How to Make Your Kombucha:
Before you start:
Wash and rinse your Kombucha jar thoroughly. This jar needs to be large enough to hold several litres of kombucha and mother, preferably with a tap at the bottom if planning on using continuous fermentation.
Fill the jar with water to check that the tap is fitted correctly before you start. If there are any leaks around the seal you may need to tighten the tap. To do this, hold the plastic nut on the inside and twist the tap on the outside until tight, do not use too much force or you may damage the washers.
Remember you are making a health tonic. Use filtered or spring water. Never boil your water for making the tea in aluminium pots.
Either black tea (may raise blood pressure and help increase body weight) or green tea (may lower your blood pressure and help decrease body weight) You may just choose herbs. When choosing herbs never use herbs containing oils (ask your naturopath or health food store if you have any questions) Fresh herbs will require about 7 times the amount of dried herbs. Kombucha will enhance the properties of the tea or herbs you are using.
- 1 litre of boiling water (no aluminium pans)
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 2-4 tea bags or 2-4 tablespoons of loose tea or herbs (If using fresh herbs multiply by 7)
- One Green Living Australia SCOBY and the tea it came with (about one cup/250 ml)
- Add the sugar to the boiling water and stir until dissolved.
- Add the tea and or herbs to the water and allow to steep for 10-15 minutes.
- Then strain the tea or remove the tea bags.
- When the mixture is cooled, pour it into your jar.
- Add the SCOBY and the tea it came with (about one cup/250 ml). Make sure to secure the top of the jar with muslin or cheesecloth to keep insects out. The cloth needs to be larger than the circumference of the jar so there is enough overhang to secure the cloth with a rubber band.
- As you see the SCOBY growing and thriving after five to seven days, you can taste test the kombucha to ensure the sweetness of the tea you added is reduced and add another litre of cooled sweet tea.
- Over time you can add more tea so that you have more kombucha available to drink. Our main Kombucha pot holds between five to six litres.
The time will vary depending on the amount of mother tea, the temperature, etc. It is more important to go by the taste of the tea, making sure it tastes a bit tangy indicating that the sugar has been consumed by the kombucha. If you are diabetic or want to lose weight you may want to wait about 14 days to allow more sugar to be consumed by the growing SCOBY. During colder months you will need to add a couple more days and you may need to purchase a heated base to control the temperature.
This method keeps the kombucha continually brewing in a jar. It allows you to dispense a daily amount and top up the mixture as you go as opposed to waiting for individual batches. After you have allowed the tea mixture to cool, pour it into your pottery jar. Add the mother tea and the kombucha culture. You will need a muslin cloth to cover the top of the jar and secure it with a rubber band to keep any insects from getting in. Allow it to brew for the desired time (see above). When ready dispense 10-30% of the tea and store the unused portion in the refrigerator. I would recommend taking only 10% of the tea the first couple of times and adding 10% of fresh tea to the jar. The tea in the jar will become stronger after this, and you can add 30% of new tea to the brew each time. For example, a 6-litre brew will produce 1.8 litres of kombucha a day. Make sure you allow the new tea mixture to cool before adding it. If you top up with new tea in the evening it will be ready by the next morning. If you are diabetic or suffer from candida you will want to dispense the finished kombucha into the bottle and allow it to sit for a couple of nights before drinking
The tap will need to be removed and cleaned out if it becomes blocked. Carefully remove the kombucha and tea. Remove the tap and flush it with water. Clean the tap and jar and rinse thoroughly. Place the tea and kombucha back in the jar when finished. If you do need to replace your tap remember to use a food-grade plastic tap as you do not want any metal to come into contact with the kombucha.
Important Notes for Brewing Kombucha:
- Some low-fired ceramics may contain lead in their glazes, so it is important to never use low-fired ceramics for brewing or storing kombucha, as any lead present will leach into your brew.
- No metals should come in touch with kombucha. Do not use a metal container or metal tap. Do not boil your water or tea in aluminium pans.
- Do not cover kombucha with a lid, only use a light muslin or cheesecloth material that you are able to breathe through. If the weave is too loose you may need to use a couple of layers. Use a rubber band or tie to hold the cloth over the jar.
Second Fermentation of Kombucha
The second fermentation of Kombucha is when the live Kombucha drink is placed in a sealed container where it continues to ferment. The result is that carbonation will begin to build up in the Kombucha, making it a delicious and healthy fizzy drink.
Caution: If left too long, the pressure can build up so much that the bottle can explode. If you have overdone it on the second ferment, even if the bottle has not exploded, opening the bottle could be interesting. You could have an eruption that will make a mess. If you think that might be the case, place a cloth like a tea towel over the lid to prevent creating a really big mess.
You can flavour your Kombucha with just about anything, sweet or savoury. The only limit here is your imagination. There are two ways you can add flavour to your Kombucha. You can add flavours directly into your fermentation jar, or you can add the flavour during your second ferment.
Adding flavour directly into the Kombucha jar during the first ferment:
You could try adding cinnamon sticks or powder, fruit juice/nectar, 50% herbal blends mixed with 50% real tea, Half a Lemon/Orange (skin on) or powdered ginger or Turmeric.
Adding flavour in the second fermentation:
All you need to do is add whatever it is you want to use for flavouring to the bottle just before you add the Kombucha. You can use herbs and spices, fresh or dried fruit, fruit juices or nectars or even edible flowers. Then allow to ferment for a few days before refrigerating. During this second ferment, the flavours and colours of your addition will be pulled into the Kombucha, along with beneficial compounds, making this gut-healthy drink even more amazing.