|It Gets a Head Like Beer|
Cheapest: Get one from a friend for free
Cheap: Buy a bottle of plain, unflavored, raw kombucha like GT's and grow one
Pricey: Buy one from an online retailer
|The Mix Master Scoby|
When cool to the touch, pour it into the container of choice. Be sure your jar or bowl is non-reactive and lead free. Cover the container with cheesecloth or muslin and secure with a rubber band. If using a bowl, run and X of tape over the top to prevent your cover from falling in. Let sit about a week. At this point, use a wine-thief or a plain old drinking straw to taste. It should taste slightly soured and vinegary and this is a sign that the sugar has been consumed and converted into healthy goodness. If using a drinking straw, push the scoby aside and push down into the tea, cover the exposed end with a finger and withdraw. Only remove the finger when the other end is in your mouth. If you a starting a scoby with purchased kombucha tea, add your bottled tea to the bowl with the prepared sweet tea. You will need it to rest for about two to four weeks to get a thin scoby. Then you can make kombucha with your happy little baby scoby. Want to grow one and want more instructions? See this great guest how-to post HERE from Sarah at Sarah's Basic Ingredients.
When it has turned, you can drink it. You can start sweeter and let it ferment longer as you get used to it. The vinegary taste comes from the scoby using the available sugar and giving you the good stuff in return. Some people brew in sun tea jars so they can easily pour off a glass to enjoy. I like to do a secondary ferment so I can enjoy the bubbles. It's like non-alcoholic champagne and it becomes more mild, more pleasant, to my taste. I wash 6 beer bottles, a large funnel, six caps, a 4 cup measure and may hands. Then I remove the scoby and place in the measure to rest for a minute. I use the funnel to pour into the bottles and cap them with a beer capper. You can also use water bottles or glass bottles from previously purchased kombucha or swing top, Grolsch style bottles. Please note that the bottles and caps must be scrupulously clean to prevent pathogenic bacteria overgrowth.
You can also choose to add 2 or 3 tablespoons of low acid organic juice like apple or grape to each bottle at this time. High acid can interfere with the yeasts and prevent bubbles. If you don't mind it flat, then put in whatever you want. There should be a remaining amount in the jar to kick-start the next fermentation and you can now add cooled sweet tea and the kombucha scoby. You can use an old trick from Finland to measure the specific gravity and the bubbly nature of the bottles by placing a few small pieces of dried fruit in each bottle. When the fruit floats and immediately returns to the surface when the bottle is moved, then it is ready to refrigerate. This may take anywhere from one to four days and depends on the temperature of the room. Check twice a day (morning and night) and when ready, immediately refrigerate to avoid explosions. Yeah, explosions. Another note, remember that it attracts fruit flies. I have found enormous success in keeping a shot glass with a single tablespoon of plain red wine in it right next to the jar. Every single batch sanitize the cloth by washing, boiling, or rinsing in water and microwaving for one minute to kill any fly specks (eggs) that might be on it.
|My Scoby is Fat 'Cause I Feed It Right|
Once your scoby is fat and thick, you can share the love or compost it. Take a layer off occasionally, again from the top. Once you have done about four batches you can add another 2 cups to your initial sweet tea bath. You can follow an easy schedule to have seven ready made kombuchas at your finger-tips.
Monday night, make sweet tea
Tuesday, bottle and start next batch
Saturday, refrigerate resting tea
Every day enjoy a single bottle of your own homemade kombucha tea.
Want to make it in bulk? Weston A. Price provides this continuous brew method HERE. If you are more visually oriented, Cultures for Health has a great video showing the process beginning to end.
Julie shows you how to brew your own kombucha tea.
Looking for a good source to buy a kombucha scoby? I wholeheartedly recommend Cultures for Health whose flash ad is at the top of the page. I am a strong believer in their product line and am a customer myself. Please note that I am an affiliate and do receive compensation if you order and I thank you for ordering through my site.