I hope some of you feel a little more comfortable tackling making your own kombucha after Part 1. Once you see the process laid out it really is much less intimidating. The second part of making your own kombucha has a lot to do with flavoring and bottling. I mostly use what I have on hand for flavoring so for my first batch I used lemon, lavender and honey. The next batch I tried blueberries and sage and for the batch I am making today I am going to make ginger kombucha. They all have been delicious. Just stick with flavors you like and then experiment some. Now on to Part 2.
At this point you may have questions about your scoby. I know I did. No two scobys are alike so if yours doesn't look like mine don't worry. It can be dark, light, float or sink. After a few days you should see a new cream colored layer of scoby start forming on the surface. It sometimes attaches to the old scoby but mine stayed separate and that is fine. You may see bubbles, stringy parts or sediment. Do not worry! Its totally normal and signs of a healthy fermentation. Also don't let those last few sentences scare you. It is weird but also fascinating.
Kombucha Part 2
Adapted from True Brews
Makes about 1 gallon
Supplies to start your next batch (save 2 cups tea and the scoby)
Your choice flavoring
Same as part 1
1. Start your Tea. First things first. The day I am going to bottle my kombucha I always start my next batch of tea first thing so it will be cool by the time I need it.
2. Remove the Scoby. Grab a clean plate and with clean hands lift the scoby out of the kombucha and set it on the plate. Now you can check it over and after a few batches you may even need to remove the bottom layer of the scoby if it is getting too thick.
3. Bottle the Finished Kombucha. Measure out 2 cups of your starter tea from this batch and set it aside for the next. Pour the fermented kombucha into bottles (straining if you want) along with any juice, herbs or fruit you want to flavor it with (you have the option here of infusing the kombucha with flavorings for a day or two in another jar covered with cheesecloth and then strain and bottle. I did this when I used blueberries to get the maximum flavor). When bottling leave a half inch head room in each jar.
4. Carbonate. Store the bottled kombucha at room-temperature out of direct light for 1-3 days for it to carbonate. (Very rarely the kombucha explodes during this part so I keep mine in a cooler for this portion. I have never had it explode though). I test it every day or so and twist the lid to see how carbonated it is. Mine is usually ready by the second day but I have waited for the third and it has been fine too.
5. Refrigerate the Finished Kombucha. After your kombucha is carbonated, refrigerate it to stop the fermentation and carbonating. Consume your yummy brew within a month.
6. Make a Fresh Batch. Clean your gallon jar used for fermentation. Combine the starter tea from your last batch with your new batch of sugary tea and pour it into the clean fermentation jar. Slide the scoby on top and cover and ferment 7-10 days. And the process continues...
If you haven't started your batch it is time to! Order your scoby or get one from a friend! If you are new and don't know why we are talking about probiotics and a healthy gut, check out this post and see what all the buzz is about. If you still aren't convinced you will like kombucha grab a bottle at the health food store or grocery store and try it out first. Once I did that I was addicted.
You may have lots more to ask about kombucha or a few trouble shooting questions so I will be happy to help in any way I can. Contact me or comment below whenever and I'll do my best to steer you in the right direction! I have had great success googling my questions and have found tons of awesome forums out there for kombucha lovers with every kind of answer, suggestion and tip you can imagine.