Posted by: adventuressetravels | January 13, 2012

Kombucha

I didn’t even know what Kombucha was before this year but today I crave the sweet fizzy beverage.   Filled with probiotics, this tea even boosts your immune system

Healthy, delicious, sweet – but not too sweet, there is only one problem with kombucha.  At around $5 for a bottle in your local supermarket, it is a little pricey.  Especially if you like drinking it as much as I do.

When I went to Oregon, to my surprise and delight my couchsurfing host Corrina brewed her own kombucha and showed me how.

Though it’s time consuming, and not really possible when you’re on the road, making kombucha is pretty easy.   You do need the right ingredients though.

The most important ingredient, the thing that makes kombucha is the SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast).  Also called the mushroom or

mother the SCOBY is a little cake of bacteria that ferments the tea and makes

 

the drink fizzy and probiotic.

 

 
Drinking bacteria might not sound appetizing, but when you think about it all alcohol is fermented – the same principle is applied here.  

Kombucha is just a healthier drink.

 

 

For 1 gallon of Kombucha You will need:

1 gallon of water

1 cup sugar

2 cups juice

8-14 caffeinated tea bags (green, with, or black caffeinated tea bags or 2 Tablespoons of maté)

Kombucha culture, also known as the SCOBY, or mother

 

 

 

  • Boil a gallon of water
  • Put 1 cup of sugar in the bottom of a large glass jar (able to hold more than a gallon of liquid)
  • Pour 1 gallon of boiled water into jar
  • Add 8-14 tea bags of caffeinated tea (green, white, black) or 2 tablespoons of maté.  The tea needs to be caffeinated because the bacteria digest the caffeine.  You can use almost any kind of caffeinated tea but it can’t have strong oils (like earl grey) because the oils stunt the SCOBY’s growth.
  • Let bags steep for 5-7 minutes
  • Let tea cool to room temperature
  • Add the SCOBY, and 1 cup of old Kombucha.  The old Kombucha increases the acidity and prevents toxic or unwanted bacteria from growing and spoiling the Kombucha.  Starter SCOBYs can be purchased from many natural foods stores, or if you have friends who make kombucha they will be happy to give you a starter.
  • Cover with a towel and leave this mix for 7-10 days allowing the Kombucha culture to grow.
  • Skim the hardened layer off the top, this is the new mother.  Place it in a bowl with diluted vinegar bath to clean it and kill unwanted bacteria.
  • Scoop the old mother out of the bottom of the liquid and place in the vinegar bath.  You can use the old mother again for stronger kombucha or give it to a friend.
  • Add 2 cups of juice to the gallon of the kombucha and mix.
  • Strain and let kombucha sit a week or more in sealed containers.  The longer the kombucha sits the fizzier it gets, but also the less sweet.

 

Experiment with your kombucha, use different types of tea, and different juices until you find what you like the best.  Every batch will taste different.  Personally I am not a big fan of maté kombucha because it gives the drink too strong a flavor and I prefer a sweeter, milder flavor.   Whatever the case making your own kombucha is a lot of fun and a great experiment.

 

 

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