Kombucha is a probiotic drink originating from China known as “the tea of immortality” due to its amazing health benefits. This delicious microbiological living drink helps replenish the good bacteria (flora) in your gut and tastes like a slightly vinegary iced tea.
HOW TO MAKE KOMBUCHA
1 large sterile pot (at least 2 litre capacity)
To make sterile, simply rinse them with some boiling water
1 large sterile glass jar (at least 2 litre capacity)
It is essential that the weave of the material allows oxygen to pass through whilst also preventing insects from getting in (ie hessian is not suitable)
1 piece of breathable material to cover the top of your large glass jar ie: tea towel, paper towel, coffee filter, handkerchief
2 sterile glass bottles
1 SCOBY in 1-2 cups of “starter tea” (the Kombucha from the previous batch)
2 tea bags of organic tea (Black, Green, Rooibos or Oolong Tea ONLY no other type of tea will work)
I recommend starting with Black Tea ie English Breakfast (the flavor will be similar to bottled iced tea and then branch out and try different types)
You can also use loose leaf tea in a tea ball but I find tea bags much easier and prevents small bits of tea leaves from getting into the Kombucha
½ cup white sugar (castor sugar is ok but NO OTHER type of sugar will work)
2 litres of boiling water
In a large pot, put 2 litres of boiling water, the tea bags and the sugar and allow the tea to brew for 5 mins before removing the tea bags.
Allow the tea to cool completely to room temperature (for at least 6 hours) before tipping the tea mixture into your large glass jar.
Then place the SCOBY and the “starter tea” into the glass jar of new tea.
Place a piece of breathable material on the top and secure with a rubber band.
I use paper towel and so I can write the date the batch was made on it
Leave this to ferment in a room temperature area (but out of direct sunlight) for between 5-15 days.
The number of days the Kombucha needs to ferment will be determined by the temperature it’s kept in. Warmer temperatures result in faster fermenting. The days of required fermenting time is also dependant on how sweet, fizzy or vinegary you like your Kombucha. I recommend trying a sip of Kombucha every day after the 5th day to work out how you want it to taste.
The longer it ferments the less sugar and the more vinegar/fizz flavour there will be.
When it is perfect, use a ladle to scoop out the SCOBY and put it in a jar with some of the Kombucha liquid (about 1-2 cups).
Then pour the Kombucha into glass bottles using a funnel.
I use 2 recycled green San Pellegrino bottles. One I place in the fridge for Peter with a lid on as this will pretty much stop the fermentation process and the Kombucha will keep its sweetness.
The other one is for me. I cover it with paper towel, secured by a rubber band, and keep it fermenting until I drink it all. (Normally about 1-2 weeks).
Then you will need to repeat this whole process and pour the SCOBY and the “starter tea” it was sitting in into a new batch of cooled sugar tea.
Alternatively, you can keep your SCOBY (and the “starter tea” it is in) in a breathable jar for about 3 days. After 3 days, your SCOBY will start to starve and will need a new batch of sugar tea. You can keep it in the fridge for about 1-2 weeks and this will cause the SCOBY to “go to sleep”. It can be reactivated by following the process again (caution: it doesn’t always work).
You will notice that each time you made Kombucha a new SCOBY will form on the surface.
You can either eat it (I like to blend it up in a green smoothie), give these away to people to start their own Kombucha or throw it away.
So you may be asking where do I get a SCOBY from? Well there are 3 options:
1. You can ask amongst your friends to see who already makes Kombucha
2. You can buy store-bought Kombucha (normally about $5 per small bottle) and follow the process above as if you would with a SCOBY but using the store-bought Kombucha instead. You will need to leave it to ferment for at least 2 weeks and after this time, a SCOBY should begin to form.
3. You can buy one off the internet. (I have never done this but have heard it’s possible.