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KoMbUcHa!

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Its Tea time!

Today you will learn how to make kombucha! There is so many ways to make it, and i took many ideas to create the most economical and practical way for my family. I forgot to take a lot of step by step pictures along the way because i had a kombucha get together with some friends and was having so much fun. Though next week when we make our next batch i will just add the pictures to this post. Whenever i read a recipe i want SIMPLE easy steps make it much more doable.. and i like a little background information about it too!

Here is my kombucha ready to sit on the counter for many days- we like your sour!

WHY SHOULD YOU DRINK KOMBUCHA?

1. It is a yummy fizzy, slightly sweet tangy drink low in sugar, calories, and caffeine (the bacteria eats all the sugar)

2. It is cheap…compared to the store, you will save a lot of $

3. It is FUN to make :)

4. Kombucha is full of good bacteria to help replenish your gut. Good Gut bacteria will in turn help heartburn, digestion, acid reflex, bloating, and many more things. Though don’t drink it too much too fast because you may get die off detox symptoms. Start slow and listen to your body.

5. It is high in b-vitamins. So you will stress less because b vitamins help you stay calm and your memory will be better!

6. Helps detox your body and matain a healthy liver

7. boosts the immune system- 80% of the immune system is in the gut so if you fill you gut with good bacteria it will in turn help your immune system- this mean less sickness!

8. It can give you a afternoon pick up and increase over all energy levels.

9. Helps you loose weight because it improves digestion and is a good substitute for all you soda drinkers.

10. Make your skin clearer, heals eczema, and oily skin- apply plain kombucha topically and drink it as well for optimum results.  (i have not tried this yet)

11. Good for hangovers- because it is a liver tonic

12. Helps constipation- this is because it aids your digestion

12. Improves the color of your hair- you can use it externally  in the shower too!! (i have not tried this but I am going too)

WHAT IS KOMBUCHA MADE OF?

lactic acid: good for digestive system

acetic acid: it inhibits harmful bacteria. This gives the kombucha its distinctive smell and taste.

malice acid: used for detoxing in the body

oxalic acid: is a cellular production of energy

gluconic acid: effective against yeast like Candida

butyric acid: produced by yeasts and helps fight yeast in the body ( like heals like…again..just like the cancer mushroom)

nucleic acid: aids in healthy cell regeneration

amino acid: building blocks of protein- helps rebid mucles

enzymes: catalysts that speed the rate of reactions in the body- helps digestion

Vitamins B, C, beneficial yeasts, and living bacteria

resource: http://www.getkombucha.com/

HISTORY:

Kombucha has been used for over 2000 years in China, Japan, and Korea. SCOBY’s were passed down from generation to generation. One story goes that a doctor in Moscow discovered that his patients did not get cancer. This was because to save on money, they brewed Chage or birtch-tree mushroom tea. Actually this birtch-tree mushroom is cancer on the tree!! So they were using cancer to cure cancer. Chage is related to the kombucha mushroom, but the real kombucha mushroom has many stories of origination. SCOBY stand for Symbiotic Colony of bacteria and yeast.

EXTRA PRECAUTIONS:

1. Wash everything you are going to touch…pots, jars, lids, spoons, your hands. You don’t want to get new bad bacteria on your SCOBY because that is how is gets weak and moldy.

2. Don’t let your SCOBY touch metal! and don’t ferment in plastic!

3. Never use sugar or tea that is not organic- pesticides, fluoride, and anti-caking agents can kill the SCOBY

4. Only use filtered water- chlorine can kill the SCOBY too.

5. Always keep an extra SCOBY on hand just incase yours gets moldy

6. always reserve 2 cups of fermented kombucha liquid for the next batch as a starter

7. Never put the SCOBY in hot water

8. Don’t use herbal tea because they contain oils that will damage your SCOBY. if you want to use it, put it in for the second fermentation.

9. Always throw away a moldy SCOBY as well as the batch of tea it was in and start over! you don’t want to take any chances and make yourself and family sick. I know this is a bummer..but that is why you have to remember to save an extra.

10. Keep your kombucha away from anything else that is fermenting as well as plants so mold spores don’t contaminate the SCOBY and kombucha batch.

