26 Jul KOMBUCHA BREWING GUIDE FOR BEGINNERS
Bubbly, delicious & probiotic rich – a fermented tea, making you feel refreshed and revitalized
What is kombucha?
Kombucha is magic.
In ancient Eastern cultures, Kombucha was called “The Tea of Immortality”.
This traditional and widely loved, probiotic beverage is known for supporting gut health & aiding digestion, boosting liver health, promoting overall wellbeing, providing immune support, and improving vitality.
You’ve probably seen super pricy bottles of Kombucha at your local health food store. Unfortunately many of them are also often pasteurized and therefore lost all their beneficial effects! But the great thing: You can easily make it at home in large amounts and create your own flavors!
While there are many stories about the origins of Kombucha, it is believed to been developed in East Asia around 221 BC.
It starts as a tea, which you ferment with the help of a so-called SCOBY: a “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast”.
Therefore it’s naturally fizzy, thanks to the carbon dioxide that the bacteria and yeasts create as they “eat” the sweetener.
The sweetener is absolutely necessary for the Scoby to create Kombucha. The bacteria create acid and the yeast breaks down the sugar.
So you’re just left with a healthy drink, full with B vitamins, active enzymes, living probiotics, electrolytes, antioxidants and beneficial acetic acids! Kombucha has almost no sugar left once it’s finished brewing.
The taste will always be super unique, depending on the water and tea you use, how long you ferment it & which flavors you add in the second fermentation.
In this blogpost you will find my recipe and all the tips and tricks you need to know to get started!
My Kombucha recipe
What you need:
- 1,5 liter vessel/ jar
- 1,3 L filtered water
- 12g Camellia sinensis tea (green or black tea)
(I like to mix 6g green tea with 6g black tea)
- 100g raw cane sugar
- Starter fluid (approx. 200 ml)
(The easiest way to get a Scoby is to get one from a friend who is brewing or ordering it online)
- a dishtowel and rubber band
- 3 x 0,5 liter bottles
7-10 days (depending on temperature and desired taste)
21 – 27°C
> TEA PREPERATION
- bring 300ml of water to a boil
- let the tea steep in hot water for 10 minutes while simmering
- drain the tea leaves with a sieve or cloth
- now add the entire quantity of raw cane sugar to the hot tea and stir until the sugar has completely dissolved
- pour the sweet tea and 1 liter of cold water into the fermentation jar
- IMPORTANT: let this mixture cool down to room temperature, before you add the Scoby (otherwise it would die, the Kombucha culture cannot tolerate hot temperatures. Also don’t use metal to transfer the Scoby!)
> KOMBUCHA PREPERATION & 1st FERMENTATION
- If the tea mixture is at room temperature, add the starter liquid and Scoby
( No worries, sometimes the scoby sinks to the bottom, sometimes it floats on top. Both is perfectly correct.)
- cover jar with a towel so its breathable but sealed (to protect your Kombucha from flies and other dirt.)
- place your jar in a warm, quiet place with room temperature above 19 °C, a little fresh air and in the best case a dark place. Too bright lighting, especially by sunlight, can damage the culture.
- after 7-10 days you test whether the kombucha is already sour enough for you.
- If it’s ready, remove the towel, take out the Scoby and put it in a box with some extra kombucha (to keep the Scoby healthy and alive + as a starter liquid for your next batch)
- You will also have a new baby Scoby attached to your first one – you can take it off and give to a friend!
- If you don’t want to make a new batch, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator with the liquid for several weeks.
> 2nd FERMENTATION & CARBONISATION
- choose some ingredients according to your taste and add them to your bottles
(fresh, dried or frozen fruit, fruit and vegetable juices/purees, spices, herbs, blossoms, sirups,…)
Some of my favorite things to add here are:
– pomegranate, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, mango, lime, tangerine, lemon
– mint, tulsi, hibiscus, ginger, turmeric, lemongrass, rose, lavender
- fill the rest of your Kombucha into bottles using a funnel and seal them airtight
- leave your bottles at room temperature for 2-4 days
- slightly open the bottles once in a while to let them “burp” and therefore avoid an explosion
- once you bottle it and move it to the fridge, it will stop building up carbonation.
- the Kombucha will stay fresh for a very long time and and of course tastes even better chilled
SOME NOTES AND EXTRA TIPS:
- Most of the tea you use should be from the real tea-plant (Camellia sinensis): white tea, green tea, oolong & black tea.
Don’t go for tea with aroma, these will harm the growth and development of your scoby
- Clean your jars with hot water and vinegar (traces of soap can harm the scoby) – try to keep everything clean and organized while preparing your kombucha!
- Be super careful with your SCOBY: avoid contact with any metal
- Don’t fill your brewing jar completely, because the Scoby needs space to grow
- The more acidic the Kombucha becomes, the less Kombucha is needed as a starter liquid for the next preparation.
- Always cover the jar properly: Don’t use material that’s too lightly meshed. Dish towles work best. Be sure to use a rubber to hold the cloth or paper in place. Otherwise the fermenting flies will crawl into the container.
- If you brew larger quantities, note that it can take longer
- It’s normal when the Scoby turns brown and you find some yeast growth floating around. You can keep it like that or carefully wash your Scoby with slightly warm water.
- Sweet fruits in the second fermentation (and also citrus fruits) create a really nice fizz
Have fun brewing your own booch!
I’m excited to see your own mixtures – feel free to reach out on Instagram if you have any questions and tag me in your creations!