This will take your gut instincts up a notch. *wink*
Kombucha is a healthy habit that’s unfortunately not so healthy for your wallet. They’re especially not the easiest thing to come around but they’re actually not as difficult as it seems like to make.
Related: Everything You Need to Know About Fermenting Food and Drinks at Home
To save you a lot of money and energy, here’s a quick starter guide to help you improve your gut instincts when it comes to brewing your own booch at home with this basic step-by-step guide.
Also Read: Where to Get Kombucha in the Metro
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented drink made from four simple ingredients namely: bacteria, yeast, sugar, and tea. It’s been around for thousands of years and is said to promote good gut health because it’s rich in probiotics.
What You Need to Make Kombucha
Scoby is an acronym short for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. It’s a culture that’s vital in the fermentation process of kombucha. There are multiple ways to obtain scoby but the easiest and simplest way would have to be is to find a friend who brews kombucha regularly. Otherwise, you can also pick up a scoby from a reputable source or grow your own.
Some resources on how to grow your own scoby:
At least a gallon-sized food-grade vessel will do. Preferably glass or ceramic. Do note that kombucha is acidic so you want to make sure that you’re not using a vessel that will corrode over time. The bigger the vessel, the longer it takes to ferment so you may opt to brew kombucha in small batches and start with a gallon.
You will also need something to cover up the vessel during the fermentation process. A cut-up piece of cheesecloth or a coffee filter will do. Basically, anything that’s breathable but will keep particles from entering.
The best type of tea to use for kombucha is black tea and that’s because black tea has the most tannins present in them which are basically nutrients that helps feed the bacteria and yeast during the fermentation process. There are many kinds of black tea. Some examples are, English Breakfast, Assam, and Darjeeling.
It is ideal that you use loose leaf tea and one that has no flavors (if using tea bags). Any added chemicals or essences can weaken your scoby and not provide the right amount of nutrients.
Cane sugar is best. Do not use brown sugar or any other substitute as this is the chemical compound that’s needed in order to feed your scoby.
How to Make Kombucha
Batch Brewing vs. Continuous Brewing
There are two brewing methods and which one you choose will entirely depend on:
- How much kombucha you are planning to dink
- How frequently you want to be “working” on your brews
- Whether or not you will add flavor to your kombucha
Batch brewing is making kombucha in small batches or individual cycles. This is usually perfect for people who are beginners and if you like to flavor your kombucha. Continuous brewing on the other hand is exactly what it is. You are doing more continuous work and continuously harvesting the first fermented kombucha and a larger vessel typically with a spigot is used.
Quick Starter Batch Brewing Guide
This procedure makes one gallon of kombucha.
4 cups of filtered boiling water
2 to 3 tablespoons of black unflavored loose tea
3/4 cups of sugar
8 cups of cold filtered water
2 cups of starter tea (plain unflavored kombucha)
- Boil 4 cups of water and add the hot water and loose tea leaves to the brewing vessel and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
- Add the 3/4 cups of sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Add the remaining 8 cups of cold filtered water to the vessel and make sure your sweet tea is around 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Once the sweet tea is in the ideal temperature range, you may add the 2 cups of starter tea and plop the scoby right in.
- Cover the mouth of the vessel with a breathable material like a cheesecloth, tea towel, or gauze and store it away from direct sunlight.
- Let it ferment in a cool dark place for at least a week depending on your taste preference.
- Once you decide your kombucha is ready to go, use a funnel to bottle your brewed kombucha and store it at room temperature for 3 days.
This is where most of the fun happens. Once you’ve bottled your kombucha, you can play around with it and experiment with different fruits and herbs and flavor it.
- Once you’ve bottled your kombucha, add your desired flavors like fruits, sugar, honey, etc.
- Seal tightly so that it can carbonate and become fizzy.
- Ferment for 3 to 10 days in a cool dark place.
- Once happy with the flavor, strain the pulp or chunks if you would like.
Here are some flavor combinations that you might like:
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