Living Kombucha Scoby.
Kombucha is a health-giving tea, that is said to aid in reducing symptoms of many ills.
How to make your kombucha:
Before you start: wash and rinse the jar thoroughly. Fill the jar with water to check that the tap is fitted correctly before you start. If there are any leaks around the seal, you may need to tighten the tap. To do this, hold the plastic nut on the inside and twist the tap on the outside until tight, do not use to much force or you may damage the washers.
Use filtered or spring water and organic or high-quality herbs and teas. Never boil your water/tea in aluminium pans.
Depending on the amount of kombucha you wish to brew, multiply the recipe eg, if you wish to brew 6 litres multiply this recipe by 3.
- 2 litres of boiling water (no aluminium pans)
- 3/4 cups of sugar
- 2-4 tea bags or 2-4 tablespoons of loose tea or herbs (If using fresh herbs multiply by 7)
- 1 healthy kombucha SCOBY or culture
- 1 cup of fermented kombucha or mother tea (If you do not have mother tea you will need to buy a bottle of already brewed kombucha)
- Basic Method:
- Add the sugar to the boiling water and stir until dissolved.
- Add the tea and or herbs to the water and allow steeping for 10-15 minutes.
- Then strain the tea or remove the tea bags.
- When the mixture is cooled, pour into your jar.
Add the kombucha culture (scoby) or the mother tea. Make sure to secure the top of the jar with muslin or cheesecloth to keep insects out. The cloth needs to be larger than the circumference of the jar so there is enough overhangs to secure the cloth with a rubber band.
The time will vary depending on the amount of mother tea, the temperature, etc. It is more important to go by the taste of the tea, making sure it tastes a bit tangy indicating that the sugar has been consumed by the kombucha. The first batch will take about 8-10 days. If you are diabetic or want to lose weight you may want to wait about 14 days. During colder months you will need to add a couple more days and you may need to purchase a heated base to control the temperature. Important Information:
Continuous Fermentation method:
This method keeps the kombucha continually brewing in a jar. It allows you to dispense a daily amount and top up the mixture as you go as opposed to waiting for individual batches. After you have allowed the tea mixture to cool, pour it into your pottery jar. Add the mother tea and the kombucha culture. You will need a muslin cloth to cover the top of the jar and secure it with a rubber band to keep any insects from getting in. Allow it to brew for the desired time (see above). When ready dispense 10-30% of the tea and store the unused portion in the refrigerator. I would recommend taking only 10% of the tea the first couple of times and add 10% of new tea to the jar. The tea in the jar will become stronger after this, and you can add 30% of new tea to the brew each time. For example, a 6-litre brew will produce 1.8 litres of kombucha a day. Make sure you allow the new tea mixture to cool before adding. If you top up with new tea in the evening it will be ready by the next morning. If you are diabetic or suffer from candida you will want to dispense the finished kombucha into the bottle and allow to sit for a couple of nights before drinking
The tap will need to be removed and cleaned out when it becomes blocked. Carefully remove the kombucha and tea. Remove the tap and flush with water. Clean the tap and jar and rinse thoroughly. Place the tea and kombucha back in the jar when finished. If you do need to replace your tap remember to use a food-grade plastic tap as you do not want any metal to come into contact with the kombucha.
We have a couple of staff members not so keen on tea, so we tried to make coffee kombucha, with great success. We simply made a large pot of sweet coffee and allowed it to cool just as we did with the tea before adding the SCOBY. You might like to try this as a variation from tea.
Important Notes for Brewing Kombucha:
Some low fired ceramics may contain lead in their glazes, so it is important to never use low fired ceramics for brewing or storing kombucha, as any lead present will leach into your brew.
No metals should come in touch with kombucha. Do not use a metal container or metal tap. Do not boil your water or tea in aluminium pans.
Do not cover kombucha with a lid, only use a light muslin or cheesecloth material that you are able to breathe through. If the weave is too loose, you may need to use a couple of layers. Use a rubber band or tie to hold the cloth over the jar.