I have been in love with kombucha since I first tried it with a coworker at a local co-op. That refreshing bubbly drink was unlike anything I have ever tried. I quickly became addicted and loved how filling it was and how it seemed to ease a stomach ache. I tried just about every flavor and brand out there, some better than others! I was buying it by the caseload at Whole Foods. Then I realized a friend was making it so I was excited to learn more. She not only showed me the process but gave me a SCOBY culture that I have been using for about 5 years now. If you are Kombucha curious, here's my method. It's surprisingly simple. The most difficult part is keeping track of when it's ready so I add reminders to my calendar. I like to brew with a green tea and English Breakfast type black tea blend for 7 days. And I flavor with R.W. Knudsen juice for 2 days; sometimes I leave small bits of SCOBY in for a less sweet flavor. I've been reading more about fermentation and am excited to start flavoring my base with fresh fruit!
Below is my recipe, given to me by my friend who is now teaching fermentation classes and has moved on to other ferments I look forward to learning more about! I've had success with sharing and shipping my SCOBY cultures through etsy or yerdle. I would love to be your fermentation friend and hear about your favorite recipes. Some of mine are R.W. Knudsen Grape and R.W. Knudsen Spiced Pear juice using 1/3-1/2 of the jar as I don't like mine as sweet. Also, the Santa Cruz lemonade blends are great (strawberry lemonade, mango lemonade, etc. I have not had luck with straight up lemonade). Enjoy!
Supplies Needed: Basic Brewing: Flavoring:
Glass vessel to hold at least 1 gallon liquid* 1 cup sugar to Kombucha; SCOBY removed
*If there’s no spout a ladle & funnel is needed 1 gallon water ¼ cup Sugar
White Cotton Flour Sack Towel* 1 cup kombucha 32 oz Organic Juice**
Rubber Band* 3 black tea bags
Glass Jars for bottling 2 green tea bags
*2 of each needed for continuous brewing
**Juice that is clear, without pulp works best (grape, cherry NOT orange, pineapple)
Step 1 Prep: Make sure all supplies are clean; glass jars/vessel sterilized, towel washed.
Step 2 Tea: Make a simple syrup by boiling 1 cup sugar into 1 gallon water. Once dissolved, brew 3 black tea bags & 2 green tea bags for 15 minutes. Allow tea to cool to room temperature.
Step 3 Kombucha: Add cooled tea mixture to the glass vessel along with SCOBY and 1 cup of kombucha. Cover with towel, wrapping rubber band around the lid. Store in a draft free place away from anything else that is fermenting or fresh produce. Allow to ferment for 7 days. Remove SCOBY along with 1 cup of kombucha. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator to hold fermentation or repeat process over at step 1 for another batch. The SCOBY will grow and develop thick layers. Peel the layers apart to create more SCOBYs!
Step 4 Optional Flavoring: To add fruit flavor in a glass vessel add kombucha, 32 oz juice and ¼ cup sugar. Cover with towel, wrapping rubber band around the lid. Allow to ferment 2 days.
Step 5 Bottling: Bottle as is or if you do not like the floaties strain using coffee filter or cheesecloth. Fermenting in a drink dispenser makes bottling very easy but ladling juice out and using a funnel to fill the jars works just as well.
NOTES: Fermentation time will vary depending on the weather conditions, taste and adjust time to your liking. Fruit flavoring also varies per taste. You may find you can get away with less juice but maintain the amount of sugar as that is what creates the fizzy effect
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