KOMBUCHA

Make your own sparkling fruit tea drink at home! Kombucha is fermented, meaning it contains bacteria and yeast, with various levels of carbonation and sweetness depending on how long it is cultured for… it is very simple to make at home, low cost and equipment can be reused with repeat batches. We have included LOTS of flavour ideas at the end of this recipe. Enjoy!

Ingredients for KOMBUCHA

 

Yield: 3-4 cups

Raw Sugar

1/4 cup

Filtered Water, Hot

3 cups

Black Teabags

2 (or 1 1/2 teaspoons tea leaves)

Kombucha SCOBY

1

Kombucha Liquid, Unflavoured

1/2 cup (or distilled white vinegar)

Plus fresh ginger slices, fresh herbs, spices, fresh fruit, thawed fruit, dried fruit

or fruit juice to flavour your kombucha, if desired.

    

METHOD:              

1.  Dissolve sugar in water. Add tea bags and steep for 10 minutes then discard tea bags.  Pour tea into a quart (1L) jar and cool tea to room temperature.
2.  Add SCOBY and starter tea (if you don't have 1/2 cup unflavoured kombucha tea, add distilled white vinegar to make up this quantity) into the jar of tea. Cover jar with cloth (allows it to breathe but prevents contamination).
3.  FIRST FERMENT (PRIMARY FERMENT): Culture for 5-7 days or more – the kombucha will be sweeter with a short brewing period but can be brewed (cultured) for 3-4 weeks to remove all sugar. This longer brewing period means the kombucha tea will be more acidic (vinegar-flavoured).
Happy kombucha makes a baby scoby! First a clear layer will form on the surface, becoming white and thicker like the mother scoby during the brewing cycle. Each baby scoby will grow to cover the surface area of the jar.
One scoby can be used to begin another batch of kombucha.
When not using to make kombucha, store scobies at room temperature in SCOBY hotel: layered in a jar submerged in unflavoured kombucha, with a cloth cover on the jar.

4.  Enjoy kombucha fresh or continue to add bubbles in the next fermentation step!
5.  SECOND FERMENT (SECONDARY FERMENT): strain and pour the liquid kombucha into plastic or glass bottles (with airtight lids) with ginger slices, fresh fruit, thawed fruit, dried fruit or even fruit juice. Leave at room temperature for a further 3-7 days to carbonate.
TIP: We recommend plastic bottles for beginners or check the carbonation level (bubbles) each day by carefully untwisting the lid. With practice, after several batches you will know how long to ferment your kombucha to your liking (i.e. plastic bottles are firm, but give a little when squeezed – not bulging, which indicates fermenting for too long).
6.  Refrigerate and drink your cultured kombucha within 3 weeks. Consume with care: it may fizz upon opening!

FLAVOUR IDEAS:

o    Original (unflavoured);
o    Apple;
o    Apple, pear and ginger;
o    Blueberry and ginger;
o    Blueberry and raspberry;
o    Cherry and plum;
o    Elderflower and lemon;
o    Ginger;
o    Ginger and lemon;
o    Ginger and pear;
o    Lemon;
o    Lemon and lime;
o    Mango;
o    Mango and lime;
o    Mango and passionfruit;
o    Mixed berries;
o    Orange and ginger;
o    Passionfruit;
o    Passionfruit, pineapple and mango;
o    Pineapple;
o    Pineapple and lime;
o    Raspberry;
o    Raspberry and lemon;
o    Raspberry and passionfruit;
o    Rose and lemon;
o    Strawberry;
o    Strawberry and hibiscus;
o    Strawberry and peach;
o    Turmeric, carrot and ginger.

NOTES:

o    SCOBY = Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast
o    Get a kombucha scoby (with some kombucha liquid) from a friend or family member, or your local “Buy Nothing” or zero waste group on Facebook, or buy them from a health food store or online (Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace, eBay etc) - sorry, no we don't sell food items.
o    Kombucha will also grow a scoby from a bottle of store bought refrigerated bottle of unflavoured kombucha – avoid the pantry aisle kombucha as it’s usually pasteurised, no longer live culture. This method will take longer to form the scoby, usually within a few months at room temperature with a cloth cover on top as per the recipe.
o    You can use a spare scoby to make kombucha with other tea bags/leaves – but keep the “mother” scoby as black tea, ideally organic loose leaf black tea. Flavoured tea will contaminate the mother scoby but can be used with a baby or spare scoby as a “one off” batch. Do not reuse the flavoured scoby for a second batch.
o    Passionfruit and/or pineapple results in a very fizzy fermented kombucha!
o    Citrus oils can overpower the batch, so use a small slice per 250ml.

Author: Megan Radaich         
Image credit: Megan Radaich          
Publication: Wild Brews: Ginger Beer, Shrubs & Sodas, available HERE

       


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