It’s bot­tled good­ness

Kom­bucha will keep your in­testines happy and help boost over­all health

Isis Town and Country - - Life - Vani Naidoo

KOM­BUCHA, a fer­mented black or green tea, is all the rage now. It starts off as a sug­ary tea, which is mixed with scoby bac­te­ria to pro­duce a slightly fer­mented, re­fresh­ingly fizzy drink that is full of probiotics. It will keep your in­testines happy and help boost over­all health. It helps im­prove di­ges­tion and im­mu­nity, it eases the symp­toms of bloat­ing, and can even boost sero­tonin lev­els. It’s a re­ally re­ward­ing process to make at home, and you can do so with a few com­mon in­gre­di­ents. Here’s how to make kom­bucha at home.


For a 3 litre brew: 1 3-4L glass con­tainer, 1 wooden spoon, pa­per tow­els and rubber bands, muslin cloth (or a cot­ton tea towel), 3l wa­ter, 1 cup or­ganic sugar, 4 black tea bags, 250ml of starter kom­bucha tea 1 scoby fer­ment jar


Brew a pot of tea Bring 500ml of pure, fil­tered/spring wa­ter to the boil, then turn off heat and stir in sugar to dis­solve. Drop in tea bags and al­low to seep un­til wa­ter has cooled.

Add kom­bucha starter When the wa­ter has cooled, use the wooden spoon to fish out tea bags, and trans­fer cold brew into the glass fer­men­ta­tion jar. Next, pour in the starter tea. This liq­uid helps to cre­ate the op­ti­mal en­vi­ron­ment for the scoby (sym­bi­otic colony of bac­te­ria and yeast) to thrive. Scoby is avail­able at most good health food shops. Add the re­main­ing 2.5 litres of wa­ter.

Bathe mother scoby With clean

hands full of love, pick up the scoby mother and slide into the cold tea brew, with the smooth side fac­ing up. Cover the jar with a pa­per towel, and se­cure with rubber band.

Fer­ment for 7-10 days Place jar at room tem­per­a­ture, and out of di­rect sun­light — don’t let her get jos­tled/dis­turbed. In a lov­ing, warm/ish cup­board in the kitchen away from chem­i­cals and elec­tro­mag­netic dis­tur­bances is an ideal spot. You may find that your scoby forms a younger layer on top, which can be shared with a friend, or used to start an­other brew. Healthy fer­men­ta­tion signs in­clude brown stringy float­ies, sed­i­ment col­lect­ing at the bot-

tom, and bub­bles form­ing around the scoby.

Test your brew Af­ter 5-6 days, sam­ple your batch by pour­ing a small cup — re­mem­ber not to use metal. We are look­ing for a bal­ance be­tween sweet­ness and tart­ness, mean­ing the more days you fer­ment, the more vine­gary it will be­come.

Re­move your scoby Once you are get­ting a tart yet sour­ish taste, your kom­bucha is ready to bot­tle. Be­fore pro­ceed­ing, mea­sure an­other cup of starter liq­uid to place your scoby in dur­ing the trans­fer process.

Bot­tle the goods Through a small fun­nel, pour fer­mented kom­bucha (strain­ing with muslin cloth if de­sired) into seal­able glass bot­tles. Leave about a thumb-width of head room in each. Dur­ing this stage, you may wish to add ad­di­tional flavours to your brew; try ginger, fruit, herbs, spices or teas.

Sec­ondary fer­ment Store your bot­tled kom­bucha at room tem­per­a­ture, and out of sun­light for 1-3 days to nat­u­rally car­bon­ate. Af­ter­wards, re­frig­er­ate to stop the fer­men­ta­tion and car­bon­a­tion process. Con­sume within six weeks.

Do it all again You can now use your scoby to re­peat step one and brew an­other batch. Over time, your scoby sup­plies will dou­ble, so share the love.

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