Kombucha is a delicious probiotic-rich drink that’s thrifty, fun and easy to make. Rumored to have originated in China around 200BC, societies throughout the world have been brewing kombucha for centuries. It is made by placing a strange gummy mushroom-like life form, called a scoby, into a gallon of sweetened tea.
SCOBY is actually an acronym for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast, and the kombucha gets its unique flavor and probiotic power because the scoby “˜eats’ the sugar and components of the tea leaving delicious, nutritious kombucha behind. A gallon of this stuff costs pennies, but will pay you back with thirst-quenching, nutrition-packed goodness.
A great alternative to juice or sodas, most kids are quick to acquire a taste for kombucha when they don’t have the alternative of sugary junky drinks.
Currently my family of four has four gallons of kombucha brewing at all times, and we still manage to run out. I am considering ordering another two gallon jar to keep up with demand or getting some warming mats to speed up the brewing time.
Ingredients for Making Kombucha:
- 1 kombucha scoby – Get this from a friend, or find a kombucha scoby here.
- 1 cup per gallon of reserved kombucha from a previous batch (or liquid that came with your scoby)
- 1 cup organic white sugar
- 5-10 organic black tea
- filtered water (don’t use tap water!) – where to buy good water filters
Supplies for Making Kombucha:
- 1 gallon glass or ceramic container, or larger. No lid necessary (do not use metal or plastic).
- 1 clean tea towel
- 1 large rubber band
- a funnel
- a pitcher or a spouted bowl
- glass storage jars or bottles with tight fitting lids
How to Make Kombucha…
Make your tea in the ratio of 1 cup of organic white sugar for each gallon of black tea. I use a two gallon glass cookie jar (like this one) and organic 20 black tea bags. You may need to adjust the amount of tea depending on the brand or variety you choose.
Cover with a tea towel, and mark your jar with today’s date. Store your brewing kombucha in a warm dark place away from other fermenting foods or potential mold. Starting around 14 days, begin tasting your kombucha. It should be tart and zingy, slightly sweet, but not cloying. In the winter you may need to brew your kombucha for much longer that 2 weeks. Try placing it near your (working) slow cooker, or near a warm appliance. You can also purchase mats (like these Seedling Heat Mats) to keep your kombucha comfortably warm and reduce brewing time.
Got Kombucha questions? Shoot them below! Happy brewing.
This post can be seen on Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday carnival.