Copyright Neil Bennett Photography 2016

Brewing and Fermenting

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Kombucha

 Kombucha, the beverage the ancient Chinese called the “Immortal Health Elixir” It’s been around for more than 2,000 years and has a rich history. Made from sweetened tea which has been fermented or brewed by a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast  for short S.C.O.B.Y, also know as a Mother or Kombucha Mushroom because of its ability to reproduce. Every few batches you can peel away a new mother and give to a friend. My S.C.O.B.Y has lasted more than 5 years so far.

In the first half of the 20th century, some scientific research was done on Kombucha’s health benefits in Russia and Germany.

Possible Kombucha Health Benefits:

Liver Detoxification, Joint care, Gut health, Immune boosting effects.

 

How to brew Kombucha Tea

 

Ingredients:

 Water, 1.5 cups cane sugar and 8 bags of organic black tea and 3 bags of green tea, 1 S.C.O.B.Y.

 

Equipment:

1.5-gallon glass jar, measuring cup, pot, plastic stir spoon.

Instructions:

 

Disinfect all items used every time you use them (get a bottle brush to clean the bottles) mix 1 tbsp regular non scented bleach to 1 gallon of water or buy a product like Steri San. Rinse well.

 

 

Note: Avoid contact between the Kombucha tea or the S.C.O.B.Y and metal. This can affect the flavor of your Kombucha and weaken or kill the S.C.O.B.Y over time. Metal is fine for brewing the tea.

1. Make the Tea: Bring filtered water to a boil. Drop in the 8 black tea bags and 3 green tea bags allow it to steep until the water has cooled to room temperature stir in the sugar to dissolve.

2. Ferment for 10 to 14 Days: Keep the jar at room temperature best at 68 to 80 degrees, out of direct sunlight, and where it won't get moved. Checking the Kombucha by taste every three days after 10 days (slight vinegar taste) or with a PH tester periodically until it reaches a PH of 3.5 to 4.0.

It's not unusual for the S.C.O.B.Y to float at the top or bottom of the jar a new cream-colored layer of S.C.O.B.Y should start forming on the surface of the Kombucha within a few days. It usually attaches to the old S.C.O.B.Y, but it's ok if they separate. You may also see brown stringy bits floating beneath the Scoby, and a soft brown sediment collecting at the bottom, this is all normal and is a sign of healthy fermentation.

3. Remove the Scoby: Before bottling your brew, prepare and cool another pot of strong tea for your next batch of Kombucha, as outlined above. With clean hands, gently lift the Scooby out of the Kombucha and set it on a clean plate with a little liquid and cover.

4. Bottle the Finished Kombucha: Measure out your 1 cup of starter tea from this batch of Kombucha and set it aside for the next batch. Now add 1/3 cup Naked juice to the bottles using a funnel.  Add the fermented Kombucha into bottles leaving about  1-inch of headroom in each bottle if you want it to carbonate. Cover then shake the bottles well to mix the juice (other wise it clots).

5. Carbonate and Refrigerate the Finished Kombucha:

If you do not want your Kombucha carbonated just put it in the fridge. To carbonate it store your bottled Kombucha at room temperature on a counter out of direct sunlight and allow 2 to 3 days for the Kombucha to carbonate. When you drink your Kombucha do not shake bottles to mix …simply turn upside down and gently swirl to stir.  Consume your Kombucha within two weeks. I would not drink more than a couple 16oz bottles a day and recommend you start out with 6oz to see how you tolerate it. There is plenty of information on the internet about Kombucha for further study. If you have any questions let us know.

Note: Stir in 1 cup "starter tea" from the last batch of Kombucha (if this is the second batch) it will speed up the process a bit.

 If this is your first batch of Kombucha add your S.C.O.B.Y to the jar.

Cover the mouth of the jar with a few layers of cheesecloth, paper towel or coffee filter. Secure with a rubber band to keep bugs out.

 

 If you do not have a S.C.O.B.Y you can grow your own by buying a plain (no additive Kombucha from the store and pour it into the tea). It can take up to a month to grow your S.C.O.B.Y this way but it works. If you grow your own S.C.O.B.Y dump the tea of the first batch out and start again with your new S.C.O.B.Y.

How to Brew and Bottle Kombucha Tea

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