While kombucha has been around a really long time, I think it has only really gained such widespread popularity in recent years due to the Paleo diet and other whole food lifestyles making a resurgence. I remember the first time I tried kombucha, I was skeptical about it. The smell is not what I would naturally lean into and that other funky stuff in there honestly didn’t exactly have me licking my lips. I did try it though and it was better than it looked. Since then I have tried more different store bought flavors than I can remember. Let’s be honest though, at $3-$4 dollars a bottle it’s not exactly something I am picking up every day.
Drinking kombucha on a regular basis is a really good idea though. The cultures in the kombucha are incredibly beneficial to your health!! The probiotics are a major necessity for your gut health. Not only that but it also has a plethora of other benefits. It’s full of healthy acids, enzymes and helps to detoxify the body. Kombucha is a slightly carbonated beverage that is a great alternative to sodas as it is slightly sweet yet, when properly brewed, it is low in sugar.
So how do you incorporate this health boosting drink to your day without breaking the bank?? Brew your own! A good friend of mine suggested this to me and gave me a SCOBY, which is a symbiotic culture of bacteria & yeast. These SCOBY’s can also be purchased on Amazon if you don’t have anyone making one available to you. It looks super funky!! Kind of like a super dense booger if we’re being honest, but a magical one!
So, how do you do it?? It starts with a super dark brewing of black tea, about 16 cups. I boiled 8 cups of water and added 12 bags of black tea and left it covered for over 10 minutes. Then add 1.5 cups of sugar and mix until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then transfer the sweet tea to a large glass jar (it must be glass so it does not interfere with the fermentation) add the remaining 8 cups of water and wait until the tea is cooled to room temperature. Then add the SCOBY along with about 1 cup of plain kombucha and cover with a tea towel or cheese cloth and secure with a rubber band. Place this jar in a dark, room temperature place where it won’t be disturbed for at least a week. Be patient! After 7 days you can take a peek to see how things are coming along. The SCOBY will have grown significantly and the whole mixture will have that unmistakable kombucha smell. There will also be yeast tendrils coming down from the SCOBY which is good!! Mine wasn’t ready until day 9.
At that point the first brewing of kombucha is complete. You will need to remove the SCOBY and place it in a jar with about 1 cup of the kombucha so you can start again. There will also be a SCOBY baby which will look like what you started with. Place that in a jar with a cup of the kombucha and pay it forward to an unsuspecting but certainly grateful friend.
Now you can either drink the kombucha the way that it is or you can go for a second brewing. I immediately went for a second brewing because I was excited about the option for adding different flavors. The idea is that you portion the kombucha out into smaller glass containers and add fruit juice or other sweet flavorings and continue the brewing process. The kombucha will continue to feed on the sugar of whatever flavorings you put in with it causing it to ferment further and also to carbonate!! It’s pretty amazing to see how that happens. The drink stays low in sugar because the bacteria feeds on the sugar in the fruit juice using it up. The variations that I did were blueberry and basil, watermelon, mango, and Ningxia Red with honey.
Here are the instructions that I followed for a more thorough explanation. They are very easy to follow and he also has a follow up video about the second fermentation process.
Don’t delay, get your home brewing on!! Hope you all are well!!