Want a to learn to make a “hip” drink that is delicious, beneficial for your health and that cost mere pennies to make?
Kombucha is a beverage that has a favorite of mine for quite awhile. It is a traditionally fermented beverage whose roots are from Middle Asia/Russia. The people of that civilization have known for a couple thousand years the amazing health benefits of kombucha but it wasn’t till the 1990’s that it started becoming more popular in the United States.
It has a rich history of possibly preventing and fighting cancer, arthritis, and other degenerative diseases. It has also been known to help detoxify the body because of its probiotic qualities.
You can buy kombucha from health food store like, Whole Foods, Sprouts and Henry’s but you will spend about $3.00-$4.00 per every 16oz bottle. It is so simple and inexpensive to make at home that I only buy it when I go on a trip. I can make gallon of kombucha for about $1.50 at home.
Kombucha is made from sweetened tea that has had been fermented by the SCOBY or mother (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). It may sound a little disturbing but oh is it delicious and amazing for your body.
You can purchase a scoby on line from stores like Cultures for Health or if you are blessed enough to have a friend that makes kombucha you can get one from them. That’s how I got mine. Here’s a link to making your own.
Every few times you brew kombucha your scoby will produce another one, a “baby”. You can separate it from the mother from the baby and start a second jar brewing, save it for later or gift it to a friend. If you give it to a friend they’re sure to love you forever. As long as you continue to brew your lovely kombucha is a clean environment you will get many years of use from your beloved scoby and offspring.
In her cookbook “Nourishing Traditions” Sally Fallon describes the Kombucha process quiet well:
“The kombucha ‘mushroom’ acts on sugar and tea to produce not only acetic and lactic acid but also small amounts of a potent detoxifying substance, glucuronic acid. Normally this organic acid is produced by the liver in sufficient quantities to neutralize toxins in the body…However, when liver function becomes overloaded, and when the body must deal with a superabundance of toxins form the environment-certainly the case with most of us today-additional glucuronic acid taken in the form of kombucha is said to be a powerful aid to the body’s natural cleansing process, a boost to the immune system and a proven prophylactic against cancer and other degenerative diseases.”
Another great thing about kombucha is that you can flavor it however you want. You can put fruit in the jar, screw on the lid and leave it out for another day or two.
I like to pour the kombucha into individual bottles and jars and then put a different kind of fruit in each one, remove the fruit after two days or if you’re like me you can just leave it in and drink it.
I’ve found that the best bottles to use are my old Kombucha bottles from Whole Foods; they have a great seal so it really helps build up the carbonation. Canning jars work as well but when I use those they have less carbonation. However you make our kombucha, it will taste wonderful. You can refrigerate your kombucha if you want to but it’s not necessary.
Now let’s get down to the important part how to make Kombucha. You start with a clean 1 gallon glass jar, don’t wash it in the dishwasher; washing it buy hand is fine and preferred.
- 1 cup white sugar (organic is good but not necessary)
- 1 gallon of purified water
- ½ cup of kombucha
- 6 organic black tea bags (or 6 tsp of lose leaf organic black tea)
- 1 scoby
- 1 gallon size glass jar
- 1 glass 2-cup Pyrex measuring cup
- 1 cloth napkin, towel or cheese cloth
- 1 rubber band or piece of twine
- Bring to 2 cups of water to a boil. Put the sugar and black tea in the Pyrex measuring cup, pour boiling water over and stir till the sugar is dissolved.
- Let brew for 10 minutes. Remove the tea bags or loose tea and then pour the tea into the gallon size glass jar.
- Fill the jar with purified water to 3 inches below the rim.
- Once the tea is completely cooled add the scoby and ¼ cup of kombucha.
- Cover with the cloth and secure it with the rubber band or twine.
- Let it brew for at least one week. In the summer I let mine brew for two weeks, in the winter time I let it brew for four weeks. It really depends how you want it to taste and temperature inside your house. I like mine just a bit sweet. They longer you let it brew the stronger it will taste, in addition the longer it brews the less sugar it has since the scoby feeds off the sugar and tea. When you are satisfied with the taste remove the scoby and reserve ¼ a cup of the liquid to start another batch.