How to make Kombucha, the Immortal Health Elixir…
Kombucha is one of my favourite drink. It is so refreshing and on top of it is rich in healthy bacteria, probiotics and antioxidants. Probiotics are essential for our gut health. We know that eighty per cent of our immune system is located in the gut, which means promoting gut health is critical. One way to do that is drinking Kombucha regularly. You can find Kombucha easily in health food stores.
I love to make my own, as it is a surprisingly simple process, so I wanted to show you how to do it at home.
What you need:
1 Kombucha culture / S.C.O.B.Y (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) you can order it from https://happykombucha.co.uk
A glass container, which holds 2.5L of water
2 litres of filtered water
6–8 tea bags, preferably organic tea bags (black, green, white or oolong)
160-190g organic granulated cane sugar or sugar
muslin cloth and elastic band to cover your jar
How to brew your Kombucha:
Before you start making your Kombucha make sure you sterilise all your equipment (you can simply use boiling water or white vinegar).
Please make sure that your Kombucha does not come into contact with metal.
Boil 2 litres of filtered water. Remove it from the heat. Put 6-8 tea bags into a heatproof container, leave it 10-20 minutes and then add 160-190 grams of sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.
Make sure your tea is cool, room temperature (I usually stick my little finger into the tea to check the temperature), then add your S.C.O.B.Y and starter liquid to the jar.
Cover with the cloth and place in a warm dark place, never on the sunlight (ideally between 23 and 27°C) for 7-30 days. Warmer temperature (24-27°C) means faster fermentation. Colder temperature (21-23°C) means slower fermentation. Never ferment above 30°C as your brew will become unbalanced.
Keep your Kombucha away from bin and flowering plants.
If you find mould, you must toss the entire batch of tea and S.C.O.B.Y away and start over.
Taste your brew after about 5 days to see how the fermentation is going.
As with other fermented foods, your Kombucha is ready, when you like the taste. When you taste it, it should still have a bit of sweetness to it and a pleasant amount of acidity. If you want it to be more acidic, then keep fermenting it longer. If it tastes sour enough, then you’re ready to bottle.
When you are bottling your Kombucha make sure you leave your S.C.O.B.Y sitting in a small amount of the brew in its brewing jar, not less than 1/4 of the jar to start the next brew.
Fill up the bottles about 3/4 of the way with your Kombucha. Add the chopped up fruit or fruit juice (see below “How to flavour your Kombucha”). Leave the bottle at room temperature for at least 3 days, each day “burping” the bottle to remove pressure (opening the cap, letting out C02 than putting the cap back on)
After 3 days you can taste the kombucha and see if it is fizzy enough for you, the longer you leave it, the fizzier it will get. When you like the taste and fizziness your Kombucha is ready.
Congratulations! Put it in a fridge and drink it after a few hours.
I love to drink my Kombucha cold and fizzy with some ice, but sometimes fizziness is inconsistent, when it comes to home brewing, if that happens you can add a bit of sparkling water.
How to flavour your Kombucha:
You can get very creative, the flavour options are endless. From fresh berries, citrus fruits, herbs, spices, you can even add vegetables to create unique Kombucha flavours.
Put a cup of fruit (berries, ginger, pineapple, mango etc.) to a blender, blend it until smooth and pour it to your bottles.
How long does it last?
Your refrigerated Kombucha will last indefinitely as it’s acidic enough to protect it from outside contaminants.
I usually prefer to drink my Kombucha within 5 days of opening a bottle.
How to keep my S.C.O.B.Y safe while I am travelling?
Just leave your SCOBY in the tea in a big jar for up to 6 weeks.
She will be fine. The kombucha will be quite vinegary, but you can use it for cleaning etc. When you return, brew as usual.