How to brew your own kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented tea that, at the very least, is rich in probiotics and may be capable of fighting everything from upset stomachs to cancer. Your own healthy, nutritious and sometimes delicious kombucha drink is just a few steps away.
Kombucha may become the next miracle drink. Those who drink it regularly swear that it can do everything from treat cancer to cure upset stomachs to detox the body as well as helping with weight loss. It's also high in probiotics. Even better, when mixed with different flavor agents, it doesn't have to taste like it's good for you. It is, however, expensive to buy at the store, so if you want to drink a lot of it, consider brewing your own. All you really need is a good SCOBY, which stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, (think the mother from wine), and you have the building blocks of a great homemade kombucha drink. You can buy the SCOBY in health food stores or online, along with entire starter kits.
Yields about 1 gallon
- Sterilized 1 glass gallon jug
- Sterilized teapot or saucepan with a sterilized lid
- Sterilized plastic spoon
- 8 tea bags (your choice, but white teas are nice and mild)
- 2 cups sugar
- 4 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 kombucha SCOBY (if it stays alive, you only need one)
- 1 cup kombucha (either raw or from a previous batch)
- Tea towel
- Rubber band
- First, as the list above states, make sure that all of your equipment is sterile, either through boiling or cleaning it with a sterilizing agent. If you choose to use a cleaner that sterilizes, make sure you rinse the equipment well so that the sterilizer doesn't kill the SCOBY.
- Next, in your now sterile teapot, bring 2 cups of water to boil and add the sugar and tea bags.
- Cover the pot and let the tea bags steep for 20 minutes.
- Pour the vinegar into the gallon jug, then pour in the tea.
- Next, add the SCOBY and raw kombucha.
- Fill the jug with cold water.
- Wrap the tea towel around the top of the jug and secure with the rubber band.
- Let the kombucha ferment for 5 days.
- After five days, check it for smell, the presence of mold, and taste.
- If the kombucha smells off (more off than kombucha normally tastes), particularly if it smells moldy, throw it out.
- If the kombucha has visible mold in it, throw it out. The mold will look like small black, brown or green dots on the SCOBY or in the kombucha.
- Note that there may be small pieces of the SCOBY in the kombucha (this is called the beard). This is normal.
- If the kombucha taste is not strong enough, continue fermenting up to 14 days total, checking it periodically for smell, mold and taste.
- Once you are done, you can mix your kombucha with juices to make it taste better.
- Also, save your SCOBY and a cup of your homemade kombucha so you can make more.