Friday, February 6, 2015

The Beginner's Guide To Brew Your Own Kombucha

So #eatclean and #stayfit is your goal in 2k15 and you're running out of money to support your ~~*groovy hippie*~~ lifestyle because organic foods and drinks are SO expensive.
Don't give up just yet, go dump diving or something. Or make your own kombucha!
Kombucha is loaded with health benefits which you can google or click here to educate yo'self. 

Kombucha is a fermented tea drink so it's basically good for your guts. And it's cheap and easy to make! I'm super clumsy and my life is a series of unfortunate events -but if I can make my own kombucha, I guess you can too!

You'll need:
- glass container
-coffee filter/paper towel/towel to cover the brew
-elastics to secure

-black tea bags or loose (you can choose other tea, but black tea is best)
-white sugar (do not use other sweetener, honey or agave!)
-kombucha mushroom, also known as SCOBY or Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast, I know this sounds really gross and scary but it is a magical createur that will transform regular sweet black tea into a liquid health goodness (I get mine from eBay, or you can ask around a hippie community? You can make your own SCOBY from kombucha liquid but let's face it, ain't nobody got time for that!)
-starter liquid which can be kombucha you get from stores or use vinegar and water

What you need to do:
-disinfect your container with boiling water and vinegar, let cool
-boil a liter of water
-add around 8 grams of tea (1 tsp = 3 gr), a tea bag is normally 2 gr
-let seep for 15 mins
-add in the sugar, about 100gr (1 Tsp=20 gr)
-let the tea cool completely (!)

-pour the tea+sugar mixture to the container (strain if you use loose tea)
-add in a cup of the starting liquid (either kombucha or vinegar+water)
-with a clean hand (wash with warm water and vinegar) out the SCOBY into the container
-cover the container and use elastics to secure
-place the container in warm, dark place. like your ex lover's heart?! -I mean kitchen would be ideal but i have flatmates and I don't want them to see the SCOBY and freak out, so I keep it in my room.

-you may check your brew after 1 week, try if the taste is to your liking
-you can let it brew for 1-2 weeks (until the taste is ok for you), 3 weeks max because it probably will get too sour to drink
-so if you like the taste of your kombucha you can remove the SCOBY and the newly formed baby SCOBY (everytime you brew kombucha, the SCOBY will give birth to a cute bby gremlin of SCOBY)
and drink it. Or...

-if you want to have your booch fizzy because you're craving soda, you need a second fermentation in which you remove the SCOBY off the kombucha drink and store it in an air-tight bottles. You can also put different flavors if you wish when bottling your kombucha. Use thinly chopped ginger, or frozen fruits and your imagination - the options are endless!
-put the bottle in warm dark place and let it ferment for few days (2-14 days)
-when you like the taste you can strain it or drink it right away.
-store in fridge to stop the fermentation.
-enjoy your own brewed kombucha and instagram it and brag about it at the next dinner party and brew some more and give it to all your friends!

*do not use metal object like spoon or fork to discard the SCOBY or to taste the brew
*it's totally cool if the SCOBY is floating on top, sideways or make itself comfy at the bottom of the container or have like brown strings attached to it, however if you see molds: abort the mission! Discard everything and start from the beginning with a new, healthy SCOBY and be more careful, also: revise your life.
*use the baby SCOBY for your next brew, the mama SCOBY still can be used or stored with a bit of kombucha liquid before you use it again
*I would gladly share my SCOBY baby if you're interested in brewing your own kombucha
*because of the fermentation, kombucha gonna contain a tiny bit of alcohol (about 1%), not that you need to worry about it, but I just feel like putting it out there.
*I got my glass container and bottle from Ikea (the Korken series), about 2,50 euro each.
*use organics if possible, but normal black tea and sugar works perfectly fine too.
*singing Ed Sheeran songs to your kombucha will not make it sweeter - the shorter the brew period the sweeter it will taste. The longer you let it brew, the more sugar will be consumed by the SCOBY. 
*happy brewing!

the SCOBY floating on top // day one of brewing

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