Morning eKa CIRCLE
So it has been a while since I have made my homemade kombucha, which is fermented tea- an ancient Chinese or Korean practise (depending on who you are talking to) revived in the 70’s by the hippie movement and more recently by an instagram craze. I was in the habit of making it weekly and drinking it daily for its probiotic benefits for my gut health, alas a rather extended holiday meant my scoby suffered and I had not stored a spare in my scoby jar that month (lesson learned). Soph my pal to the rescue who I had shared a scoby with before my holiday, she gave one straight back to me so that I could restart the process. Such are good things shared, they multiply!
The health benefits of improved gut health are noticeable when you drink kombucha regularly, for example less bloating, a clearer mind (gut health is directly linked to mental health) and a fresher breath. I thought I would document the process as it is very simple and I do recall when I was trying to learn I found the plethora of information on the internet a little overwhelming.
So to start you will need someone to gift you a scoby. If that proves tricky you can always purchase a good quality kombucha, pour it into a jar. Cover the top with some calico or muslin, add a little sugar and leave it on the bench for a week or two and a scoby should grow. The scoby stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast , it is a living organism of goodness that will continue to multiply. Literally new baby ones grow under the old. If you leave them they stack up in a thick “flubbery” layer. Its a good idea to keep an extra small jar of spare scobys as a back up This is often referred to as a scoby “hotel”. You can gift away any extras or add them to your compost. Make sure you always keep the muslin tied tightly as with anything fermented the bugs love it!
Follow the basic instructions below and once you get the hang of it it’s fun to experiment with different flavoured teas and second ferment flavours. I usually have a large glass dispenser with a tap for my tea booch but the tap has started dripping and the Macgyver in me isn’t clever enough to fix that so I have compromised using a big tupperware bpa free jug. The rebel stylist in me kind of enjoys the “real life approach” for you to see that you don’t need to have things “perfect” to keep healthy life happening. For any kombucha experts out there, apologies in advance for simplifying the process. It works.
Lots of the recipes I have read suggest sterilising jars and equipment. I’ll be honest. I never have! Just keep things clean. You will know when your batch has an issue mould will grow- if you ever see mould or bugs the whole batch should be disgarded. Simply restart with a fresh scoby (which is why a scoby hotel is advised). I have only once had this happen which was on an extended holiday. You will see brown strands of yeast grow from your scoby or gather on the bottom of your brew. This is perfectly natural and nothing to worry about.
Here are some ideas for second ferment flavours that I have tried and loved! You don’t have to flavour your brew though, it is still delicious. I often tie in my kombucha flavour with what ever juice I have made on that day so that I am not wasting skins or peels for example pineapple skin and citrus peel are a great flavour add to your kombucha brew. A few more second ferment ideas that I love are cardamom, cinnamon, dried fruit, berry, ginger, lavender, pomegranate, mint. The sweeter the fruit, the more sugar in the brew, and the warmer the weather the faster the ferment. I prefer a sour kombucha so I have cut the sugar back to give me that without compromising the fizz. The scoby needs sugar to feed on so while you can brew a kombucha with less sugar, you often don’t get the desired fizz. If you leave the kombucha to ferment too long you achieve a very sour vinegar.
Enjoy this refreshing brew. You will love it!
light love and good health
M + E
3 tsp of tea leaves
1 litre boiling filtered water
3/4 cup raw sugar
1 litre cool filtered water
20 organic sultana’s (or desired flavour of your choice), optional
- Brew the tea in the boiling water and stir in the sugar to dissolve. Set aside to cool. Strain into a large clean vessel. Add the cool filtered water and the scoby. Cover with muslin and tie tightly. Leave on the bench in a cool spot for approx one week.
- Remove the scoby from the brew and pour the brewed kombucha into clean glass bottles with a tight fitting lid. Don’t fill right to the top. This ensures you achieve a ferment fizz without it popping. Add two or three sultana’s (or flavour of your choice) to the bottle. Set aside on the bench in a cool spot for 4-7 days. Place in the fridge to store. This slows down the fermentation. I usually start the next batch of tea and sugar as I pour into the bottles so that I always have a batch brewing. Enjoy this is not only a healthy alternative to soft drink or soda it is good for you.
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