Kombucha was the first thing that peaked my interest in wild or natural fermentation methods. I have to admit, when i first did some research and saw pictures of what a SCOBY looked like i have to say i was kind of revolted (i know i know). So I left it… but the idea was always in the back of my head.
One day i was just hanging out on facebook and in one of the natural groups i am a member of there was someone asking for kefir (more on this later) and so I then looked into kombucha. I figured, if i didn’t like it no harm right? I could just get rid of it and speak of it no more!
A generous kind hearted soul from the mountains offered me a scoby and one terribly miserable rainy day both Miss A and myself took a drive to go and collect our new “pet”. I have to say now we are a little bit hooked… so what is Kombucha? Read on to find out more!
What Is Kombucha?
Kombucha is an “ancient fermented tea beverage” that has a natural effervescence (like bubbly carbonation) that is full of probiotics, antioxidants, B vitamins and so much more.
How Do I Make Kombucha?
So first you need to get your hands on a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast), also known as a “mushroom” or a “mother”. Where can you get your hands on one? Well you could be really fortunate and have a friend who is willing to peel off a few layers of their scoby and gift them to you. Or you can post on a local facebook page to see if anyone is willing to share. Otherwise I have heard good things about Nourish Me Organics (http://www.nourishmeorganics.com.au/collections/probiotic-cultures/products/organic-kombucha-scoby?variant=1208507623 or Koala Bare Foods on eBay . Failing that you could bail up a hippy (just kidding)
Now be warned most scobys look like some weird mucous slimy thing. But thats good! Just push through it. Now this scoby is what is going to ingest the sugar in the tea, turning the tea in Kombucha (or booch)
Next bring about 15 cups water to the boil and make a tea with 5 – 10 tea bags. I do this in my jar i am going to ferment in, but whatever is fine.. its going to end up in a glass jar/vessel anyway) Now you can use white or black tea. Steep the tea bags for about 10 minutes. Add 1 cup sugar and mix until the sugar has dissolved. Now put your sugary tea mix aside to cool to body temperature.
Now add your scoby! Hopefully if you were gifted your scoby there was a little bit of “starter tea” with him/her so toss that in, if not then then add in 2tablespoons vinegar.
Cover your jar with muslin, a coffee filter, a clean tea towel and secure with a rubber band to keep any bugs out.
Now put your jar in a warm dark place so the scoby can do its thing!
Now the booch is a matter of personal taste.. i like mine to ferment for 5 days before i bottle, so taste a little after a couple of days and see how you go…. the longer you leave it the more sour it will become as the scoby is eating the sugar. After the booch is to your liking you can either pop it in a bottle and then the fridge for another few days or you can do a second fermentation and add so flavourings to it, such as fruit (there will be another post on second fermentation flavours coming up). Another thing you will notice during the first ferment is another baby scoby forming. When you bottle your booch, with very clean hands pop the mother and baby scoby into a clean glass jar with some of your booch.
NOTE: If you are looking to purchase a scoby from Nourish Me Organics consider using my affiliate link http://www.nourishmeorganics.com.au/#_l_1w