What is Kombucha?
It’s fermented tea, which dates back to 221 BC during the Qin Dynasty in China.
– It’s ingredients are simple; tea, sugar, water and a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria & Yeast)
Why is it good for you?
– It contains beneficial acids (acetic, gluconic, citric, lactic, glucuronic) that are produced through the fermentation process and aid in digestion, as well as vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants from the tea with which it is brewed in.
What’s a SCOBY?
“Scoby” is an acronym: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. A scoby is the living home for the bacteria and yeast that make sweet tea into tangy kombucha. It’s the rubbery topper that floats on the surface of the kombucha. Aside from being a home for yeast and good bacteria, the scoby seals off the fermenting kombucha from the air and protects it from outside, undesirable bacterias while it’s fermenting.
The ‘Mother’ scoby is used in your first batch, and then the ‘baby scoby’ is what forms on top of that same batch and can then be used to create future batches
Ingredients using a medium sizes SCOBY:
- 2 Litres of water
- 160 grams white sugar
- 1 medium SCOBY with starter liquid
- 7 teabags or 2 tablespoons loose tea (and tea strainer)
- Glass jar big enough to hold 2 litres of liquid
- Tight weave cloth or coffee filter paper (I used a new thin tote bag and cut it into a square, or you can use a clean cloth or piece of muslin)
- elastic band or something to tie the cloth around the jar
- Boil your water, and pour into your glass jar. Drop the tea bags into your glass jar and add 500ml of boiled water into the it (1/4 of your total brew). Mix the tea bags for about 10 minutes
- Remove the tea bags or loose-leaf tea with a clean utensil and add the sugar to your tea. Mix until dissolved.
- Top up your sweet tea mixture with extra water to bring the liquid to a total of 2 litres.
- Make sure your tea is cool, it must be below 29°C, before adding your S.C.O.B.Y and starter liquid to the jar.
- Cover with the cloth and place in warm space (ideally between 23 and 27°C) for 10 – 14 days
- Over the course of the 10 days, your batch should start to form a new ‘baby’ scoby on top of the liquid layer. This will likely be a thinner, jelly like layer. Once your tea is ready, pour off the baby scoby and set aside.
- After 10 days taste your tea and see if it’s to your liking, you can then bottle up the liquid and either flavour it or enjoy as it is. I like to pour mine over ice and enjoy.
Stay tuned for a ‘how to flavour Kombucha’ post coming soon!