Are you like me and spend $5 on a delicious kombucha, well lets change that! Most of you know kombucha and that its good for you, or maybe you don't you just like the taste. I talk about fermented foods here.
Kombucha is traditionally made using tea that is either green or black tea, but come to find out some people do not do well on that type of caffeine. The thing is, you cannot use herbal teas to make Kombucha because it needs caffeine to react and it cannot be made from herbal teas naturally occurring essential oils. So I experimented with Guayaki Yerba Mate which I love. I also use it in my Bulletproof , Superfood Ice Cubes, and in smoothies.
Since I love experimenting and I love Guayaki Yerba Mate, I decided to try this out, and boy was I surprised with how yummy it turned out. Plus, kombucha is so pricey for what they actually are ingredient wise, it is cheap to make at home!
SCOBY=Symbiotic Colony of Yeast and Bacteria
This little jellyfish like thing is something you must obtain in order to make kombucha. The SCOBY eats the added sugars in your sweetened tea which creates the fermentation and makes a vitamin and probiotic rich beverage.
Ways to obtain a SCOBY:
If you know someone who is already brewing their own kombucha, ask them for an extra SCOBY. SCOBY’s will multiply every batch or two, and most people are grateful to share them with others.
You can order a SCOBY from a reputable online source, although these can easily run you upwards of $50/piece.
You can grow your own. This does require purchasing raw, unflavored kombucha from the store (likely made with black tea), but to make the SCOBY, it is totally worth it! The trace of regular tea that will remain in your original batch can be managed by either dumping the first brew and moving on to the second, or simply drinking it knowing that you’ll be consuming an untraceable amount of regular tea. I will leave that part totally up to you.
People always think their SCOBY is molding, or have questions on how it should look, here is a great guide to use.
1 gallon sized glass jar (sterilized is best)
13-14 cups of filtered water (12 cups of Unfluoridated, Unchlorinated Water)
1 cup organic cane sugar
4-5 Tablespoons loose leaf traditional Yerba Mate or 8 bags (not smoked)
2 cups of liquid from a previous batch of kombucha (if you are just starting use a plain store bought one)
Clean breathable cloth (kitchen towel) or coffee filter and a strong rubber band
Bring 14 cups of water to a boil.
Add sugar and dissolve using a wood spoon.
Splash yerba mate loose tea (or tea bags) with cool water to preserve nutrients then add it to water and sugar mixture.
Turn off heat and let brew for at least 10-15 minutes.
Using a fine strainer, strain the tea, into your gallon or 2 half gallon glass jars. (DO not ever put it onto the SCOBY unless it is at room temp) Let cool.
Once completely cool, add your 2 cups kombucha starter liquid and SCOBY.
Cover with a thin cloth or a coffee filter and rubber band or outside of the mason jar lid to secure.
Brew in a dark place or put a rag on top of the jars for 7-14 days. Warm houses will take less time than cooler houses. The longer the kombucha ferments, the less sweet and more vinegary it will taste.
I recommend tasting the kombucha to see if you like the taste. When your kombucha is to your taste, you can drink right away or do a second ferment to get nice bubbles and add flavors.
If you like the taste of the finished kombucha and do not mind the lack of bubbles pour into glass bottles and place in fridge to enjoy. If you want to flavor follow the steps below.
Always reserve 2 cups for next brewing.
Second ferment, Infusions.
Take SCOBY out with the 2 cups of reserve and place aside.
Fill up 3-4 glass containers leaving 2 inches of room for flavoring.
Add whatever flavoring you like and then top and place again in a dark place for another 4-7 days.
I like to add ginger, cayenne, lemongrass, lemon, blueberry juice, get creative :)
Just blend it all up and strain and then pour it into your bootch! You can shake it to see the bubbles
People tend to overdo it when consuming kombuchas of any kind. A serving size for health benefits is about 4-8 ounces a day.
Always remember to look at the sugar label when purchasing kombucha because most of them contain way too much sugar. Look for ones that are less than 2 grams per serving.
Always use glass and make sure everything is really clean.
Do not use metals because the skoby reacts to it.
Want to try out other fermented foods like KRAUT? Click here to get the recipe.