids only & let sit on counter for another day to carbonate. Then store in the fridge! Yummmmm!!!
Flavored, carbonated & ready to be refrigerated! LEFT: Blueberry, Ginger & Lemon RIGHT: Farmer’s Market Peach & Strawberry
My teacher & information suggest drinking 4 ounces every morning on an empty stomach for maximum health benefits. I aim to do this, but also enjoy my Kombucha in a pretty wine glass while sitting on the porch after a long day! Enjoy!