Have you ever wondered how to make Kombucha yourself? It is surprisingly easy and with just three simple steps you can have your own thriving supply going. There are craft Kombucha producers popping up everywhere but the little bottles can be quite pricey. They are certainly a treat and very good, but with the recommended amount of 100ml every day, it is also easy to go broke pretty quickly. Making your own batch is the obvious solution and here you can find out how!
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented, cold tea drink.
It is made when black or green tea is fermented with sugar and a SCOBY to produce a probiotic and gut healing beverage.
Even though you add sugar, the sugar levels in the end product are very low due to the fermentation process.
It can contain a low level (ca 0.5%) of alcohol, which you may want to be aware of in case you are pregnant or breast feeding.
Main health benefits of Kombucha
I love it because it tastes very refreshing, gives me an energy boost and is such an easy way to look after your gut. Having a healthy gut flora is vital for our overall (mental and physical) wellbeing and immune system. The wrong diet, stress and overuse of antibiotics can all contribute to an imbalance in our gut which can have detrimental effects on our health.
Consuming fermented foods helps to restore that balance!
Kombucha energizes, alkalizes, improves your gut flora and aids with digestion.
I feel conflicted in listing specific health benefits, as I am not a trained professional. But think about this: If you take probiotics to improve your health and wellbeing, you may want to consider simply consuming more fermented foods. Essentially that’s the same thing and Kombucha can be one of them! There has to be a better way than taking industrially produced pills, surely. Plus they cost a bomb if you get proper ones.
What is that wobbly thing that is floating in my drink?
SCOBY is the acronym for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. It is the rubbery, jelly like disk that floats in your Kombucha and makes all the magic happen. Quite similar to the mother that is used to make vinegar.
How to make Kombucha – simplified
You only need to follow three simple steps to brew your own Kombucha:
- Add 1/2 cup of sugar and 4 organic tea bags (I use green) into a 2 l jar.
- Pour in 1.7 l of boiling water, let it steep until it is at room temperature.
- Take tea bags out and add in the SCOBY and 1 cup of starter tea.
In about 7-16 days you will be able to drink your very own Kombucha.
It will become less and less sweet the longer you let it ferment. It’s totally up to you and how you like it.
A few things to note:
- Leave the jar open during fermentation, cover the top with muslin and secure with a rubber band.
- Ferment in a dark place at room temperature.
- Always wash your hands before handling the SCOBY and wash the jar before each new batch.
- You can fill the Kombucha into bottles if you prefer. I find it easier to simply rotate the jars.
- Store the finished Kombucha in the fridge.
I let my Kombucha ferment for 14 days. I like it less sweet and find the regularity of the brewing handy. It’s helpful to get into a routine. I prepare the new tea on a Sunday morning and let it cool over the course of the day. In the afternoon I take out the SCOBY and 1 cup of Kombucha from the jar that’s been fermenting over the last two weeks, and add it to the new tea. What remains in the old jar is my Kombucha, ready to drink, and in the new jar is now my next batch, ready to ferment. In 14 days I do exactly the same procedure again. Doing it on a Sunday feels nice because it’s part of my prep for the week.
Where to get your SCOBY
You can make your own apparently, with store bought bottled Kombucha, but it will take around 4 weeks to develop.
I recommend to ask in your local wholefoods/organic shop and see if they sell any. It’s great to have someone to talk to in person, especially if you are starting out and are not yet familiar with how Kombucha should smell and taste like.
If you live in Melbourne or on the Mornington Peninsula: I bought mine from my local wholefoods shop who also run Kombucha workshops.
If you don’t have a local shop and you live in Australia, you can buy them online here and here.
What do you think?
My Capsule Kitchen is about creating staples that make you happier and healthier. I’m just beginning to set up my fermented foods staples but the Kombucha has been an instant success so it is definitely here to stay. It seems very foreign at first but you may soon find that it’s very little effort for a great outcome. I love the Kombucha plain but you can certainly flavour it if you prefer. It was important to me to keep it simple for this article but it is something to consider down the track!
Have I tempted you to give brewing Kombucha a try? I hope so :).