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KOMBUCHA CHRONICLES

January 17, 2017

 

I love Kombucha. So much I thought I would try to make it. Here I am 2 months later, finally enjoying my 1 cup of amazingness. What I have learnt so far in the process, is that starting out small is always the best way to go. I am learning this a lot in life - it allows for mistakes but without a ton of loss in the end. I have learnt that I really didn't have to wait 30 days for each batch of Kombucha to ferment for me to begin the next one. If you leave it for only a week, it gives the drink a sweeter taste; however, 30 days may have been great for the first 2 batches to allow the SCOBY to grow. I will never know the answer to that question, but I will continue on with a week or two of fermentation for each future batch. Definitely check back in as I will continually be updating this post. But first...

 

What is Kombucha and why should you be wanting to drink this weird stuff?

 

Kombucha is a fermented tea made by adding a culture of bacteria and yeast to a solution of tea and white sugar. Its origins date back to ancient China and scientific research backs its many health benefits like gut and digestive health, detoxification of your liver, weight loss and preservation of cartilage which prevents arthritis. According to foodrenegade.com the only reason you are hearing conflicting evidence about the truths behind Kombucha is that, "As is typically the case in the U.S., no major medical studies are being done on Kombucha because no one in the drug industry stands to profit from researching a beverage that the average consumer can make for as little as 50 cents a gallon."

 

In saying that, there is some concern regarding making your own home brew. You must make careful consideration of the cleanliness of all of your jars and spoons while you make this - cross contamination is a real thing whenever you can or bottle anything at home. I would suggest running all of your tools through the dishwasher on the hottest setting (sanitize setting) and ensuring that you are using glass (ceramic containers can leech lead and metal can damage the SCOBY) and that the container is sealed properly and sprayed with vinegar every other day or so. 

 

Following the directions on my Cultures For Health starter pack, I was able to succesfully complete the first task. Which is to activate the SCOBY. Here is what I did:

 

  1. Combine 2 cups of hot water with 1/4 cups of white sugar (don't get fancy with other sugars, just stick to the recipe to ensure it works correctly)

  2. Add 2 tea bags of black tea (I used Earl Grey) and steep for 10 minutes. 

  3. Remove the tea bags and allow the tea to cool to 68-85F.

  4. Add 1/2 cup of vinegar and dried SCOBY to the tea mixture.

  5. Dampen a cloth or coffee filter with vinegar and cover the jar, seal with a rubber band. 

 

*Spray the cloth every couple of days with vinegar to keep mold and bugs away*

 

30 days later (you can also test after 7 days, and 7 days later etc. I stuck to 30 days)

 

BATCH 2

 

This is where you can decide to make a small amount (1 quart or 1/2 gallon). I stuck with the small amount because I was afraid to go BIG! So for round 2 this is what I did:

 

  1. In a new sterile glass jar, combine 2-3 cups of hot water with 1/4 cups of white sugar. Stir to combine. 

  2. Add 2 bags of black tea and steep for 10 minutes. 

  3. Remove  the tea bags and allow the tea to cool to 68-85F.

  4. Add 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1/4 cup of the tea you made from your first batch. 

  5. Add the SCOBY from your first batch of tea.

  6. Cover with a new damp cloth or coffee filter with vinegar and seal with a rubber band.

 

What do you do with the tea you didnt use? Throw it out...I think. Now I let this new batch rest for another 30 days. Apparently the longer it sits the more sour it gets. So they say 7-30 days. Use your own discretion. I thought again, 30 days will ensure a good strong batch. 

 

BATCH 3

 

I have decided, that I would like to make a larger batch of Kombucha so I followed the directions for a 1/2 gallon for this next batch. If you would like to see the full directions for the smaller amount (quart) you can refer to Culture For Health's website. 

 

  1. In a new sterile glass jar, combine 6 cups of hot water with 1/2 cups of white sugar. Stir to combine. 

  2. Add 4 bags of black tea and steep for 10 minutes. 

  3. Remove the tea bags and allow the tea to cool to 68-85F.

  4. Add 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1/2 cup of the tea you made from your first batch. 

  5. Add the SCOBY from your first batch of tea.

  6. Cover with a new damp cloth or coffee filter with vinegar and seal with a rubber band.

 

So what happens to the other 1-2 cups of tea from the second batch you made? Well I added 3 Tablespoons of fresh grapefruit juice and let that sit for 7 days. Then I drank it and I loved every second of it ha ha. 

 

I am letting this 3rd batch sit for 7 days, where I will taste it and decide how much longer I would like it to sit. 

 

BATCH 4

 

Will go something like this when I am done batch 3:

 

  1. In a new sterile glass jar, combine 6 cups of hot water with 1/2 cups of white sugar. Stir to combine. 

  2. Add 4 bags of black tea and steep for 10 minutes. 

  3. Remove  the tea bags and allow the tea to cool to 68-85F.

  4. Add 1 cup of the tea you made in your first batch. NO MORE VINEGAR!!

  5. Add the SCOBY from your first batch of tea.

  6. Cover with a new damp cloth or coffee filter with vinegar and seal with a rubber band.

Taste test after 7 days and make sure you continue to reserve 1 cup of tea from your last batch before you add fruit juices or bottle this batch up to drink. 

 

 

I wish you luck!! Please let me know how yours turns out and what worked best for you. 

 

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Becky is studying Holistic Nutrition and is focusing her research on advancements in mental  health and sports. She lives in Canada with her husband and three children. Becky is the creator and owner of Fête Essential Oil Co as well as Muse Nutrition and is also a food & drink contributor to Khachilife, a fine lifestyles magazine.

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