Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Kombucha 101

My love affair with kombucha began a little over 3 years ago.  My dear friend, Jennifer, bought me a bottle when I was just beginning my raw food journey.  One taste and I was hooked.  I began researching and reading online how so many people were making their own.  The whole process seemed very intimidating to me so I continued to buy it.  Fast forward to today...I am making my own kombucha!!!  I could not wait to blog about the entire experience.  I want anyone who is interested but feeling a little intimidated about the process know that it is easy peasy!  I am going to share the recipe that I used for the first and second fermentations.

This process began about 2 weeks ago when I received a text message from my friend Tatiana that she had her hands on a mushroom(SCOBY) Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast.  To say that I was excited is an understatement!!!!!

How did she know about a SCOBY you ask?  Well, Tatiana and I are co-workers and we talk about food all day long and she shares my love of kombucha.  Tatiana is from Russia and she says that her mom made a  fermented tea very similar to kombucha when she was a child.  I was totally preparing to make my own scoby until I received her text.  She got the SCOBY from her jeweler(a long story).  I will share the recipe that I was going to use to make my SCOBY too.  Ok, here's the Kombucha Recipe...

1.  Boil 1 gallon of water...TAP is ok.
2.  Pour water into a glass jar with 8 tea bags(I used Black Tea).  Leave 2" from the top.  DO NOT use a plastic or metal container
3.  Add 1-1/2 cups sugar(I used Raw Sugar).
4.  When the tea has cooled off to room temperature, add 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar and the SCOBY.(you can also use 2 cups of Original Kombucha at room temperature)
5.  Cover the mouth of the jar with a paper towel. Secure with a rubber band and leave it covered for 7 days at 74-84 degrees.(out of direct sunlight in a warm dark corner)

6.  After 7 days start tasting your tea with a straw inserted into the jar removing a little tea and putting on a spoon.  Most of the sugary taste should be gone.  You will have 2 SCOBY's when this process is complete.(It's not unusual for the SCOBY to separate and you may see brown stringy things floating beneath the SCOBY...all normal)

7.  Use clean washed hands to remove your mushroom.  Be sure you have NO metal of any kind on your rings, bracelets, etc.  Save 2 cups of this kombucha for your next batch

8.  Keep the extra SCOBY's in a glass jar covered with some tea.(SCOBY hotel)
9.  After removing the SCOBY,  Pour the finished kombucha into bottles(I used a strainer to eliminate some of the floaters) along with any juices or fruit you want to flavor it with.  I used cranberry juice, ginger and apple juice for this batch.  Leave about an inch of room in each bottle.(10-20% juice per bottle)

10.  Store the bottles at room temperature for 2 days for the kombucha to carbonate.
11.  Refrigerate to stop the fermentation and carbonation.  Consume within a month.

To start a second batch of kombucha follow the above steps but instead of using apple cider vinegar use the 2 cups of the kombucha you set aside from this batch.

This was an awesome experience!!!!

No SCOBY???  No Problem!!!!!
1.  Boil 2 cups of water.
2.  Pour into a glass bowl with 2 tea bags  and 1/3 cup sugar. 
3.  When the tea has cooled to room temperature add an entire bottle of Original Kombucha, trying to   get all of the solids from the bottom.
4.  Cover the bowl with a cloth and secure with a rubber band.  
5.  Put in a warm dark place and don't disturb for 2 weeks.
6.  When your SCOBY is large enough start your brew!!

Or if you're lucky you'll find a teeny baby SCOBY in your bottle of kombucha...

Just a Few Kombucha Health Benefits
 1.  Probiotics--healthy bacteria
 2.  Alkalize the body
 3.  Detoxify the liver
 4.  Improve digestion
 5.  Rebuild connective tissue
 6.  Cancer prevention
 7.  Alleviate constipation
 8.  Boost energy
 9.  Reduce blood pressure
10. Relieve headaches and migraines
11. Helps clear up candida and yeast infections

Make It With Love

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