What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a lovely drink made with SCOBY and tea, so basically you’ll get fermented tea with all the health benefits of fermentation and living cultures to your gut flora. SCOBY = Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. It’s amazingly fresh, almost like cider but not that sweet.
We have earlier bought our Kombucha from the store, which is very tasty but also very expensive… So we decided to make our own instead! A lot more fun than buying it. We got our hands on a SCOBY from another Kombucha-brewer that was sent to us by post, which actually worked fine.
How to make it?
As mentioned, you need to have a SCOBY. Google it or search on Facebook to see if someone in your neighborhood has one for you. There are also dried ones available but they will prolong the process a lot since you have to activate them before starting the brewing.
You also need a start liquid of ready Kombucha, get it together with your SCOBY or use Kombucha from the store. Just make sure that it’s not pasteurized.
- 15-20 % start liquid
- 1,5 tsp black tea leaves per liter of water
- 1 dl sugar per liter of water
Use a big glass jar or similar with a thick kitchen towel covering the top that keeps mould and flies away. Boil your water and brew the tea for at least 15 minutes. You need to get as much nitrogen as possible from it since the SCOBY likes that. Dissolve the sugar in the tea and make sure it cools down to room temperature before adding it to your start liquid and SCOBY in a jar.
Then you leave it like that for 5-10 days. Usually it’s still too sweet after 5 days so we leave it for a bit longer to get more acid.
Second fermentation, F2
When you no longer think your Kombucha is sweet, then it’s time for the second fermentation! This is also the step where you’ll add flavoring if you like to, but we’ll come back with that later since we haven’t found inspiration for that part yet.
However, we do the second fermentation to get some more carbonic acid.
Remove the SCOBY with clean hands and gentle drain the SCOBY in cool (not cold) water. Bottle the fermented tea in suitable bottle, we prefer glass bottles. Leave in room temperature for a couple of days and remember to let redundant carbonic acid out everyday so that the bottle wont explode. Put in the fridge when you think you have enough bubbles and than enjoy your life elixir!
And the SCOBY..?
If you are successful with your Kombucha you will not only keep your SCOBY alive, you will also get baby SCOBY’s that allows you to expand your batch for the next brewing round. You can also just keep the babies and get rid of the mother if you think it’s starting to loose its power. If you don’t want to brew more kombucha you can always let the SCOBY rest in some ready Kombucha. However, make sure to feed it with freshly brewed tea and sugar every once in a while.
We will certainly come back with more interesting posts regarding our Kombucha making, so stay tuned and try it out yourself!
/Cecilia & Magnus