kombucha : a healing tonic

what you need :

- large glass container (2 gallons is a good size)

- 1 piece of cloth (a pillow case works great) and a rubber band to cover the jar

- 1 kombucha scoby (also called a mushroom)

- starter, from a previous batch or store bought kombucha (unflavored)

- organic tea of your choice (black and green work well)

- organic white cane sugar (raw sugar does not work)

- filtered water

how to make it :

- boil water (for a 2 gallon container boil about 1.5 gallons of water)

- add 1/4-1/2 cup loose leaf tea and brew for appropriate time based on the tea you choose to use (you can put the tea in a nut milk bag for easy straining)

- add 2 cups of sugar and stir until it dissolves

- allow tea to sit, covered, until it is room temperature (hot water can kill your scoby!)

- pour cool tea into glass container

- add 1-2 cups starter liquid

- cover container with fabric that is breathable but tight enough that it will keep out fruit flies and gnats

- place container in a dark place like a cabinet that will stay warm.

- allow the kombucha to sit for a few days then begin tasting (with a wooden or ceramic spoon). a batch usually takes 7-14 days but this depends on the size and maturity of your scoby as well as climate so keep an eye on it!

- when the kombucha tastes right (not too sweet, not like vinegar, but somewhere in between) carefully remove the scoby and pour all but 2 cups of the liquid into sanitized bottles.

- if you want to flavor your kombucha now is the time! add some fresh juice from any of your favorite fruits, fresh pressed ginger, whatever sounds good to you to the bottles.

- tightly cap the bottles and allow them to brew for a few more days. during this time the brew will become effervescent. after a few days move the bottles to the refrigerator, allow to chill, and enjoy!

some important notes :

scobytea* while your kombucha is brewing the “mother” scoby will develop a new little scoby on top of itself. at first it will look like a white film but it will continue to thicken and darken. when you finish a batch of kombucha you can peel off the new scoby, transfer it to another jar with some kombucha starter for storage or to start brewing again.

*always clean your hands and sanitize everything you use during the kombucha brewing process using hot water, not soap (soap can kill the kombucha culture)

* kombucha scobys do not react well with anything metal! do not use a metal spoon or container or a metal lid when you bottle it.

* if you end up with too many scoby babies give them away! you can store them in the refrigerator for quite a long time.. the scoby will not die but it will hibernate so it can live in a small amount of kombucha liquid for a long time.

* feel free to explore.. use more tea or less. try different flavor combinations. have fun with it!

flavor ideas :

raspberry and passion fruit

ginger and lemon

watermelon

strawberry

mango chili

 

 

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