I spent this weekend hanging out with kombucha koala and making a new batch of kombucha. I thought about making a post on how to get started, but kitchn really has that well covered from making your own scoby from store-bought kombucha to how to make kombucha at home. I don’t think I can really add much actual information to their expertise, but I’m happy to add my experience with the process so far.
I usually start my brew days by heating up a pot of water, dumping a cup of sugar in, and stirring in eight tea bags for brewing. (All under the careful watch of kombucha koala.) I started with black tea, but lately, I’ve been using green tea.
I rinse and set out the berries I’m going to add to the kombucha.
I chop up the fruit (or blend it). I also sometimes just use juice. It depends on what flavor I want to make (and how fizzy I want it to be, adding fruit instead of juice makes it fizz like crazy!)
Kobucha koala and I say hello to our friend scoby (who’s been chilling out, fermenting in last week’s jar of sugary tea).
I take the scoby out of the jar and put it on a plate cleaned with white vinegar. (Scoby look and feel a little gross. You do get used to them after awhile though.)
I add the kombuha from the big jar to smaller glass bottles with fruit filling (leaving a small gap at the top for fizziness).
Koala and I get pretty excited about the flavors we’ve come up with for this week’s batch: strawberry mint and raspberry ginger. I seal each bottle tight to help with carbonation.
I pour the new batch of cooled sugary tea that I brewed earlier into the big jar and add the scoby on top of it. I then cover the jar with two paper towels sealed with a rubber band. I haven’t had any problems with fruit flies or bugs this way. I put the small bottles and big jar into a cabinet in the kitchen to keep them away from sunlight.
After a few days, I take the bottles out of the cabinet and put them in the refrigerator (to keep them from exploding!) And then a few days later, I brew a new batch of sugary tea to transfer my scoby to and take the old tea from the jar to add with fruit/juice in small bottles.
Something I never considered going into this was the cyclical nature of it. Once a week, I discard old scoby growth and help feed the scoby. In that process, kombucha is somehow made. It all feels…dare I say, somewhat magical? I actually didn’t like kombucha before I started brewing it at home. I was put off by the vinegary taste and didn’t feel compelled to like it. But somehow, in seeing the process of how it’s made, I’ve really come to love the flavor. However, I would really love to hear a Science Vs episode on the science of health benefits of kombucha.
Until then, I’ll just enjoy hanging out with kombucha koala and won’t espouse about it’s supposed health benefits. : )