I love, love, love, Kombucha, however it did take me a little bit to get used to it. I always heard about people making their own but to be honest, it kind of freaked me out. I mean, you are growing a fermented mushroom. Also, I have never done anything like that before. Well, I was doing some research on making your own homemade Kombucha and found a recipe where you could grow your own from scratch using a bottle of plain store bought Kombucha. I decided to try it out, what could it hurt… I mean, if it didn’t turn out I could just start over. Actually, I expected to have to try this a few times. But, it worked perfectly the first time! So, I decided to share my experience with y’all! In case you are like me and didn’t know who to get a SCOBY (mother mushroom) from and didn’t want to get one from a stranger.
This process does take a month longer because you have to grow the Scoby. Here are the materials you will need for the first round:
·One bottle of plain Organic RAW GT’s Synergy Kombucha. It has to be plain! You can add flavoring later.
·One glass jar. I used a mason jar. Metal lids are fine just don’t let the liquid touch the top of the lid.
·3 tea bags. You can use green or black tea. I used Choice Organic Black Tea.
·2 tbsp of sugar. I used Organic Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar. *Don’t use any natural alternative sweeteners such as agave, brown rice syrup, stevia, or honey. Bacteria feeds off of sugar.
·Cheese cloth and a rubber band.
Here are the steps:
·Boil 2 cups of water and add tea bags and sugar. Allow to steep for 10 minutes.
·Remove the tea bags and stir to make sure the sugar is dissolved. Allow this to cool until it becomes room temperature.
·Pour this into your jar.
·Add the entire bottle of Kombucha to the jar.
·Cover with cheese cloth. I folded it 4 times to make sure it was thick enough that fruit flies couldn’t get into it. Secure with rubber band and place in a warm dry place. I put mine on top of my fridge.
·Don’t move for at least 2 weeks!
I’m impatient and knew I couldn’t have it somewhere I couldn’t see without moving it so I placed it where I could view it. I let mine set for a month. The longer you let it set the longer it gets to ferment. Also, the SCOBY gets thicker. I would check on it after 2 weeks. Every house is different so it might grow faster or it might take longer. But by being summer time it probably won’t take a long time.
Here is a big thing, if it has ANY MOLD whatsoever on it – THROW IT OUT AND START OVER! DON’T TRY TO CUT IT OFF, THROW IT OUT!!!
Here is a picture of when I first placed it on the fridge:
Here is a picture after 3 weeks of sitting on the fridge:
I let it sit for 1 more week, so I grew my SCOBY for 1 month. Here is a picture of what it looked like after taking it out of the jar:
These little guys are tough so don’t worry about damaging it while taking it out of the jar. Also, save the rest of the tea that is in the jar to add to your new brew.
Now, we are ready to start brewing the Kombucha!!! Woo! This process only takes like a week so don’t worry, you are almost there!
Here are the things you will need for your Kombucha:
·Your homemade Scoby, plus its starter tea.
·1 Glass half gallon jar
· ½ cup + 2 tbsp sugar/evaporated cane juice. *Don’t use any natural alternative sweeteners such as agave, brown rice syrup, Stevia, or honey. Bacteria feeds off of sugar.
·4 bags of black or green tea.
·Cheese cloth or a very clean dish towel. * I used a jar that had a lid and just made sure the liquid never touched the top of the jar.
·Stainless steel pot.
·A very, very clean work place!
Here are the steps for brewing your tea:
·In your large, stainless steel pot, boil the 8 cups of water for a full 10 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the sugar with your metal spoon until it is completely dissolved.
·Add the tea bags. If you use loose leaf, make sure you steep it in a metal mesh infuser rather than dumping the leaves in. You don’t want any stray leaves disrupting the fermentation process.
·Let the tea steep for about 4 hours. This allows it to cool and strongly infuse.
·Make sure your jar is CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN! If you clean it right before, let it sit in the refrigerator so the heat from cleaning it doesn’t kill your SCOBY bacteria.
·Remove the tea bags and pour your cooled tea into your jar.
·Wash your hands and fish out the SCOBY from its original container and put it in the jar. The instructions I followed said smooth side up but when I put mine in, it did whatever it wanted too.
·After this step, no more metal. (I know, I know, you can still listen to metal while finishing this if you wish, just don’t use it in your Kombucha).
·Put the lid on or stretch the cheesecloth over the top of the jar.
·Let it sit for 1 week minimum, 1 month maximum. Do not brew for more than a month! The longer you let it brew, the yeastier and less sweet it will be. I let mine sit for a week and a half and it was still pretty sweet and tastes delicious! It tends to brew faster in warmer areas or with tea containing higher amounts of caffeine.
Here are a few tips:
After your brewing time has elapsed, make sure your hands are clean and fish out your scobies. Yes, scobies plural! Each time you brew, your mother Scoby make a baby one, both of which can be used to brew their own batch. Transfer them to another incredibly clean jar and pour enough newly brewed Kombucha to cover it. Store the Scobies and starter tea in the refrigerator until you’re ready to brew a new batch. If you want to brew 2 batches with the baby and the mother Scoby, separate them into two jars just before brewing and double the above recipe. This will make 1 gallon instead of just 8 cups. You can keep your Kombucha in the big jar or you can transfer it into individual glass bottles. I use my old Kombucha bottles from the store. Don’t use anything except glass to store them!
During the entire process always check for signs of contamination. If your Scoby produces anything resembling mold or if your Kombucha comes out tasting or smelling very strange. Get it out of here! Throw it all out and start over! It should smell very yeasty, like beer, with an acidic tang, like vinegar. You will be able to tell if it has gone rancid. If you are going to add berries or fruit juice to your Kombucha to flavor it, only do so after brewing, not before fermentation. Don’t use bleach on any of your Kombucha equipment. Mild dishwashing detergent is just fine! Home brew is much stronger than commercial brands so take it slow and enjoy your homemade Kombucha!
I used the instructions from http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/2010/05/how-to-grow-a-motherscoby-from-store-bought-kombucha/.
Ozark Natural Foods is not responsible for the outcome of your Kombucha.