Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Kombucha

Kombucha (fermented tea) is an healthy drink, an 'elixir' if you will, that contains living enzymes, probiotics, organic acids, B Vitamins, etc.  

Kombucha is very detoxifying/energising!!

Before you make (brew) a batch of Kombucha, you will need a culture called a--SCOBY.

A SCOBY is: Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast

There are three ways to acquire a SCOBY:
a) Friend
         b) The Internet
                    c) Grow one yourself 
(There are plenty of helpful videos online that show you how to do this)

I purchased my SCOBY online. So this is how I am going to show how to brew a batch of Kombucha!

You will need the following:


INGREDIENTS:

6 Black Tea Bags or the equivalent to loose tea
1 cup sugar 
1 cup of reserved Kombucha and SCOBY
4 litres of distilled or filtered water (don't use tap water, because of all the 'added' stuff)



SUPPLIES:

1 Gallon Jar
Wooden Spoon
Cheese Cloth or Cotton Cloth
 Rubber Band
6 Quart Stainless Steel Pot


Pour the water into the pot, and bring all most to a boil. Add the one cup white sugar. The sugar isn't for us, it is for the SCOBY to feed off of during the fermenting process. Stir the sugar until it is dissolved, approximately five minutes. Remove from your heat source. Add your tea bags, stir for a little bit. Cover and steep for about ten minutes. Remove tea bags, replace the lid, and let the tea water cool down to room temperature.



Once the tea has cooled down, pour into your gallon jar. Add a bit more distilled water to the jar to get the most out of your jar. Remember though, you need room in your jar to add your reserved Kombucha and SCOBY.



Pour in your reserved Kombucha. If you purchased your SCOBY online, it should have come with about 1/2 cup of Kombucha for your first batch of Kombucha. With clean hands--don't use an antibacterial soap, or vinegars. If there is a bit of these left on your hands it will hurt your SCOBY. Just rinse your rinse hands extremely well. Pick up your SCOBY and add to your tea water.



The SCOBY will drop to the bottom of the jar, but will 'float' back to the top during the fermenting process. Cover with your breathable cloth and elastic band. Keep in a warm dark spot, about 20-30 degrees Celsius. ( 72-80 F) In the cooler winter months you may have to sit your jar on a heat pad. You also need good air circulation around your jar. 
No smoke or tight spaces.

 I  let my Kombucha ferment for about 7-10 days.
 The longer it ferments the more sugar/caffeine is transformed and the more vinegary it gets. 

Since Kombucha is made with tea, there will be a bit of caffeine leftover after fermentation. 
Because this is a sugar ferment, a tiny bit of natural alcohol forms-very small amount. Trust me, you will NOT get a buzz off of this drink. 

You need to test your Kombucha using ph strips. A good batch of Kombucha should have a ph around 3.

A baby SCOBY will form on top of the Mother SCOBY. This is all part of the normal process. You can reuse the Mother SCOBY and the baby SCOBY for your next batch together or one per jar. 

You should always inspect your SCOBY after each batch. The following link has some very good pictures what to look for.

Remove your Mother and baby SCOBY again with clean hands, put into a measuring glass with 1 cup of Kombucha. 



I like to filter my Kombucha. I don't like the yeast stuff that is at the bottom of the jar in my drink. However, the yeast stuff is good for the next batch!


This is what happens when you overfill your jug.


Bottle, cap and refrigerate! Enjoy a cold glass of Kombucha everyday!





Here are some good reads I have found online to help you to learn more about Kombucha, the health benefits and what/why of the teas and water used.














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