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Kombucha 101

Kombucha is a “brew” that dates back thousands of years. In ancient China it was touted as a beverage enabling people to live forever.

Kombucha contains high levels of antioxidants, B-vitamins and probiotics. It has been reported to aid in liver detoxification, improved pancreas function, increased energy, better digestion, improved mood, killing Candida, nutrient absorption and likely more. The reported minuses are potential amounts of alcohol, trace heavy metals and candida.

Although Kombucha is brewed from sweetened tea, most of the sugar ferments out, so it has minimal effect on blood sugar. It can be made with caffeinated, decaf, green or herbal teas.

Kombucha’s key ingredient is a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Yeast and Bacteria) that “eats” the sugars in the sweetened tea and creates an acidic, vitamin and probiotic rich beverage. SCOBY’s look like brown jellyfish-like blobs and can be found floating in most Kombucha’s store bought or otherwise. They can also be bought online dehydrated (here) and even made from scratch.

In fact if you collect enough SCOBY’s (which happens quick) there is a cool “apple pie” candy that you can make from them, check that out here.

 

Kombucha Tea 1st Ferment

1 gallon size glass jar (must be very clean and dry!!)
1 gallon of brewed sweetened tea
1c coconut sugar sugar (no honey!)
1 SCOBY and ½c of liquid from a previous batch of Kombucha (can be store bought)
1 coffee filter or thin cloth and a rubber band
8-10 small bags of black tea

Boil tea, add sugar to dissolve


Let tea cool COMPLETELY otherwise you may kill your SCOBY


Pour into the glass jar, leaving just over an inch of room at the top. Add previous Kombucha


With very clean hands, gently place SCOBY at the top of the jar. It should float, although not necessary


Cover the jar with the coffee filter or cloth and rubber band tightly


Put the jar in a warm place where it is at least a few feet away from any other fermenting products


Let sit to ferment for around 7 days, time may vary depending on temperature


Test by carefully sipping with a straw avoiding the SCOBY. It should taste tart but slightly sweet


Kombucha is ready for a second, but optional ferment that gives it the “soda fizz”


Store in airtight jars and seal until ready to drink.

 

Kombucha Soda 2nd Ferment

Fruit juice is what makes Kombucha carbonated and slightly sweeter!

1 gallon size jar or 5 quart sized jars
1 quart of fruit juice (grape or apple ideal, never citrus or pineapple) or ½c frozen berries
1 gallon size jar (only if you are starting a second batch of tea)

Reserve 1/2c of the Kombucha tea in a clean cup, with SCOBY included, for future batches, set aside


Pour 1qt of juice into the gallon jar or divide between smaller jars, filling jars about 1/5 full


Pour the finished Kombucha into jar(s) until about 1 inch from the top


Tightly cap jar(s), leave at room temperature for another 2-7 days until carbonated to your taste.


Refrigerate before drinking or pour over ice, never shake, it can be pretty fizzy!


Pour Kombucha reserve with the SCOBY and remaining juice into a very clean and dry gallon jar


Repeat the steps above for the first fermentation to start another batch

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