I have been brewing my own kombucha for about two years now. Surprisingly, it’s actually incredibly easy. The hard part is going to find a flavour that you like, but with enough trial and error, and some tips from this post, I trust you will love it in no time.
First, let’s go over what kombucha even is. Kombucha is often referred to as “mushroom tea”, but don’t be alarmed, it is not a mushroom at all. It is a fermented tea beverage, chock full of probiotics, B vitamins, and antioxidants. It is made by adding a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacterial and Yeast) to sweetened tea, and allowing it to ferment between 7-14 days.
Steps to brewing kombucha at home:
- boil roughly 1 litre of water and pour it over 1 black tea bag in large glass jar
- stir in half a cup of sugar (I use unbleached sugar, but you can use a various types)
- let steep until tea is at room temperature, then remove tea bag
- add one cup of starter and SCOBY
- cover jar with clean cloth and let sit for 7 – 14 days
Once your brew has been fermenting for a while, you can taste it by dipping a straw in (trying not to disturb the new SCOBY growing on top), seal the top with a finger, and lifting a small amount of liquid out to taste. If it tastes sweet, it likely hasn’t fermented long enough. A fully fermented brew will taste a little tangy.
After your initial ferment is complete, you can start the process all over again to start a new batch, and begin on a second ferment with the original batch. The second ferment is where you’ll be able to play with flavours and find something that works for your tastebuds. You can add almost anything to flavour kombucha. Play around, add what you like. You can add apple slices, ginger, strawberries, peaches, raisins, dates, cranberries, and even numerous herbs! Leave the second batch for 12-24 hours, or to taste really. I dilute my kombucha with water right before consumption if it’s still too tangy for me.
Here’s the recipe I usually make:
- add a small amount of lemon juice (maybe a Tbs)
- add a handful of frozen raspberries
- let sit for 12-24 hours (to taste)
- dilute with water if it is too tangy
- add pre-soaked chia
If you want some more options for fabulous tasting kombucha, check out the recipes at Homemade Mommy!
Lastly, if you are pregnant and/or nursing and wondering if this fermented beverage is safe for you to drink, the short answer is yes, with cautions of course. The long answer can be found here.
P.S. if you’re in YYC and in need of a starter, contact me, that just so happens to be something I sell on the side.