I have been completely obsessed with kombucha for the past 6 months or so. I had never even had it before then! I just absolutely love the fizzy fresh sour flavor. It's like a healthy soda! The first few months of my obsession I wasted so much money buying kombucha at the store, but then I found out it was super easy to make at home. There is a lot of info on kombucha brewing out there, and I'm no expert, but here is what I did and some links to sites I used as a guide. Hopefully I can convince some people to start brewing their own kombucha too! Or at least just try some if you haven't had it before.
Oh yea btw, I love kombucha so much that I'm gonna post about it all week. Kombucha week begins now!
So step one to making kombucha at home is growing a SCOBY. A SCOBY is a Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast. It's basically a gross looking blob that helps your tea ferment. The way to grow your own is to start with some non-pasturized 100% kombucha. In some places you can not purchase this, and if this is the case where you live, you may have to buy a SCOBY or find a friend who has one. I thankfully can buy it down the street. I used GT's green kombucha.
Brew 5 cups of strong green tea and mix in 1/2 cup sugar. Let it cool fully and mix it with the store bought kombucha.
Cover with a towel and hide it away in a dark place for a couple weeks.
Here is the SCOBY starting to grow.
But it isn't quite ready.
Finally it's ready! the tea isn't very good though, it's a little over-fermented but also not fizzy, so dump it, but not all of it. Keep the SCOBY and 2 cups of the tea.
My SCOBY had some tea leaves on it. I was worried at first that it was mold, but it wasn't.
SCOBYs are weird.
Annnyways, go ahead and pop that SCOBY into your brewing container with the 2 cups of fermented tea that you reserved.
Then fill up the thing with more sweetened tea. I used a gallon of water, 20 green tea bags, and 1.25 cups of sugar. Make sure the tea is cooled before mixing it with the SCOBY.
After about 2 weeks I had delicious kombucha, and 2 SCOBYs! Dole out the kombucha into mason jars, but keep about 2 cups in the big jar with the original SCOBY. Fill it back up with sweetened tea and you will have another batch ready in 2 weeks! In the jars I left some with just the kombucha, but in others I added things like chia seeds, lychees, pomegranate juice, raspberry juice, ginger juice, and mango juice. They get sealed up and left out on the counter to ferment another 4 days. This is when they get most of the fizzyness. I also "burped" the jars sometimes if I was worried they would explode, meaning that I let out some air.
This one just has a little pomegranite juice. Notice the little baby SCOBY that formed on top!
I fish out the SCOBY before drinking but I know people who just drink it.
You can see here that the carbonation dented the top of the jar a little!
Chia seed kombucha is awesome.
Ginger raspberry kombucha. Also awesome!
Let me know if you guys like kombucha or if you think it tastes like drinking vinegar like my friend Bianca says!
If you plan on trying to brew this stuff at home, here are the websites I used to get info on how to do it.
Come back all week for more kombucha awesomeness!