Are you looking for a healthy beverage alternative that’s, you know, more interesting than water or juice, and more healthy than soda or wine? Try Kombucha. I’d heard about it, but thought it would be hard to make and wouldn’t taste good. Well I was wrong, on both counts. It’s super simple to make and tastes great.
The most difficult step is finding a SCOBY, which stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria & Yeast. I posted a message on our county’s FaceBook page, offering to trade vinegar mothers for a SCOBY, and had several people step up. Problem solved. Next I needed a one gallon jar. I obtained this from the local kitchen store. Then I needed a half dozen swing cap bottles. The local beer brewing store had just what I needed. The final ingredients, and the only ones that aren’t reusable are tea and sugar.
How to Make Kombucha at Home
- Bring 3/4 of a gallon of non chlorinated water to a boil
- Add 8 to 10 tea bags, all black tea or all green tea or a combination (you can also use loose tea and strain the liquid)
- Let the tea steep for 10 minutes or so
- Remove the tea bags and add 1 cup of raw sugar
- Still to dissolve the sugar
- Let the pot of hot tea and sugar cool until it’s just warm to the touch
- Pour the cooled liquid into the 1 gallon jar and add the SCOBY and a cup or two of Kombucha from a previous batch or store bought is fine if this is your first time
- Cover the jar with cheese cloth or a clean tea towel and secure it with a rubber band around the top
- Let it sit undisturbed on the counter for at least a week
- Make up a new batch of Kombucha and while it’s cooling, carefully pour the previous batch into the swing top bottles, a funnel is handy for this
- Add the new cooled batch of Kombucha to the jar with the SCOBY and some left over liquid from the previous batch
When you pour the Kombucha into the swing top bottles try adding an eighth teaspoon of sugar, this will start secondary fermentation, for a little extra fizz. You can also add flavors at this point, we like to add a little fresh ginger to each bottle.