One of the easiest ferments in my opinion is Kombucha. It is also a power packed super drink! This stuff has been around for a long time it is rumored to prevent a range of ailments. You brew Kombucha by putting a mother S.C.O.B.Y (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) into sweetened tea and allowing it to ferment. As it ferments, it produces all types of good things. It’s fizzy-ness makes it a good replacement for soda.
Some ways that Komucha can help your body stay healthy are:
- Helps your joints (it contains glucosamine)
- It contains probiotics by the billions
- It is full of antioxidants (EGCG anyone?)
- It contains: Folic Acid, vitamins B1,B2,B3, B6,and B12
All that being said to purchase it at a store is really expensive. When something is costing an arm and a leg I always ask myself, is there a way we can do this cheaper? I looked into it, and it is inexpensive to brew at home. Check out how I brew my Kombucha, if you are in our area and interested in brewing your own kombucha, contact us on Facebook to get a free scoby.
I will start by showing you how I harvest my Kombucha. In the picture below I have one black tea version and a black tea, mixed with a flavored tea version. I always have extra S.C.O.B.Y so I can experiment and that is fun! The pink one is brewed with half Black Tea and half Tazo Passion Tea. Earlier in the week I could not resist and drank a large amount of the pink one…any-who…this is the result, fermented tea and an extra scoby.
Once the Kombucha is ready, anywhere from 7-11 days, I start harvesting the drink. I wash my hands in vinegar and separate the S.C.O.B.Ys from the liquid. Clean hands are a must, however antibacterial soaps can affect your S.C.O.B.Y. It is best to rinse your hands in ACV. I put them in a bowl with 2 cups of liquid from the previous batch. You will need the liquid to start your next batch. I cover them and go ahead to the next steps.
The next step is to bottle the Kombucha, flip top bottles work best. The bottles used need to have thick glass. You are making a fizzy drink and that means pressure will build up. You will also need a funnel and a non-metal strainer. S.C.O.B.Ys do not like metal, it can compromise your culture. These mesh strainers are perfect. This is how I set it up to pour into the bottles.
Next you will pour the Kombucha into the funnel. I fill the bottles about an inch up the neck. This part takes a steady hand!
What you will need:
- 1 Gallon of water
- 6 bags of preferred tea (you need a base of green or black tea)
- 1/2 cup of Sugar
Bring your water to a boil, while you are doing this add 1/4 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar to your now empty jar, cap it and swish it around, dump out the ACV and set aside. This will sanitize your jar and the vinegar will not affect your culture. Once your water comes to a boil add your sugar and stir to dissolve. Remove from heat and pour into your clean jar, leaving enough room for your S.C.O.B.Y and two cups of liquid. Add your tea bags and allow to steep until you reach your desired strength. Remove your tea bags. Here they are steeping,I need to add more water.
You will now need to wait until the tea has cooled to room temperature to add your liquid and S.C.O.B.Y. This takes some time, I usually leave mine over night. You can speed up the process by setting your jar in an ice water bath. Just make sure the ice water does not get into your tea.
Once cooled uncover scobys and inspect them. I pull the best looking one out and set aside for the new batch. It doesn’t really matter how they look though you could cut one in half and it will still happily make Kombucha. Next you will pour your 2 cups of liquid into the tea and stir, now add your S.C.O.B.Y. I kept both experiment S.C.O.B.Ys to add into the tea, if you add an extra S.C.O.B.Y it will reduce you ferment time.
After that you are all done just cap loosely set in a dark corner or cabinet for 7-11 days then start the process over again. If you have more than one ferment going at once you should put three feet of distance between them. This prevents cross contamination that can weaken your culture.
You might be wondering why I would give away my S.C.O.B.Ys when other people are selling them? Well the fact of the mater is I was given my original S.C.O.B.Y by a friend. Kombucha has helped me turn my health around. I want anyone who wants to try making it, to be able to. I also get a new S.C.O.B.Y every 7-11 days and that is a lot of S.C.O.B.Y! This week I cut the extra one up and fed it to the chickens, I also use them in composting.
If you are interested in getting a free scoby you can contact me on our facebook page. While you are there feel free to hit the “LIKE” button to follow the daily activities of the Little Wife and the Homestead.
Thank you for reading!
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