Friday, May 4, 2012

Foodie Friday! Kombucha- My fizzy refreshing soda pop alternative


Because of all the great things I’ve heard about kombucha (a detoxifying, immune boosting, cancer fighter) I really wanted to like it.  The bottle of kombucha I bought at the grocery store was very vinegary though and expensive.  I decided to try making it at home where I could control the flavor and now I can’t stop drinking it.


Kombucha cultures, called SCOBY’s, can be purchased online or nutrition stores or sometimes found on Craigslist.  I learned from Bonzai Aphrodite how to make my own from a bottle of store-bought, raw, kombucha. 

Once you grow or procure your SCOBY, these are the directions to brew a gallon of kombucha:
Make sure that your items are very clean. 

Things you will need:
1 gallon sized glass jar
6 teabags or 4 tablespoons of loose tea
3 quarts of water
1 cup sugar
1 SCOBY
1 large spoon
1 medium/large pot
1 strainer (if using loose tea)
1 cloth or coffee filter to cover jar
1 rubber band or tie




Bring the water to a boil in the pot then add your tea.  You can turn the burner off and just let it steep for a couple hours.  You want the tea to be strong.
 
If using teabags, I stir in the sugar while the tea is still warm to help it dissolve, then let it continue steeping until its room temperature.

If I’m using loose tea, I let it steep until its room temperature; strain the tea leaves while pouring the tea into the jar, then stir in the sugar. 

 

 

Once you have basically sweet tea in your jar and its cooled to room temperature, you can put your SCOBY in.  Now you can’t use metal utensils because metal doesn’t react well with kombucha.  I like to put it in gently to try to make it float at the top.  It tends to do that usually but it’s okay if it sinks.  The new culture will still form at the top.   Then cover it with a towel, cheese cloth, or coffee filter and secure it with a rubber band.  You want to cover it with something that breathes that will keep any pests out.

Now set it aside for 3-10 days, depending on how strong or sweet you like.  The warmer your house is, the faster your kombucha will turn from sweet to vinegary.  Taste it every day to find out where you like it.

At the end of the week, you will notice that your SCOBY has 2 layers.  They can be peeled apart and you can use both to make more batches or you can store extra SCOBYS in the fridge in a glass container with a little bit of Kombucha covering them for later use or share with friends.  You can reuse a SCOBY several times but if it ever turns black or the taste is off, throw it out and use a new one.
 
If you want to add flavors, like fruit juices, do it after you remove the kombucha from the jar.  I usually add it in my glass.


2 comments:

  1. I have never tasted that...does it taste like vinegar? So interesting..

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  2. Kombucha really has its own flavor unlike any other drink. It can be citrusy, floral, effervescent, sweet, and tart. The most similar thing to relate it to would be a high quality beer; perhaps an IPA. In the first few days of brewing it tastes sweet and light, but if you left it for 14 days, it would taste like straight vinegar.

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