Kombucha Newbies

This spring a friend of mine posted a Facebook status that went something like this:
 

I have babies that need a new home by next Sunday. Anybody want one?

Then Hubby looked at me with a gleam in his eye that said, "Can we, please?"
 

Okay, that's not exactly how it went…
 

It was more like,
 

"I have baby SCOBYS that need a new home by next Sunday. Anbody want one?"

That's why Hubby had such longing in his eyes. He loves kombucha, and the prospect of making his own kombucha {rather than paying five dollars a bottle} was very desirous to him.
 

So we stopped at Target to buy a 2 gallon spigot jar and brought home a baby SCOBY.

 

Kombucha Newbies
 

No idea what I'm talking about? That's okay. I had never found a kombucha that I liked, so I had no idea what any of this meant, either. I intended to leave it to Hubby.
 

But that didn't last long. I have been completely sucked in and even like some flavors now.
 

For those of you new to this, kombucha is fremented tea. It's not alcoholic– just full of good probiotics that are good for your gut. It's a yummy and healthy drink that is naturally carbonated, thanks to the bacteria that ferment it.
 

You start with a sweetened tea (organic sugar) that has caffeine in it. Black, white, or green tea are good options, although we have discovered that we prefer green tea over white tea.

 

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But the magic ingredient that turns your sweet tea into kombucha is the SCOBY. I'm not talking about Scooby Doo here. It's pronounced with a long "o," like "Oh, wow." {grin} SCOBY is an acronym that stands for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. Thus, the SCOBY gives your tea the perfect, good bacteria and yeast that will ferment the tea, give it carbonation, and give beneficial bacteria to your body.

 

Kombucha Newbies (4)
 

If you have a friend who brews kombucha, you can get a baby SCOBY and about 2 cups of already fermented kombucha from them or you can buy one from Kombucha Kamp or other reputable store. Then you gently add the SCOBY and kombucha to the sweetened tea in a large (at least 1 to 1.5 gallon) jar. After about a week in a moderately warm, dark place, your tea will have changed to kombucha. {Mine goes into the bottom of my closed pantry.} You'll know it because it will no longer be sweet. The bacteria eat the organic sugar you provided, and the tea becomes tangy and sort of vinegar-y.

 

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You can drink the kombucha at this point, but we like to add some flavoring (mostly fruit or fruit juice) to ours and let it ferment a second time. With another 3 days or so and a tight seal on the lid of the jar, the kombucha is just right and fizzy. Then we chill and drink!
 

Then I have a happy hubby and sons. And we start the process all over again.
 

With seven people in the house, most of whom drink the kombucha, our two gallon jar of kombucha wasn't lasting very long. To rectify that problem, we bought two more 1 gallon jars with a very wide mouth. Since a baby SCOBY grows each time you brew a batch of kombucha, we quickly had three SCOBYs to ferment our three kombucha jars.

 

Kombucha Newbies (5)
 

So far, it's been a great system! The giant two-gallon spigot jar has become a continous brew jar, so we can decant two quarts of kombucha every two to three days. The two one-gallon jars are completely decanted about once every seven days.
 

Our system is working great! Of course, when we decided to switch all three jars over from white tea to green tea and completely decanted all three jars at once… Well, we are well supplied in kombucha this week! {Yes, it has taken over my refrigerator}

 

Kombucha Newbies (6)

 

Wanna try it?

You'll need:

  • a 1 to 1.5 gallon jar– with no metal on it
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • tea– black tea, white tea, or green tea– preferably organic; 5 tea bags to make 1 gallon of sweetened tea
  • SCOBY + 2 cups of kombucha (store bought s now pasterized and won't really be good starter)
  • breathable cloth and rubber band to cover the top
  • several jars with tight sealing lids to decant your fermented kombucha into
     

I would recommend reading all about how to get started at Kombucha Kamp and signing up for the newsletter. They have great instructions, you can buy a SCOBY plus starter there, and the newsletter sends you a beginning series that sends detailed directions for making your own kombucha right to your inbox. {and no, they didn't give me a thing for recommending them.}
 

In a few weeks, I will be sharing the recipes for flavoring our kombucha. What kind of blogger would I be if I didn't document and share, right? In the meantime, you'll want to also follow my Kombucha! Pinterest board where I pin all sorts of kombucha tips and helps.
 

Happy brewing!

 

One thought on “Kombucha Newbies

  1. YUM! I love kombucha! I don’t do continuous brew because I don’t have room in my tiny kitchen to leave room between the multiple ferments I make. Have you ever had water kefir? SO GOOD!! Water kefir made with coconut water is what I drank to put my soda addiction to death!

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