Today is the day my latest batch of kombucha is mature enough to drink, so I thought I’d show you how it’s made, since I always make my next batch when the old one is ready. Anyone who knew me as a child will be shocked that I would consent to consume this. It starts off as really strong tea (I use lipton) with a lot of sugar, and grows into something that looks like this:
But really it’s not so different from other fermented or cultured things, like beer or yogurt. Actually, the culture is referred to as a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast).
So, this scoby is not to be confused with our good friends the Scobies, who, while being quite symbiotic camping companions, are human and don’t live in a jar.
This is the fun part. Before I strain my kombucha I make a vat of really strong really sweet tea. My recipe is 1 1/2 gallons water, 10 regular tea bags, and 2 2/3 cups sugar. I boil the water with the sugar and steep the tea for 15 minutes.
This tea will be my next batch of kombucha (that’s why the caption says ‘future kombucha, duh). It will be cooled down to room temperature before I add it to my kombucha culture, or the culture will die.
To this I add the cooled tea. The culture usually floats to the top of the liquid, but sometimes it doesn’t, sometimes it will after a few days. No matter. If the culture does not float up, the working kombucha will begin to show a skin across the top (the new mother) after a few days. If the culture does float up, I will wind up peeling it off the new culture like in the previous picture of well, peeling the cultures apart.
I’ve added the cooled tea to the jars with the culture and starter liquid. In about 2 weeks this will be more finished kombucha and I’ll do it all over again. I have extra cultures now, and I may decide to make a batch in a week using green tea, depending on how quickly we go through this batch.
And now we can drink some. I guess at this point, I should share with you all why I do this. Kombucha is a detoxifier. I have read all sorts of outrageous claims about it, like it cures cancer, and I don’t know if I really believe that, but I do believe it has enzymes and living particles that are beneficial to the gut and for balancing the ph of the blood. If you know more about it, I’m happy to learn more, but at the present moment don’t care enough to go looking it up and fussing over it. I like how it tastes, as long as I don’t forget about it and let it turn vinegarey. I try to have at least a cup a day.