WHAT YOU NEED:

metal pot (for boiling 4 cups of water)

gallon glass jar

cotton light towel/ cheesecloth

rubberband

spoon (not metal)

6 t of tea (black/ green/ white) or 6 tea bags

1 gallon of filtered water

1 cup of reserved liquid from pervious batch

1 SCOBY

1 cup organic cane sugar ( don’t skimp on the sugar, the sugar will ONLY feed the bacteria, not your body) —-i used this site as a sugar resource in case you are interested in experimenting with sugars:

http://www.kombuchakamp.com/what-is-kombucha/kombucha-mushroom-tea-brewing-safety-tips/types-of-sugar-to-use-for-brewing-kombucha

STEPS:

1. clean EVERYTHING, use 1. soap  2. rinse well with water  ( you don’t want extra soap residue around your SCOBY) 3. spray with hydrogen peroxide- counters, lid, jar (i use food grade hydrogen peroxide form Guardian of Eden)  4. rise again with water  5. air dry

2. boil 4 cups of filtered water

3. add tea bags or loose leaf tea (no tea ball is necessary)

4. simmer tea for 10 minutes ( 10 minutes ensures all the nutrients from the tea are released)

5. turn off the heat and let steep for 10 more minutes

6. strain out tea bags or loose tea

7. while it is still warm stir in sugar until dissolved

8. pour sweet tea mixture into your gallon jar

9. fill the rest with filtered water ( room temperature) – but save room for your SCOBY,  1 cups of reserved liquid, and keep at least 2 inches from the top

10. pour 1 cup of previous reserved kombucha into jar (or if you don’t have that much add 2 TBS of raw ACV into jar)- this just jumpstarts the good bacteria

10. The water should be cool once you put in all that filtered water, so your SCOBY should be safe. You want the sweet tea temp below 80 degrees

11. put in your SCOBY ( smooth/ white/ creamy side up)!- make sure your hands are clean

12. cover with dish cloth and secure with rubberband

13. put it in a warm (70-85 degrees) dark place for 4-8 days – the warmer it is the less time you will need  (we put our on the counter by our crock pot because our house is cool)

14. bottle it in smaller bottles for a 2nd fermentation (learn how to here) -and then you can flavor it and make it even fizzier!..post to come soon :)

We keep our kombucha by the crock pot so it stays warm and ferments faster

EXTRA HINTS:

*Some people like it sweet so you will need less days for it to ferment. If you like it sour you might need to go a few more days. To test it stick a straw or plastic spoon and taste the liquid- no double dipping and no metal

*Allowing 8-14 days will make a vinegary taste which has a lot of medicinal properties and can even be used in the place of vinegar

* If you don’t want to make kombucha at a constant brew then store 2 cups of liquid or enough to cover the SCOBY and store it in a jar in the fridge. It will stay dormant for months without going bad. Though it is BEST to keep continually brewing new batches to keep the kombucha strong. Also a dormant SCOBY in the fridge is more susceptible to mold, so keep an eye on it.

* After your kombucha is done it will form a baby- keep the mother and baby attached for a 2-3 brews to allow the baby to grow 1/4 -1/2 inch thick. Then you can separate the two SCOBY’s and give the mother to a friend!

* When you give away a scoby, put it in a clean jar and cover with 1-2 cups of reserved kombucha liquid from your last brew

* you want a strong starter tea that is very acidic- this will help kill off the bad bacteria.

* For a faster and stronger fermentation you can add another cup of starter tea

*Black tea contains the most glucuroic acid, which is good . But Oolong tea makes a very yummy kombucha!

* extra kombucha tea FAQ

http://www.culturesforhealth.com/kombucha-tea-frequently-asked-questions-faq

HAVE FUN!! I hope i didn’t overwhelm you with information, but you can read it over 1 or 2 or 3 times. Be patient with yourself, practice, and soon it will be second nature to brew kombucha!  If you have any questions, please post below. Happy fermenting :)

~stay gutsy, caroline

 

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35 Responses to KoMbUcHa!

  1. I just started brewing my Kombucha, thanks for the tips!!

    • yeah you welcome! thanks for reading and commenting-i love comments. i am really trying to help people learn how to make REAL food the easy way..and show them that it is really worth it! :) enjoy

  2. Ummm…WOW! What an amazing wealth of information, Caroline! I’ve been wanting to get into making kombucha, but have never found a one-stop resource like this. I really learned so much, not just about HOW to make it, but also WHY and WHAT’s in it. So thanks for this! I’m pinning it for future reference, and thanks for linking up at Tiny Tip Tuesday!

    • You welcome! that was my goal..a one stop site to teach you all…i did ALOT of research and tried not to miss anything, but of course i probably didn’t cover it all! have so much fun making kombucha! i am starting classes to help others in my area make it. ask a friend to join you so you can help each other along the way.

  3. Awesome…very informative! I just bought a SCOBY today! I can’t wait to get started making my own Kombucha…I’ll be book-marking this for when my SCOBY comes in! Thanks for linking up to Living Green!

  4. How fun! I’m growing my first scoby and am very excited.

  5. Very interesting. I would love for you to come by and share this post on the Creative Corner Hop. The linky party starts on Monday and stays open all week.

