Updated: Feb 6, 2019
Do you do the “booch”? If you have no idea what I am talking about, you might be a newbie to Kombucha. Kombucha is traditionally a type of fermented black or green tea drink that is produced by using a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast called a SCOBY.
What is so great about kombucha? Why do people love it so much that they make it in large batches at home? Is it difficult to make? We will get into the details and run through the basics of making your first batch of kombucha tea at home. Hint: It’s EASY!
Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as medical advice. Always consult your healthcare professional before starting or stopping any health regimen.
Kombucha Health Benefits
When you think of Kombucha, think of gut health! Kombucha makes the gut happy. It is a fermented beverage that yields good bacteria and probiotics that your body needs. You are probably used to taking probiotics in capsule or powder form. These varieties are good, but there is nothing as effective as that good bacteria in it’s unprocessed and unadulterated natural state!
Gut health is a crucial part of staying well and healthy. Over 80% of our immune system lives in our guts, that is why we need to treat ours with extra TLC!
After being fermented, kombucha becomes carbonated and contains b-vitamins, vinegar, beneficial digestive enzymes, probiotics and a large amount of acid (acetic, gluconic and lactic), which are associated with the following benefits:
Cleansing and Detoxification
Reduced Joint Pain
Making Kombucha Tea At Home
Now that you know how amazing kombucha can be for your health, why not just buy it from the store? Kombucha comes in a bottle and can be found at most health food stores or even some conventional grocery stores. There are only a few issues with buying store-bought versions:
Store-bought Kombucha ranges from $3-$7 a bottle. This can really add up if you’re adding this bev to your daily routine!
The amount of kombucha in one bottle would not likely serve many health benefits. Consistency is key and drinking kombucha as a part of your daily routine will yield the best results.
Some store-bought kombucha beverages include extra sweeteners and preservatives.
Common Kombucha Terms
SCOBY – A cool name for “Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria & Yeast”. This is the life line of your kombucha. It looks like a big grey/brown mushroom and will be needed for a good batch of kombucha. Since it is a living organism that is providing beneficial bacteria, you need to treat your scoby with care. Only disturb your scoby when necessary and keep it stored in a cool, dry place away from a lot of noise and direct light. You will need a scoby for your very first batch. You can try asking a kombucha brewing friend for one they are not using or you can purchase one from Cultures For Health.
Starter Tea – This is just the term for an acidic liquid. You can use kombucha from a previous batch. If you are starting a batch from start, you can use store-bought kombucha, borrow some homemade kombucha from a friend or use distilled white vinegar.
Fermentation – This is the process your kombucha will go through where the bacteria and yeast become fermented and beneficial to your health.
Second Fermentation – This is a term for more experienced brewers who would like to add in special flavors or fruits for added taste and fizz. This is just a fancy name for brewing your kombucha for a second, longer period of time. If you want to do a second fermentation, you wait until your first brewing session is complete. Once your kombucha is at your desired taste, you can remove the SCOBY and add in your favorite fruits and let it brew an additional 2-5 days. Great choices for a second fermentation are pureed strawberries, pieces of fresh ginger or a handful of mint leaves.
Beginner Brewing Tips:
Make sure to secure a dish towel or coffee filter over your jar with rubber bands. This is to make sure fruit flies don’t set up camp in your brew! If your home is prone to airborne mold or fruit flies, you can also make a vinegar spray and spray it on top of your filter daily to further prevent any issues.
Your fermenting kombucha needs to breathe. Never put an airtight top on your container while brewing.
Clear glass is an ideal container for kombucha as it is sterile and will not leech any chemicals or colors. If you do not have glass, you can use ceramic.
Only use plain black of green tea. Do not use any flavored teas as they can impact your scoby in a negative way. Keep the flavors and fruits for the second fermentation.
How To Make Kombucha Tea: For Beginners
A lot of people shy away from making their own kombucha with the fear that they will mess it up and they are dealing with a type of bacteria. There is no reason you cannot make kombucha at home. It will take your attention after the tea is made to ensure the proper fermentation process is taking place, but trust me when I say that it’s a very simple process and once you have made your first batch, you will be hooked on the booch!
How To Brew Kombucha Tea
A delicious brew of kombucha tea for beginners. Scoby and starter tea or vinegar needed.
2-3 Cups Hot Water
1/4 Cup Pure Cane Sugar
2 Tea Bags (Plain Black Tea or Green Tea) or loose tea leaves ( 1 1/2 teaspoons of loose tea)
Aprx. 1 Cup Starter Tea or Distilled White Vinegar (If you do not have starter tea from already fermented kombucha, then you can use distilled white vinegar)
Quart Sized Mason Jar With Lid (For Later Use)
Clean Dish Towel or Coffee Filter
Heat up 2-3 cups hot water in a small pot (Do not bring to a boil)
Add 1/4 cup pure cane sugar
Remove from heat
Place 2 tea bags in the sugar water to steep. (Plain black tea or green tea works well)
Let the mixture cool to 68-85ºF.
Remove the tea bags or completely strain the loose tea leaves from the liquid and add to quart-sized mason jar
Add starter tea from a previous batch to the liquid
Add an active kombucha SCOBY
Place a dish towel or coffee filter to the top of the jar and secure with rubber band
Keep it a cool, dry place for 7-10 days.
Check for desired taste, remove scoby and place lid on jar.
After about 7 days, try your kombucha. If it is too sugary for your taste, keep it fermenting another day or two. If it is too vinegary-tasting, you have let it ferment too long. It is still fine to drink at this point, but won't taste very well or be ideal for a second fermentation.
As you can see, it really is very simple. If you break it down, it is really just like making tea and letting it sit for awhile! In no time you will be a pro and now you can have beneficial kombucha right at your fingertips! Once you make a few plain brews and get the hang of things, try a second fermentation to add delicious flavors.
Do you brew booch? Tell me all about it over on my Facebook Page!
Love + Light, Nicole Musap