Monday, September 30, 2013
make your own kombucha / pt 1
I have to say I am blown away by the response I've gotten over last weeks Healthy Gut post. I really thought I was the only one who was thinking about this topic and looking a little deeper into solutions. I am so happy to hear that you guys are interested too and it is going to make this series much easier! I would love feedback, suggestions and questions to make this as beneficial for you as possible. I have lots of recipes, topics, strategies coming but I thought I would start with my favorite venture so far.
Ever since I started Instagramming photos of my Kombucha I have gotten comment after comment of friends wanting to know how to start their own. Again I am blown away and excited about the interest in this subject. I really had no idea how much I would love brewing my own Kombucha but it has been so much fun creating something so good for me and getting to play around with the endless flavor options. So enough about how fun Kombucha is, lets talk about what it is and why it is good for you.
A lot of people don't realize that Kombucha has been around for quite some time. The ancient Chinese called it the "Immortal Health Elixer." Who doesn't want a little more of that in their life? But really, Kombucha is a little weird. I will be the first to say that it looks funny and the process is something most Americans are not accustomed to. Growing up in a culture that tries to kill all bacteria and keeps everything possible refrigerated the thought of intentionally growing bacteria, out in the open in my kitchen is a little odd. Not to mention the starter is slimy.
Kombucha is a sugary tea that is fermented by a symbiotic culture of probiotic bacteria and yeast (scoby) into a yummy, fizzy drink with a slight sour taste. When consumed those probiotics make their way to your stomach to ward off parasites and pathogens. It also improves digestion, nutrient absorption and enhances immunity. Even aside from helping digestion, Kombucha is full of enzymes and organic acids that help detoxify the body. This process of detoxing rids the body of toxins and destroys cancer cells. Who couldn't use a little more of that in their life?
So I know that is a lot of information to just introduce a tea but I thought it was necessary to give you guys a little background. The best part about Kombucha is that it is very inexpensive and easy to brew at home! So look at all those health benefits listed above and think about how great it would be to drink a little bit of that "Immortal Health Elixer" everyday. From my research I have found Kombucha to be safe for most people but if you are pregnant or breastfeeding I would do a little extra research before trying it for the first time. I drink it on a daily basis and I have avoided nasty colds Jim has brought home, felt energized and I love the taste.
The main thing you need to start your own batch is a starter (or scoby). I got mine from a friend but I have also heard Kombucha Brooklyn has great ones.
Adapted from True Brews
Makes about 1 Gallon
3 1/2 qt's filtered water
1 cup sugar (I use organic cane sugar)
8 bags organic black tea (steer clear of earl gray to begin with, english breakfast is the easiest to start)
2 cups of starter tea from last batch or store bought
1 scoby per fermentation jar
1 gallon glass jar
6 16oz glass bottles (I used mason jars to begin with but just ordered these for the next batches) make sure you avoid the Kombucha having prolonged contact with metal because it can change the flavor
1. Make the Tea Base. Bring the water to boil in your stock pot and then remove it from heat. Dissolve your cup of sugar and then add the tea bags. Allow the bags to steep until the tea has cooled. This is the longest step because you have to wait for the tea to reach room temperature or it will kill all your good bacteria. You can use an ice bath to cool it quicker or brew it, cover it and let it cool while you run errands or do other tasks.
2. Add the Starter Tea. Once it is cooled, remove the tea bags and add your starter tea. The starter tea is acidic and keeps unfriendly bacteria from growing in your first few days of fermentation. It is very important to save some from each batch to start your next.
3. Transfer to Jars and Add Scoby. Now you can pour your tea mixture into your glass jar and with clean hands add your scoby. Cover the mouth of your jar with cheesecloth, a few paper towels or a very thin dish towel and secure with a rubber band.
4. Ferment for 7-10 days. Keep the jar at room temperature, out of direct sunlight and where it won't be moved. Ferment for 7-10 days.
Ok Part 1 is done! That wasn't so bad was it? I will continue with Part 2 next Monday so go ahead and get your supplies and get started!
sources: benefits of kombucha, the kitchn