Do You Kombucha? How I Do it.

Yesterday I told you about how I started drinking KT and growing my own mother culture or SCOBY. Today I will share how I actually make the KT that we drink. For the most part I generally follow the recipe in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook by Sally Fallon but I scaled it down a little.

I start with 2 quarts of water (or ~2L if you are Canadian like me). I bring that to a boil and I add 2/3 of a cup of sugar (more if it is really hot out and I know it will brew faster than normal) and 2 or 3 black tea bags. I then let this sit overnight to cool. Or if I am in a hurry I will add extra tea bags and at the end dump in a bunch of ice cubes. While it is cooling I get everything else ready. I add at least 1 cup of KT from the previous batch (generally the first pour off the jar has the most active cultures in it and will help jump start your next batch) to my container. Once the tea is at room temperature I add that to the container and float my SCOBY on top. Don’t worry if it sinks it will float up to the top or it may even stay at the bottom but a new little baby SCOBY will form on the top. Then I put a tight weaved cloth over top and secure with an elastic as flies seem to love this stuff! I generally let mine brew for a week but at the 5 day mark I start tasting it to see when it is ready.

My Kombucha Corner

I was a little bit confused when I read all these posts about tasting it and I was trying to figure out how to taste it without contaminating the whole batch. The best way I have found is to take a clean straw and stick it under the SCOBY, then cover the other end with your finger to trap the KT in the straw, bring the straw out of the container and taste. It works great.

Once it is brewed to your likeness I then start the process all over again and bottle the kt that is done. Depending I sometimes do a second ferment with different flavours. Hannah Crum of Kombucha Kamp has some wonderful different flavouring ideas on her website some are found here and here. Our favourite flavours are raspberry blueberry or strawberry. To do a second ferment I cut up some fruit (or if it s berries squish them a bit) until it covers the bottom of the container, then depending on the tartness I may add a bit of sugar and then pour my kt over top. Then I cap it and let it sit for a day or too.

Cherry pieces floating in my second ferment

After you have brewed a batch your SCOBY will grow a little baby. This baby may be stuck to the original mother and you can either peel it off and start a new batch with it or leave it attached. I generally will peel the first little baby off and store it so I have an extra just in case something goes wrong. Check out this video of how to make a SCOBY Hotel (a fancy name for storing your SCOBY in a jar). After a while if you keep your original mother will get tired and not brew quite as fast or look a little sad. This is when I generally cut her up into a little pieces and add her to my garden. It works great!

Old tired mother culture on the left, new happy baby on the right

I love making my KT it is such a fun activity and A loves to help me with the SCOBY so it is her job to help float it on top. This is such a great summer drink because it can be fruit bubbly and fun.

For more information see this post by Kristen of Food Renegade and this Healthy Brew guide by Hannah Crum of Kombucha Kamp.

Next week I will share my other favourite bubbly drink with you, water kefir!

Shared as part of Fight Back Friday on Food Renegade.

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