I’m on about my fifth home-brewed batch of kombucha and I’m really starting to get it down now. We’re in a real fermenting phase around these parts, I think the next stop is kimchi. But until then let’s spend some time focusing on kombucha. It costs around $5 for a generic bottle of store bought kombucha, and that’s a great price for a one time specialty beverage. But unfortunately the benefits of kombucha don’t really begin to take hold until after about 3 or 4 days in a row of drinking a glass or so. That’s not very cost effective, but don’t fret because a SCOBY mushroom costs about $10 and will constantly grow and make more live culture SCOBYs out of itself. The company that I bought mine from also sent a .pdf that told me exactly how to handle my weird little blog once it arrived in the mail. I write all this so that you won’t be intimidated, it’s so worthwhile to start brewing some ‘booch now.
I’m going to breakdown the basics of making a batch of kombucha to demystify the process for everyone. Because I’m a believer that everyone needs to start making their own ‘booch. For your first batch you will need:
- 1 gallon glass jar with bottom spigot
- 1 SCOBY mushroom culture
- 1 gallon freshly brewed tea
- 1/2 cup sugar
- coffee filters or loose dishtowel
- rubber band
First of all be sure not to get a cheap spigot on the glass jar, these will brew multiple ‘booch batches so go for quality of cost effective with this item. As far as the SCOBY I linked you to my preferred company above. The tea can be anything, starting off with black or green tea will help to get the fermentation started. I started mine with hibiscus and it was a little too tangy but I’ve switched over to green tea brews and I have some real bubbles happening now. When the tea is hot mix in the sugar and then bring the whole mixture down to room temperature. A SCOBY will die at high heat. Pour the cooled tea over the kombucha mushroom in the glass jar and cover with the coffee filter or towel, the item just can’t be loose enough to let bugs through. Fasten the rubber band around your ‘booch and let the little guy fly. After about 7 days the brew should be ready to consume. Once the tea gets down to about 20% brew more tea and repeat the process.
Secrets for Delicousness
After a couple of kind of gross brews I finally dialed it in. The goal is to do a second ferment. Stay with me now. After 5 days in the main batch, pour juice into the bottom of containers filling about 20%. Then pour the kombucha in and bottle, leave at room temperature to let it get fizzy for about 2 days. This will re-ferment the tea kombucha with the fruit juice. I make the fruit juice out of soaked fruit or peels and water so it’s not adding sugar to the brew. If this doesn’t sound ideal I do recommend bottling the brew and letting it sit at room temp, the fizziness really does make it more delicious.
I hope that I have helped you feel more empowered to ‘booch it up. I will truly never look back and now I’m sad it took me so long to start fermenting my tea!