My journey into making Kombucha (a fermented tea drink which is healthy for the gut) began several months ago, a very good friend gave me the instructions and my first SCOBY which you need to make this wonderful drink. The SCOBY is living ‘healthy’ bacteria that resembles a flat jelly fish, or the weird creatures from one of the original Star Trek series…. You know the one, admit it. Anyway, SCOBY is actually an acronym: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. It is what does the job in making your Kombucha. Ginger and Turmeric are wonderful natural roots that are great for the stomach and inflammation plus they taste YUMMY!
You will need several items just to get started:
- Two 1 gallon Glass jars, you can get them at glass jars at amazon
- A minimum of 6 swing top bottles, again at Amazon here swing top bottles
- Your SCOBY, if you don’t have a friend who has a live one living in her SCOBY hotel, guess what, you can get that from Amazon Too. SCOBY
- 2 cups of sugar
- 3 tea bags of green or black tea.
- 1 gallon of FILTERED PURE WATER. Do not, I repeat, to not use tap water, the chlorine and fluoride will kill you SCOBY.
- Starter and again if you don’t have a friend who is already brewing, yup, you guessed it go to Amazon. Kombucha Starter
- Brew your sweet tea (sugar, water and tea) and let cool until it is room temperature. This is important, room temperature.
- Once the tea cools (NOT COLD), pour into the large glass jar
- Wash your hands with vinegar, yes, you read that correctly this helps you not infect your SCOBY with your germs.
- Float the SCOBY on the surface. It may sink but that is okay.
- Gently add in 1-2 cups of the unflavored starter that is at room temperature.
- Cover with a breathable cloth but something fruit flies can not get through. I use a micro mesh cheese cloth and double it.
- Tighten with a rubber band.
- Sit in a quiet place away from sunlight and cold as cold will slow the growth of the bacteria. War is okay but not too warm.
- Let ferment for 7-10 days (14 has been perfect for us). This step is very flexible. The shorter the first ferment the sweeter the brew, the longer the ferment the more sour as the yeast feeds off the sugar from the sweet tea.
- Once Ready, wash your hands with vinegar and remove your SCOBY and put in the second jar with some of the tea from the first jar (I put a cup in the first time, now more because if have a bunch in my hotel).
- You may need to separate your SCOBYs because they will meld together as you continue to use them. Each new batch will grow a baby SCOBY to the Mother SCOBY.
- Fill your flip top bottles to the bottom of the neck, NOT to the top of the bottle.
- For the Ginger Turmeric, I add one teaspoon of diced fresh Ginger and 1 teaspoon of diced fresh turmeric root (both peeled).
- Save 2 cups of this batch of the fermented tea (starter) for use for your next batch. Keep it going by starting at the first step all over again.
- I also date these and have now started a rotation of 2 batches soon to be 3 rotation so we have kombucha ready when desired.
- Cap each bottle with the top. And store in a cool dark place. for about 5-7 days.
- Once you are ready to enjoy your brew, CAREFULLY open the bottle.
- This is why you only fill to the base of the neck, it will FIZZ, alot. I have found its best to open slowly in a high top bowl. The sweeter the tea and the higher the sugar content (ginger has a lot) the more it will fizz as a result of the second brew (flavor brew).
- Keep in the refrigerator once opened and enjoy!
My husband and I love the Ginger Turmeric and really have no want at this time to change it up. Plus, these roots are great for the gut and inflammation. However, you can play with flavors, some I’ve seen are Orange Ginger; Strawberry Lemon; Blueberry Lemon; Raspberry; Elderberry and so many others. Just remember, the more the sugar, the more active the Fizz.
Now, about your SCOBY Hotel:
I keep my old SCOBYs in a ‘SCOBY Hotel’ which is basically a glass jar with stacks of SCOBYs. Treat these like the fermenting kombucha by covering them with a breathable cloth and add sweet tea once in a while for food. They love their sweet teas! Feed them about once a month or so. You will also see growth spurts in your SCOBYs at that time. I rotate them between batches. There are all kinds of uses for SCOBYs if you get too many teach a friend how to make Kombucha and donate a SCOBY. They are great to add to a compost bin because of the healthy bacteria. Mother Earth News just had a recipe in making SCOBY treats (think healthy gummies).
Enjoy your brewing.
Mrs. Kay Lynn Rice