Nothing says summer in my house than a cold batch of homemade Kombucha Brew. What on earth is Kombucha you ask? It’s a superfood in my opinion. It’s a refreshing, fizzy, fermented tea loaded with probiotics. And we all know how good probiotics are for you.
Consuming fermented foods and drinks improve health by increasing immune function. It keeps your gut in tip top shape. Also, more recent research shows a strong gut/brain connection. Your gut is where Serotonin is primarily produced. If you maintain a healthy gut, you maintain a healthy brain.
Kombucha costs a small fortune at the health food store and at $3-$4 a bottle, it can get expensive if you drink regularly – which, I recommend you do. Here’s how to make it at home. It’s super easy. You just need to be patient for 7-10 days while it ferments on your counter top.
You use quite a bit of sugar in this recipe, but no worries, its for the SCOBY. Very little is left after the brewing process. The SCOBY eats it up to grow and ferment. Caffeine is also metabolized by the SCOBY. What’s a SCOBY? Ill explain below.
You can also flavor these up to make them more interesting by adding fruit or a splash of juice at the end of the fermentation process.
First Step is to get a “SCOBY” and Starter Tea
A SCOBY is a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.
Here’s what mine looks like:
Large glass jar – I have a two gallon jar.
Wood stirring utensil – no metal to come in contact with the SCOBY
Something breathable to cover brewing jar – cheesecloth, coffee filter or a white kitchen towel.
A rubber band to keep cover in place.
4 – 6 Bottles for after your brew is done (7-10 days) this can be long neck bottles like I use or any glass bottle (from pre bought Kombucha) or mason jars.
Here’s my set up – I make mine near and over the sink because of probable spillage:
- Buy SCOBY or Full Kit at Kombucha Kamp or grow your own SCOBY - there are several youtube videos on how to do this.
- You can buy non pasteurized Kombucha at the health food store for your starter brew
- Or Get Help From a Friend - SCOBY and 2 cups of starter brew
- 13 cups of purified water
- 10 bags of good quality tea (I like it strong) or 3 tablespoons of loose tea - NOT DECAF
- 1 cup of organic cane sugar
- 1 SCOBY
- 2 cups of starter tea
- All of your vessels and spoons must be completely clean
- Bring half of the water to a boil turn off heat and add sugar and tea. If using green tea, wait 5 minutes before you put in (green tea is more delicate).
- Give it a stir with a wooden spoon.
- Steep for 20 minutes.
- Take out your tea bags or tea ball - if tea is directly added to water, then use a strainer
- Pour tea into your glass container - (if using loose leaf with no strainer - tea leaves will remain at bottom - stop before they float in)
- Add remaining water and let sit covered with mesh cloth or towel or coffee filter so air can get in but bugs stay out - secure with a rubber band.
- Let sit for a few hours - Test temp with a thermometer - make sure it's about 70-75 degrees - then
- Add 2 cups of starter and float in the SCOBY
- Cover with cloth, filter or towel and secure with rubber band
- Let sit for 7-10 days on your counter - my favorite is 7 days.
- Temperature should be 70-75 °
- If you're room temp is too cold or too hot, it will effect the Kombucha.
- Check with a thermometer - store in a warmer or cooler place to achieve a temp of 70-80 degrees.
- In the winter, I place my Kombucha on a electric heating pad on warm.
- The longer you brew your Kombucha, the less sweet it will be. You decide what will work for you.