It’s bottled goodness
Kombucha will keep your intestines happy and help boost overall health
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.