Thursday, July 18, 2013
We are loving our kombucha around here. My kids ask for their "juice" day and night. I love that they're getting a good dose of probiotics when they drink this, and I usually serve it up at mealtimes. I've been brewing now for about a year and am truly amazed at how easy it is to make and how cost effective! (If you've ever bought kombucha at the health food store, you know it is not cheap!) I've given several scobies out to friends and family and by now there is a hand written instruction sheet floating around somewhere... so it's high time this recipe made it to my blog.
If you are brewing for the first time, ask around for someone to share a scoby with you. If you can't find one locally, you can order one online here. Once you start brewing, you'll notice that your scoby will grow a pancake (an extra layer) with each 2-3 batches. You can simply peel this extra pancake off and then do your own sharing, also known as spreading the kombucha love.
1 kombucha scoby + 1/2 cup reserved kombucha tea from previous batch (ask around and see if a friend or someone in your area will share with you if this is your first time brewing kombucha)
1 gallon water
1 cup organic sugar
6 organic tea bags (I use 3 green tea bags and 3 black tea bags)
1/2 cup frozen raspberries
Bring 4-6 cups of water to boil. Once boiling, add the tea bags, turn off the heat, and cover the pot. Set timer for 10-15 minutes. Once the timer goes off, remove tea bags, squeeze any remaining tea out of the bags, and discard tea bags.
Pour sugar into brewed tea and stir to completely dissolve.
Leave sweetened tea out at room temperature until the temperature drops to 80 degrees or lower. (This will take several hours if you leave the sweetened tea in the pot. I brew my tea up at night, then let it cool while I sleep and finish the process in the morning.)
Once the sweetened tea has cooled, pour into a gallon size, wide mouth glass jar. Add the kombucha scoby and 1/2 cup reserved kombucha tea. Fill the rest of the jar with water.
Cover jar with cheescloth or light towel and secure with a rubber band to keep it tight around the top. Let set undisturbed at room temperature for 7-10 days.
On day 7, check kombucha to see if it's ready to bottle. Stick a straw below the scoby and suck a little bit of kombucha out. If it's too sweet, let it hang out at room temperature for 1-3 more days (checking each day). If too vinegary, bottle right away and lessen the time the kombucha ferments on your next batch. If just right, the kombucha should be slightly fizzy- not too sweet- not too vinegary.
Now your kombucha is ready to drink as is or bottle. I like to bottle and get a second fermentation; this is where the kombucha will get nice and carbonated (and even a tad sweeter) from the raspberries.
If you decide not to second fermentation, simply remove the scoby and 1/2 cup of liquid and set aside for your next batch. Then pour into bottles or jars of choice and place in the refrigerator.
If you are going to do the second fermentation, remove the scoby and 1/2 cup of liquid and set aside for your next batch. Then pour the remaining kombucha into bottles or jars of choice, leaving about 1/2 inch at the top of each bottle or jar. For 16 ounce jars, add about 4 raspberries. Use this ratio of ounce liquid to raspberries for whatever size your bottling jars happen to be. Screw bottles or jars tightly with caps and let kombucha ferment for an additional 2-3 days (or up to a whole week).