I have recently begun to have a glass of Kombucha, a fermented tea, once a day. It provides probiotics, B vitamins and is filling, cutting down my cravings for snack foods. Unfortunately, Kombucha is expensive when purchased at the health food store, so I (in true Frugal Mennonite fashion) decided to start brewing my own.
Kombucha is a mildly fermented product, much like kefir and kraut. It has the same health benefits. For more information I would suggest the Kombucha Kamp website. It is run by the Kombucha Mama herself and is where I obtained the basic recipe and starter culture.
I found two Anchor Hocking 1 gallon containers at Target for less than six dollars. I washed them well with vinegar to clean them. The Kombucha Mama doesn't recommend washing your containers with soap as it can leave a residue that will harm the cultures. I had already received my SCOBY, starter culture, before I started this process.
Boil four cups of water, add to one container and, using four tea bags, brew your favorite type of tea. Some people swear by strong black tea and others like flavored herb teas. I used Constant Comment classic, my favorite.
After brewing the tea, remove the tea bags and stir in 1 cup of white sugar. Stir until dissolved.
Get out your packaged SCOBY, which contains both the bacterial and yeast cultures needed to make Kombucha.
Fill the container with a non chlorinated, bottled water until about three inches from the top. Slip the SCOBY and packaged liquid into your tea.
Cover the container with a clean cotton cloth, secure with a rubber band and store out of the sunlight in an area where it will not be disturbed.
Kombucha can take five to seven days to culture. Just leave it alone for that period of time. Part two of this post will cover the taste test and bottling process. Stay tuned for more !