Kombucha Tea

Kombucha Tea

What you need:
3 quarts filtered water
1 cup white granulated sugar
4 T loose plain green or black tea
½ cup kombucha from previous culture
1 kombucha SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast)
1 gallon wide-mouthed jar
Tea towel to cover the jar during fermentation (even an old t-shirt will work)
Rubber band that fits over the mouth of your jar
2 quart stainless steel pot
wooden spoon
funnel (for bottling)
swing-top/grolsch style bottles (preferably green or brown tinted glass)

Bring 1 quart of water to a boil in your stainless steel pot. Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water. When the water boils, remove from heat. Add tea and steep for 15-20 minutes.

Add remaining 2 quarts of cold water (or water mixed with potable ice made from filtered water) to the brewed tea, along with at least ½ cup of the kombucha from the previous culture (or, if this is the first time you’re brewing, add any liquid that came with your scoby). Stir to combine.

Once liquid has come to room temperature, place tea into your one-gallon container. Place SCOBY on top (shiny side up).

Place the cotton cloth over the jar and secure with rubber band. Store in a safe place at room temperature.
Kombucha will take an average of 7-10 days to brew, though you can allow your batch to ferment longer if you would like the brew to be less sweet. The longer it ferments, the dryer and stronger the acidic taste will become.

Remove the SCOBYs (Once you’ve brewed your first batch, you should have two SCOBY – the mother and a newly formed baby). If you’re storing the SCOBY for future use, keep it in a similar large glass jar, and pour in enough of your freshly made Kombucha to cover it.

Using a funnel, pour finished kombucha tea into swing-top bottles, filling up into the neck of the jar. Seal and keep at room temperature for 4-5 days (this aging will improve the flavor). Then store in refrigerator to extend its shelf-life.
Flavorings like fruit, herbs, brewed herbal teas and other additions can be added during the bottling stage (but not before – or they could compromise the health of your SCOBY). Please note that fruit (or any type of sugar) will feed the active cultures and increase the effervescence of the beverage during the resting period. If you have weak Kombucha after the brewing period, let rest longer during the bottling period.

Some successful fruity combos from the Burp! kitchen:
Blueberry ginger
Peach raspberry
Watermelon mint
Tomato basil
Cherry vanilla bean
Spiced Peach

Get the full post Over at Burp!


Monet said...

We need this! No more kombucha at Whole Foods has made me a sad girl!

Tamara said...

This sounds delicious! Gotta try it this weekend maybe!

Tamara said...

I have some organic chocolate puerh currently. How do you think it would turn out?

Lo said...

I wouldn't recommend brewing with a flavored tea to start -- but I think the chocolate puerh could be interesting as a second ferment! Let us know if you try it.

Unknown said...

SO, I just made my first batch of kombucha and it's delish! I started with one scobie and it's grown, divided, had a baby or whatever it does already. When can I separate the scobies and give one to friend??

Unknown said...

Can anyone tell me how to divide a scobie? Can they be cut in half to start another jar of culture.

Lo said...

Karin -
As a scoby develops, it forms layers/often called babies. You can separate the layers from one another to give away or use for additional batches.

You can also cut the scoby into pieces -- eventually they will grow and take the shape of whatever container they are in.