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July 29, 2010

Just curious. Are any of you interested in making your own Kombucha?

We’ve had a SCOBY going here for the last little while, and I’ve been tempted to brew up a big batch and put it in your boxes. (When we make lots of this stuff, Jon likes to call it “Big Bucha”).

But although I can’t for a million years figure out why, Kombucha just isn’t for everyone, and there ARE some controversies about it. Check here for an in-depth discussion.  The link sort of glosses over the health benefits, and I don’t really know all that much about it, but we love it, and feel great drinking it… so good enough for me!

Here’s how WE make it at home, and you can decide for yourselves if you want to try making up a batch:

  • Brew up about a gallon of your favorite tea. We use Earl Grey, because I’m a sucker for bergamot. Usually 4-6 tea bags is plenty.
  • Add about a cup of sugar. More if you like it sweeter. The SCOBY uses up some of the sugar in the fermentation.
  • let it cool. (very important)
  • add the Kombucha starter.
  • let sit in a cool place for about a week, lightly covered (cheesecloth, or loose-fitting lid), just so things don’t fall into it… but allowing the culture to “breathe”.

That’s it. A big plug of what looks like snot will form over the top of your culture. This is normal. Just throw it away when you’re satisfied with how your Kombucha tastes. Leave it longer for more carbonation/cider-y flavor. Or share it. This plug is the SCOBY and can live on to make many, many more batches of Kombucha.

The Kombucha culture is pretty aggressive, meaning it grows fast, and produces a lot of phenols and organic acids (good for you). NOT GOOD, however, for plastic containers. The acids can eat away at the plastic and you don’t want the byproducts of metabolized plastic floating around in your drink. So the best thing to ferment it in is a glass container. I use one of those ‘sun tea’ carafes with a loose lid on it, and it works well.

If you want to make a LOT of Kombucha, like in a 5-gallon glass carboy… brew up a 1-gallon batch with the starter, wait a week, then use the whole gallon as the starter for the larger quantity.

OK, folks. Let me know if you’re interested, and I’ll put some Kombuchawesome starter in your boxes!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Easy permalink
    July 29, 2010 8:43 pm

    Is honey instead of sugar OK?

    • nadinelew permalink*
      July 29, 2010 8:59 pm

      Will, i think so. i’ve tried using agave syrup and it worked well.

  2. August 31, 2010 7:34 pm

    Mine is culturing away! Woo hoo!

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