    Sandy
    Cherished Handmade Treasures

  6. This is so very interesting to me. I had you and another post shared in my recipe hop last week. This is something that I had not heard of and I have been sharing your post with my husband. He’s as curious as I am and I’m going to do some research to see where I can get myself a Scoby. Thank you for sharing last week in my hop and my apologies for taking so long to get over here to read your post. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    • I did see that other kombucha post on your hop too. SCOBYs are usually passed down between friends..or you can by a starter on http://www.culturesforhealth.com/

      they just grow and grow so once you have one you can share it with friends because it will have “babies”. cool huh? thanks for reading!

      • Hey Caroline – just wanted to let you know that the Cultures for Health scobys are DEHYDRATED which can be a real bummer if people don’t know. It takes up to 4 weeks before you can even start brewing that way. Get a fresh full sized culture instead or get one from a friend with plenty of sour starter liquid, that’s my recommendation.

  7. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  8. […] have been several articles about it recently. I really appreciated Caroline’s article on Kombucha. This young lady has put together a lot of information and resources about this trending, fermented […]

  9. I was making kimchi today and it occurred to me that I really want to make kombucha! Thanks for the post! Wishing for kombucha-making friends :-)
    -Happy to be stopping by from Inspire Me Monday

  10. Does it always form a baby? I am on my second batch from a dehydrated SCOBY from Cultures for Health, but nothing has formed excepted a couple of floating mold spots.

  11. Hiya! I love kombucha and make my own. I have made it using two methods – both the “spot” method (brew it up, pour almost all of it out, start over again), and recently I have been using the “continuous method”, which I am very happy with. It is theoretically closer to how it is traditionally made in Eastern Europe and Asia and yields better consistency, better safety, and in theory better array of good acids. I am currently using a 1:1 combination of loose black tea with loose green tea (over all black tea), and the taste is excellent with enough tannic acids to keep the SCOBY happy. Some feel that green tea makes a healthier kombucha, others feel that black tea produces a healthier kombucha. Combining teas (of excellent quality) may result in the best of both worlds!

    Here are the instructions to the continuous brew method if you are interested: http://www.westonaprice.org/food-features/continuous-brewing-kombucha

  12. You definitely have me excited and motivated to try Kombucha and to perhaps brew my own!

    Thank you so much for linking up to “A Little Birdie Told Me…”. I decided to take a week off from the party to allow me the time to visit my friends out in the blogosphere, so…here I am!

    Jenn/Rook No. 17

  13. Interesting about the herbal tea, we use green tea, but learned from a friend about adding one herbal tea bag to flavor it while brewing so my husband has been using that method. Our SCOBY seems fine and grows quite nicely?? Great information you put together. We have been brewing Kombucha for probably 6-7 years. My boys love it!!

    • Its good to know that the herbal the won’t kill it! I am aways up for experiments! What kind of herbal tea did you use- Its the oil that damages the scoby so maybe yours didn’t have a lot of oil (or you are using such a small amount that it doesn’t matter!) Glad you like your kombucha! I am just now writing up the 2nd ferment part..

  14. […] A while back I posted how to make kombucha and a little extra information about it! Today I am going to teach you how to second ferment your […]

  15. […] cookies, GAPS chocolate drops, GAPS chocolate pudding, and tea lattes! You could even put it in kombucha to flavor […]

  16. Just an FYI for those that have access to plain (non-flavored) kombucha, you can brew kombucha from that. At $3-4 a bottle it’s about the cheapest (and fastest) way to do it unless someone gives you a SCOBY. And for the record a dehydrated SCOBY did not work out for me though it was probably operator error.

    Making it from a bottle of plain kombucha is easy! My husband was taught how to do this at a Denver farmer’s market by a company there selling kombucha (High Country). So basically you make your organic sweet tea as in your above recipe, just not a whole gallon’s worth. A quart or two will do, exact measurements don’t seem to matter. Once the sweet tea is room temp pour in the whole bottle of plain kombucha, cover per origional recipe and let sit a week or so per origional recipe. A mother will begin to form on top within a few days. That’s it! As my son would say easy peasy lemon squeezy!

    • Thanks Erin, I can never find one strong enough though from the store because the gov regulates the ph of it. I have a billion scobys! I have heard that the dehydrated ones work but are tricky. Thanks for that recipe, I’m sure other readers will like it!

  17. […] has a very informative post that will give you many reasons to drink kombucha, explain more about what kombucha actual is and […]

  18. […] butter to send this snack over the top. Caroline, we can’t wait to make this recipe! P.S. your kombucha is tempting…we’ve been wanting to try to make our own […]

  19. Hey!
    Is kombucha really derived from birch? Is it safe for people with birch tree allergies?

    • That is like its origination, i honestly don’t think you have to worry about it :). It has been passed around brewing in jars and liquid for hundreds of years. I would be more worried if you had a mold allergy.

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