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Heathful & Homeade: Kombucha

About a million years ago (okay…seven) I had another blog called “Heathful and Homemade“.  I’m too busy to do as much as I used to, homemade-wise, but I still do some things and I’m going to share them here instead of there. Hope you enjoy!
Today, I’m talking about making your own kombucha.  For those of you who don’t know what that is here’s a link. In a nutshell, it’s fermented sweet tea that’s loaded with healthy goodness (like probiotics) and it seems to offer many benefits. There are some folks out there that swear kombucha is a miracle and can cure cancer and bring world peace, but I’m not in that camp.  I do believe that it can help balance your gut and make you a healthier human.  If your body is balanced, you’re less likely to get ill. I’m also hoping it will help with my arthritis.  I do also know that I had a lump on my finger for the past two years that was just a fatty lump…but it hurt if you poked it.  My SIL had one for more than a decade on her foot, same thing.  We both had the lumps go away after drinking kombucha for several weeks.  Coincidence? Maybe.  Who knows?  You’ll have to make up your own mind.
I read several books on making your own (the best one I found was called “The Big Book of Kombucha”, but your mileage may vary) and did research online and talked to my in-laws, all of whom have been brewing their own kombucha for some time now.  I also was given a small SCOBY motel to start my own.  A good SCOBY is the heart of making kombucha. SCOBY stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.
Here’s a little pictorial of my journey. My actual recipe is:
1 gallon glass jar
14 c water
10-12 green tea bags
1/2 c sugar
Here are links to some places with directions. Here, here and here. There are dozens more you can find on search.
I started by making strong sweet tea.

I let it cool to room temperature and put it in a glass jar. My jar started its life filled with dill pickles 🙂  Then I added a SCOBY.  Here is an upside down SCOBY from my last batch (it looks like its smiling…the black is yeast cultures that hang down in the jar whilst it ferments.

The yeast strands are a little horrifying, and I swear the first person to drink kombucha was either very brave or very desperate. Here’s a picture from my last batch that I strained today.

After it sits for a week or two in a dark, warmish place (I use my pantry), it will create a new SCOBY and taste a little “boozy”.

I scoop the SCOBY out carefully and put it in a dish with a cup of the kombucha. If you don’t need to use it, you can start your own SCOBY hotel or give it away to a friend.
I strain my kombucha to get the gunk out (yeast strands, etc). I just use a coffee filter. Here’s what my used one looked like when I was done.

I actually store my kombucha in glass bottles that my old store bought kombucha came in.

Sometimes I flavor it. The time before, I smashed blueberries and strawberries through a mesh strainer:

and added it to my kombucha:

Basically, it’s “later, rinse, repeat”. I started two batches this time, but I’ll likely start doing one every two weeks (about the brew time I need) so I always have fresh on hand. I drink 4 – 8 oz of kombucha every day.
What about you? Have you heard of kombucha? Do you drink it? Do you make your own?

This Post Has 4 Comments

    1. It is definitely an acquired taste. I started with store bought for a reason–they HAVE to make it taste better or people won’t buy it. The only thing I don’t like about homemade is it doesn’t have the carbonation store bought has. But that’s okay. I can deal with it. 🙂

  1. I LOVE kombucha… especially if it’s flavored with lemon and ginger. Or sometimes pear. But I don’t think I could ever make it for myself…. any SCOBY I find has to stay strictly in the BOTTOM of the bottle. Can’t imagine how I’d ever cope with one that grew to the size of a small household pet…

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