Born in China over 2000 years ago and brought to the western world in the 18th century, Kombucha is a “miracle drink” that enhances your health, beauty and brainpower. With Kombucha’s low sugar content, when it undergoes a process of prolonged and therefore healthy fermentation, it produces organic acids like glucuronic acid & gluconic acid.
4 liters water
1 cup granulated sugar
8 bags black or green tea or 2 tablespoons loose black or green tea leaves
Some kombucha from previous batch
- FOR THE FIRST FERMENTATION
- Bring the water to a boil in a pot, then remove from heat, and whisk in the sugar until dissolved. Usually we do 10 liters of water and keep the ratios outlined above, but you can do more or less.
- Add the tea, and allow it to steep on the countertop until the sweetened tea is almost room temperature, this can take hours for a big batch in the summer so think ahead. Discard the tea bags.
- Strain the sweetened tea into a very clean glass jar followed by the kombucha from a previous batch.
- Using very, very clean hands, gently place some Scoby into each jar. Cover with a clean dish towel, and secure with a rubber band or a length of string.
- Set the jar or jars somewhere dark and cool, and allow to ferment 8 to 14 days, tasting occasionally after 1 week. The longer the tea ferments, the more sugar will be eaten by the Scoby and the less sweet it will be. Aim for a light fermentation and a slightly vinegary taste.
- Using very, very clean hands, transfer the Scoby to a jar, then pour 2 cups of the fermented kombucha on top. (You can save this mixture for the first fermentation process of another batch. You could also peel off the newer second layer from the Scoby, separating the “child” from the mother to double your production of kombucha, give it to a friend or discard it, as you like.)
Strain the remaining fermented kombucha through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth into a large bowl for use in the second fermentation.
- FOR THE SECOND FERMENTATION
- Strain kombucha again, and add any flavoring. If the flavors you are adding do not contain natural sugars (honey or fruit juice) it is best to add some sugar (unless it is still very sweet) so there are to aid the second fermentation and will add some carbonation. Pour it through a funnel into air tight bottles. Try to leave only a little air in the top to help aid carbonation.
- Let sit somewhere dark and cool for 3 to 7 days, checking after 3 to taste how bubbly the kombucha has become, then place in the refrigerator until ready to drink, to stall the fermentation.
- Flavor to taste with dry elements. We really like ginger, rosemary, thyme, or honey…