I decided to make my own Kombucha! After looking up a bunch of homemade Kombucha recipes, I decided to go the kit-route.
For those of you who are Kombucha newbies, it is essentially fermented tea that has many, many health benefits. According to the website What is Kombucha?:
Kombucha is a living health drink made by fermenting tea and sugar with the Kombucha culture. The result can taste like something between sparkling apple cider and champagne, depending on what kind of tea you use.
In terms of its health benefits, they go on to state:
Supporters say that Kombucha tea can boost the immune system and reverse the aging process. Kombucha tea is said to contain antioxidants, compounds that block the action of free radicals (activated oxygen molecules that can damage cells). For people who have cancer, proponents claim the tea can improve the body’s defenses (especially in the early stages of cancer) by detoxifying the body and enhancing the immune system. After the body has been detoxified, the tea is said to help repair and balance the body and fight off disease.
Because the store-bought stuff can set you back $3-4/bottle, I decided to try my hand at making my own homemade kombucha.
This is what you need to start:
- SCOBY – Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. You can find these online, or locally on craigslist.
- 1 cup organic sugar
- 12 black or green teabags
- 1 gallon glass jug
I went the easy route, and ordered a Kombucha starter kit online through Oregon Kombucha.
My handy kit came complete with all of the above (sans 1 gallon glass jar) for $15. It also came with handy brewing instructions. Couldn’t have been easier!
I followed the instructions provided by Oregon Kombucha carefully by boiling 1 gallon of water, then taking it off the heat and adding the tea bags. They recommend leaving black tea bags in for 4 minutes and green or white tea bags in for 2 minutes. Since I used the green tea they enclosed in my kit, I left it to steep for 2 minutes. After that I took out the tea bag and added the sugar, stirring until dissolved.
Once I brewed the tea and added the sugar, I transferred the mixture to the jug and added the SCOBY. While it ferments, you have to keep it warm, dry and clean. It prefers temperatures of 75-90 degrees. Because I don’t typically keep my house at that temperature and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area (read: cold), we decided to put it in a box behind our computer, which is always warm. Here is our little Kombucha jug:
It is recommended that you cover the jar loosely with a kitchen towel or t-shirt to allow the Kombucha to breathe, while blocking some light and keeping bugs, dirt, etc out of it. I covered with a mesh nutbag for extra bug protection (the sugary liquid does have me slightly worried about ants) and a clean dish towel. Now comes the waiting game. According to the Oregona Kombucha peeps, it will be ready in 7 days, but for a true big and tangy taste, wait up to 30 days. I do love the tangy Kombucha, so I shall do a taste test each week to see how it is coming along. More to come in a week!