Kombucha is a yummy treat. It’s a naturally carbonated beverage that is made by fermenting sweet tea with a starter. The starter is a culture of bacteria and yeasts. The good bacteria and yeasts eat the sugar and produces probiotics!
I started drinking kombucha a few years ago. I purchased it from a health food store, and really liked the tangy taste and the carbonation was a nice treat for my senses. It has become quite popular and can be found at most grocery stores now. So if you haven’t ever tried it, go ahead and give it a go. If you already know you like it, you will probably like to learn to make your own.
It cost usually between $3 and $4 per bottle at the store in comparison to $1 or $2 per gallon to make your own! Plus it will taste better to you when it is made just the way you like it!
The things you will need to get started:
- Some kombucha starter and a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast). You can get this from anyone who is already making kombucha- they will have a new one with every batch they make. You can also purchase them online, or you can start with a store bought bottle, but it takes a bit longer.
- Tea. Just regular black, green, or a combination those are the best choice. Herbal teas should be avoided since the oils can interfere with proper PH Balance.
- Sugar. Just plain old white sugar.
- Water. You can use tap water if you have safe, natural well water go ahead and use that; DO NOT chlorine treated, if you have treated water, buy bottled.
- A Glass Container. Food safe of course.
- Cover. I use a coffee filter secured with a rubber band. You could also use a paper towel or a clean kitchen towel. Something that is NOT AIR TIGHT, but keeps protected from contaminates like fruit flies and dust out.
- Space. kombucha should brew at a temperature of 70-80 degrees F. It is best to not leave it in a place where you will need to move it around all the time. I put mine in a corner of the kitchen counter that will not be in my way. I have heard others leave theirs onto of the refrigerator or on a shelf in a closet to get the right temperature if their kitchen is too cold.
*Please remember NOT TO use metal spoons, metal containers or metal covers on your kombucha.
Kombucha absorbs metals- when you drink it, it can absorb metals that are in your body and help you expel them, but in a container it would just fill your kombucha with metal for you to then drink….no thank you. I also don’t use plastic containers for this reason also.
- Bring to boil half of the water you will need. It’s okay to use whatever pot you have in your kitchen. We are going to make sweet tea, not kombucha for this step.
- Add the appropriate amount of sugar. Remember the bacteria and yeast use it, so don’t freak out- you won’t be consuming all of that sugar.
- Add tea and let steep.
- Allow tea to cool. Temperatures that are too hot will kill this living thing.
- Combine the water and sweet tea, and add it to your designated kombucha jar.
- Add your starter kombucha, and your SCOBY. Just drop it in, it doesn’t matter if it sinks or floats. (the new SCOBY will form at the top)
- Let it be. You can start sampling your kombucha for your preferred taste after about 6 days. The longer it brews the more sugars will be eaten, the less you will be consuming and the taste will get more tart/sour. I typically use a straw, gently slide newly formed SCOBY aside a bit and get a little kombucha in my straw to taste.
- Flavoring you kombucha should be done AFTER this process. This is called a second ferment.
I was a little nervous the first time I made this, but give it a try….Let me know what you think.