Kombucha is a wonderful fermented tea that is rich in probiotics and good bacteria for your gut and immune system. Tastes kind of like lemonade, our kids love it! It is a great alternative to fizzy drinks as it naturally carbonates. Traditionally Kombucha is made using black tea but Fiona, our wonderful fermenter, makes 2 main varieties in the shop: a mixed berry kombucha based on rooibos tea (caffeine free) and a lemongrass and ginger kombucha based on green tea. It is easy to make and there is something beautiful about fermenting your own at home and growing a good mother (another name for a mother is a scoby – symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast which converts the sugar to probiotic bacteria). See our short kombucha Q&A below to answer any questions about sugar, SCOBY’s and fermentation time.
- 60 g white cane sugar
- 2 teabags we love Rooibos or green tea
- 1 Scoby
- 180 g kombucha previously brewed or kombucha
- 1 litre water
Pour 1 litr of water into the kettle and boil. Once boiled, add your tea bags of choice along with the sugar and stir until the sugar dissolves and the tea bags really give their flavour, this should take about 5 mins. Remove the tea bags and discard.
Leave this liquid to cool ensuring that its below 37 degrees celsius, body temperature (if it is hotter, it will kill the SCOBY)
Add your SCOBY and the cup of previously brewed kombucha into the jar. Cover with a clean teatowel and leave to sit for 10-15 days out of direct sunlight, at room temperature
After 10-15 days, remove your scoby and it is ready to go!
How long should I ferment kombucha?
Ideally if your SCOBY is healthy and the room temperature is about 20°C, it should take about 10-14 days. However if the temperature is hotter, it will take less time and if colder, it will take longer. Also, if your SCOBY is small it will take longer. Easiest way to tell that your kombucha is ready is by checking if it is naturally bubbly and not too sweet when you drink it (this indicates that the SCOBY has consumed the sugar and converted it to probiotic bacteria and carbon dioxide better known as bubbles!). Either way, taste the kombucha and once it is to your liking and bubbly, it is good to go! The longer you ferment your kombucha the more acidic or vinegar like it becomes. We have often left it to ferment for over a month and made a lovely vinegar to use in salads!
What am i best fermenting my kombucha in?
Ideally use glass jars but if you cannot get them plastic works fine (ideally BPA free). Avoid using metal containers and cutlery as it can damage the SCOBY
Where can I get a SCOBY?
You can easily buy them online for very cheap. A better way is to get one from a friend who brews their own kombucha as each time you brew a batch, the SCOBY grows and can be divided and shared with friends to brew their own kombucha. This means, if you keep making your own kombucha, you will also have an extra SCOBY at the end of each fermentation that you can share with your friends!
How do I grow a SCOBY from scratch myself?
This is easy, just takes a little more time. Take a store bought bottle of kombucha (500ml) that is unpasteurized and living, or raw as it is often described (pasteurization will kill the bacteria required to grow a SCOBY).
Boil the kettle and brew a small cup of tea with 2 tbsp of sugar and ensuring to use the same tea type used in the store bought kombucha (normally black, green or rooibos). Leave to cool, ensuring it is below 37°C (body temperature). By adding a cup of sweet tea to the bottle of ready-made kombucha gives the yeast and bacteria additional food to consume during the process of growing a new culture.
Pour it into a larger jar or glass bottle. Cover with a dry clean cloth so that the air can still get at it but flies cannot. Ferment at room temperature, ideally at about 20°C out of direct sunlight for approx 2-4 weeks and a SCOBY should naturally develop.
After a week, it is common to see a baby SCOBY developing across the top of the liquid. A new SCOBY starts off as a blob or clear film and then slowly becomes more white, and thicker as time goes on.
Calories: 231kcalCarbohydrates: 60gFat: 0.2gSodium: 51mgPotassium: 1mgSugar: 60gCalcium: 31mgIron: 0.03mg
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