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kombucha, scoby, fermented tea

Kombucha (fermented tea)

It’s all about the GUT health! And kombucha is one of those little gems getting around the health food stores lately. But what if you could make it from home? For a fraction of the price? Keep reading…

 

Firstly you need to get your hands on a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast): You can buy one, get one gifted to you or make your own.

 

To make your own:

Ingredients:

1 bottle of unflavoured Kombucha (you can buy kombucha from the supermarket/health food store).

2 tea bags (try for organic)

500ml of boiling water

2 tablespoons of rice malt syrup

 

  1. Make 500mls of black tea. While the water is hot, add 2 tablespoons of rice malt syrup. Mix until the syrup is thoroughly dissolved, then cool until room temperature.
  2. Pour the kombucha and the cooled tea into a glass jar. Cover the jar with a tea towel. Secure with a tight rubber band.
  3. Ferment the tea in a warm spot, 20-30 degrees Celsius (68-85 FH) (out of direct sunlight) for approximately 7 days.*

* After 7 days it is common to see a baby SCOBY develop across the top of the liquid. It starts off as a clear film and then becomes thick and white as time goes on. It is recommended to wait until the SCOBY is more than ½cm thick before using it to brew the first batch of kombucha tea. This may take up to 30 days. If no signs of SCOBY development appear after 3 weeks, discard the batch and start over.

 

MAKING YOUR KOMBUCHA

Ingredients:

1 litre of filtered water (chlorine from tap water can kill the SCOBY)

¼ cup rice malt syrup

2 black tea bags

½ cup of pre-made kombucha (from above)

1 SCOBY (from above)

 

Directions:

  1. Boil the water and pour into a glass jar.
  2. Add tea bags and steep for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the tea bags and allow the liquid to cool to room temperature. The broader the jar the better. It allows the liquid more contact with oxygen. I personally use large coconut oil jars.
  4. Add the pre-made kombucha and then gently place the SCOBY on top (it may sink to bottom, stay on the top, twist in the middle. Any is ok!). Cover the container with a towel and again secure it with an elastic band.
  5. Allow to sit in a warm spot, out of the sunlight for 7-10 days (7 days is be plenty in warm weather). If it’s cool, stick the bowl on the top of the fridge or microwave. A ‘baby’ SCOBY will form on top of the liquid at around 7-10 days. You will be able to see the original ‘mother’ underneath. Remove both SCOBYs and store them in a glass container with 1 cup of kombucha. Or start a new batch (or two).
  6. Pour the kombucha into a glass jar or bottle and refrigerate. I love adding a bit of ginger to mine as kind of a ginger beer. You can also add frozen berries etc. Experiment!

 

A few interesting facts & tips about this funny little SCOBY:

  • The baby and mother SCOBY may cling together or separate
  • The brown stringy floaties are OK. Strain them if you desire.
  • There may be some fizz, a lot of fizz, or not much at all.
  • Use boiling water to sterilise all equipment used during your SCOBY making
  • Black tea works best over herbal teas (which often contain oils)
  • If the liquid smells off or rotten throw it out. If the SCOBY is mouldy throw it out, however, if there is no mould on the SCOBY it is still ok to use. You can keep your SCOBY for months, but once it turns black, throw it out and start again. Each time you will grow a new SCOBY, so saying goodbye to a SCOBY now and then will not be an issue.

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