I’ve been addicted to kombucha from the first sip I took. I just love the taste – sweet and sour, and fizzy! I couldn’t believe that something this delicious could also be healthy – kombucha is loaded with probiotics that are amazing for your gut. The best thing is – you can easily make kombucha at home!
Justinas wasn’t as impressed with kombucha when he first tried it. But after he actually tried it in Asia, he became borderline obsessed with it and has made quite a few huge batches of this drink.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is known as the “Immortal Life Elixir”, was discovered by the Chinese and originates 2,000 years back. This beverage has basic ingredients such as yeast, sugar, and tea. The bacteria and yeast eat most of the sugar in the tea, transforming it into a refreshingly fizzy, slightly sour, fermented (but mostly non-alcoholic) beverage. It is relatively low in calories and sugar and is rich in B vitamins and probiotics.
“SCOBY” is actually an acronym for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast”. It’s a weird, rubbery and a bit slippery “goo”, it has brown stringy bits hanging from it. It transforms the sugary tea into something magical and healthy.
Scoby protects the fermenting tea from air and helps it to maintain a very specific environment inside the jar that is shielded from outsiders, other unfriendly bacteria. I like the idea that it’s a mobile home for friendly bacteria and yeast, traveling from one jar to another.
So you probably started wondering – what’s actually in kombucha? Apart from being rich in probiotics and vitamins, there are claims that kombucha prevents a variety of health problems. It boosts your immune system as it’s naturally high in antioxidants. Kombucha is very good for you gut helps to improve your digestion.
Some people find it a healthier substitute for sodas, kombucha is good for satisfying any cravings for a fizzy drink. This kombucha is a healthier alternative to other carbonated beverages and provides probiotics and nutrients that are not present in soda. Kombucha also contains less sugar than soft drinks. The sugar in the recipe is simply food for the beneficial bacteria and is largely consumed during the fermentation process.
Recipe for Brewing
Makes about 3 litres
- 3 L water
- 1 cup sugar (regular granulated sugar)
- 8 bags green or black tea (or 2 tablespoons loose tea)
- 1 cup (starter) tea from the last batch of kombucha or store-bought kombucha (unpasteurized, neutral-flavored)
- 1 scoby per fermentation jar (you can get it from a friendly kombucha brewer or purchase online)
- Optional flavoring extras for bottling
- 1 to 2 cups chopped fruit
- 2 to 3 cups fruit juice
- 2 to 4 tablespoons fresh herbs or spicesEquipment
- Stock pot
- 3 L glass jar
- Tightly woven cloth (like clean napkins or tea towels)
- Bottles: 4 250 ml glass bottles with swing-top bottles
- Small funnel
STEP 1: Mix all ingredients: boiled water, sugar and tea. Put it aside to cool in room temperature
STEP 2: Add the SCOBY to the lukewarm tea. Leave the culture in tea for 7 to 10 days.
STEP 3: Taste you kombucha before bottling to ensure a perfect balance of fizziness and flavour. Remove the scoby from the jar and set it on a clean plate. Check it and remove the bottom layer if the scoby is getting very thick. Measure out 1 cup of kombucha and set it aside for the next batch.
STEP 4: Store the bottled kombucha at room temperature, away from direct sunlight and allow 1 to 3 days for the kombucha to carbonate. You can add desirable flavours if you like to. Refrigerate to stop fermentation and carbonation, and then consume your kombucha within a month.
P.S. It’s not unusual for the scoby to float at the top, bottom, or even sideways during fermentation. A new cream-colored layer of scoby should start forming on the surface of the kombucha within a few days. It usually attaches to the old scoby, but it’s ok if they separate.
Good luck and tell us how did it go at the comments below!