September 21, 2017
"You make what? What is it? What is that gross-looking thing in there??"
When you make kombucha, people have lots of questions about it.
What Is It?
Kombucha is a fermented, probiotic lightly-sweetened tea that is a little bubbly.
How Do You Make It?
It's really simple: heat 12 cups of spring or well water to almost boiling. Add 1 cup white sugar and 8 tea bags. Stir so that all the sugar is dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
In a one-gallon glass jar, add a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast—the gross-looking ingredient), 2 cups kombucha from the previous batch (or plain kombucha from the grocery store), along with the freshly brewed tea.
Allow to ferment in a large jar with a breathable cloth on top, secured with a rubber band, for a week or more. Remove the SCOBY, strain, and enjoy! Refrigerate the tea.
What Types Of Tea Can Be Used?
Black tea is suggested to be part of the tea used for every batch, since it's helpful for keeping the SCOBY healthy. You can also use green or white tea. I also like flavored teas (like peach, passion fruit, and spice teas), which are herbal or black-tea based. It's fun to experiment and find flavors and combinations that are delicious.
Why Should Anyone Bother?
Most people know that water is good to drink and should be their primary beverage. I sometimes like to drink something with some flavor. Kombucha is a healthy, tasty drink that adds some pizzazz to my healthy beverage options.
What Are The Health Benefits?
Due to the probiotics, enzymes and natural acids it contains, kombucha is helpful for digestion. It is rich in iron (due to it being released from black tea during fermentation) and B-vitamins, which helps to boost your energy levels.
Is "Second Fermentation" Needed?
Second fermentation happens when you take the tea after removing the SCOBY and add fruit, juice, and/or herbs to give it another flavor and more 'fizziness.' Bottle the kombucha with the add-ins for up to a week with a closed top to keep the bubbles inside. Grolsch-style glass bottles (flip-top) are good for this. Strain out the add-ins, and enjoy.
You don't need to do a second fermentation, but it can add to the variety of flavors you produce. I rarely do a second fermentation simply because I want to drink the kombucha sooner, rather than later!