How to make Kombucha at home

It is not the fact that it is nutritious, not that it is full of prebiotics and it is great for your guts. The important thing is that I love it's taste and find it just wonderful that I can make a beverage at home, something that it is tasty, good for me and do not have a pay a whole lot of money for it. 

I really got addicted to Kombucha from the first sip. 

I had heard about it many years ago from my beloved Sandor Katz the king of Fermentation but I could not find it in Greece.   

 

Had searched online but the information here was limited, there was a group that talked about it but I could not get more info.. 

Traveling to USA and AUS gave me the opportunity to taste the real thing but still I was not able to find and get some Scoby, this gelatinous substance that turned the sweet tea into the Kombucha. 

Till I met Δημήτρη Κονταράτο  a young Greek chef and food technologist that really works with food flavors, fermentation etc.. 

He immediately sent me a Scoby and I was on my way...

But let's see what is actually Kombucha. 

 

It is a refreshment made from sweet Fermented black tea. 

The thing that makes the magic is called a Scoby an acronym from “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast".

So you add the scoby in the tea, let it ferment and in the end you have the combucha. Similar to Kefir but instead of milk you use tea. 

When your Kombucha is ready you strain it into bottles and make some new tea where you put the scoby and some of your kombucha and you start the next cycle of fermentation. 

So, let's see what we will need to make the Kombucha. 

 

Diffuculty: 1 of 3
Duration:10 minutes cooking and 10 days waiting time
Serves:1 lt

Ingredients

1 lt of water

70g of sugar

5 g of black tea

100g of kombucha 

 

fresh fruit, herbs (optional)

 

Method

In a pot we add the water and let it come to a boil. 

Remove from heat and add sugar and stir till it melts. 

Add the tea and let it cool down to room temp. 

Remove the tea bags or strain the mixture if we used tea leaves. 

Add the Kombucha and stir. 

Transfer in a glass container and place the scoby inside. Cover the opening with a tea towel and secure with a rubber band. 

Let it on its own... to do its thing. It will take at least a week or two. Depends on the temperature and also the quantity and strength of the scoby.

After a week try some of the liquid using a spoon or a straw. If it is tart enough and close to your taste remove the scoby and half a cup of the liquid in a bowl and strain the rest and bottle it up. 

If it is still too sweet and too tea like let it continue the fermentation and taste it a few days afterwards. 

If you have a pH meter or the strips the pH should be around 3.5 to 4. 

Place the bottles in the fridge and enjoy them... In the fridge the fermentation stops

You may notice that your scoby has given birth to a new thinner scobby.. let it be for the first round and after the 3rd round you can remove them and start giving them away to your friends for them to start their own.

Some notes:

  • Fermentation in summer happens a lot faster. It can take half the time. 
  • It is better if nothing made from metal touches the scoby
  • Use only black tea, or Green tea. Maybe add some herbs but only as a sidekick and not in the first few cycles. 
  • Use normal white sugar. Do not use anything but. The Scoby wants sugar to feed. 
  • There may be traces of alcohol in your Kombucha. We mean like 0,5 0r 1% but still for some people it may be too much. 
  • You can have a secondary fermentation using pieces of fruit or mashed fruit. Add no more than 30% of the weight of Kombucha in the bottle, close the bottle tightly and leave it on the counter to ferment for a few days. Your drink will take some different flavor from the fruit and will be more gassy. Make sure you place the bottle back in the fridge afterwards... 

 

If your have any questions please let me know.. 

 

 

 

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