In the midst of all the painting and preparing to sell our house, one thing that is staying on the counter is the "weird growth," "alien," glop stuff called kombucha.
Yeah, it's strange looking stuff. But so good for you.
It replenishes the good bacteria in your gut, which affects ALL of your body (the gut is sometimes called your second brain).
Some of the benefits of a kombucha-induced healthy gut include:
- Lessening of arthritis/rheumatism/joint pain
- Help with asthma
- Possible protection against cancer
- Lessening of arteriosclerosis
- Lowered levels of blood glucose/diabetes
- Healing of gastrointestinal issues/acid reflux/ulcers
- Strengthened immune system
- Healthier kidneys and liver
- Helps with weight management
- Kills candida overgrowth
So, we're fermenting black tea with its "mother" and making new "daughters" for new batches of this miracle drink. And we're drinking a little every day. You're supposed to start slow and work up to more so that you don't shock your body with all that goodness. Or create too much gassiness.
We're experimenting with different flavors in our secondary ferment process and discovered that cranberry only adds to the tartness, so we'll try others instead. While all organic ingredients would be best, of course, we're not to that point yet, so I've been using frozen juice concentrate for the sugar and flavoring of the secondary ferment.
So, how do we go about making this elixir of life?
This book is a huge help:
Until you get your copy, here's the basics for starting:
You'll need a SCOBY - Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. It's the "mother" of yeast bubbliness that makes the stuff ferment. I got mine from a friend. You can buy them online, but you need to be careful about who you trust. I'd suggest https://www.kombuchakamp.com. The book also tells how to start you own SCOBY from commercial kombucha.
To make a gallon, leaving some head-space for brewing,
bring to a boil: 3/4 gallon filtered water
Add: 3-5 black tea bags (organic is preferable) or 1-2 Tbsp. loose leaf tea
3/4 cup sugar
Let cool to room temperature.
Pour into a glass gallon jar and add a large SCOBY, about the same circumference as your jar.
Add: 1 cup of already made kombucha
Cover with a fabric that will let the brew breathe, but keep fruit-flies out. I used leftover muslin from quilt backing and just set a canning jar ring into the jar's mouth to hold it in place. When I get a chance to sit down to sew I hope to make some pretty fabric and elastic covers.
This loveliness needs to sit out at room temperature unjostled for 7-14 days. We're discovering that it can get pretty tart and even vinegary if you leave it for too long. Even just seven days could possibly be too long. So, play around and experiment with it by taking dipperfuls after day 5 or so.
You can bottle it up in smaller bottles (I've used canning jars, but plan to transform my cute Starbucks bottles into vessels of healthfulness in an effort to redeem them), then refrigerate them to radically slow down the fermentation.
For better taste and some carbonation, try experimenting with the secondary fermentation which I'll talk about next time.