How to Make Your Own Kombucha
My thoughtful little brother bought me a Kombucha Brewing Starter Kit for my birthday. I've been wanting to make my own Kombucha for a while now, especially since Whole Foods opened right near my office and I've been finding myself in there multiple times a day (buying over-priced $3.99/bottle Kombucha and other over-priced things that I saw on Instagram and must try such as $8.99 for Siete Almond Flour Tortillas. I'm not saying these things aren't worth it...they certainly are and that's why I keep going back for them BUT I'm trying to figure out which of these products I can make on my own (the almond flour tillas are up next). I prefer to make everything on my own so that I know exactly what goes into it and also can save money for my kids to go to college.
The Booch Kit from my bro included everything you need to get started. They also give you a "VIP" login code to access videos, blog posts, recipes and other content to get started. I will say that their content is a bit dated (old ass videos), but it still has all the necessary info.
This was definitely a learning process. I followed all initial directions but also learned a lot along the way. I highly recommend getting a starter kit for your first batch because it had everything in it - pH strips, cloths to cover your jar, starter tea, etc. The ONLY thing it doesn't come with is the actual jar to brew in so I ordered that on Amazon.
FIRST, let's talk about this gross looking scoby gel patty thing. It took me time to get over how gooey and slime-y it was, but after doing some research and understanding that this is the mother of the booch (and all of it's healthy benefits), it grew on me (and literally...grew while brewing). Scoby stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast and it is used to ferment the tea.
Included in the Kit:
- Kombucha Culture (scoby + 1 cup starter tea)
- Organic Cane Sugar
- Loose Leaf Tea with reusable tea bags
- 2 Cloth Breathable Covers with Rubberbands
- pH strips for testing
What Else You Need:
- pot for boiling water
- wooden stick for mixing (not stainless steel)
- straws for tasting
- 1 gallon jar to make booch in (I ordered this one on Amazon)
What to Do & Tips:
- Add 4 cups boiling water to your jug
- Add 1 cup organic cane sugar and mix
- Add reusable tea bag filled with 5 tsp. of the loose leaf tea. Mix and let sit/brew for 10-15 minutes
- Remove tea bags, add 10 cups cold water, mix and let cool to room temperature (about 10 minutes...scoby does not like heat)
- Add scoby and 1 cup starter tea to jug (if using the kit, your scoby is provided in the starter tea so you can just pour that in. For your second batch, you will save about a cup of tea from your first batch to use as your starter tea)
- Cover with breathable cover and rubber bands. TIP: I used both breathable covers provided in the kit and all 3 rubber bands to ensure it was tight
- Place jug in a cool place (not in the refrigerator). TIP: I put mine on the kitchen counter which doesn't get much sunlight.
- Use a straw to taste test kombucha after 5-10 days. TIP: I tested mine on day 5 but it was still very sweet and not fizzy/bubbly. The longer you wait, the less sweet and more fizzy it will get. I ended up adding in flavors to some of the kombucha around day 6 and these were sweeter/less fizzy. I waited until day 11 for the rest of my batch (tasting every other day until it had the desired fizz/sweetness).
- Optional: Add flavors. I blended fresh strawberries with hot water to make my flavor. TIP: I the added about 10-20% of the strawberry flavoring to each mason jar and filled the rest with booch.
- Bottle: once your booch has reached the desired sweetness/fizzy-ness, remove your scoby and bottle it up. I used mason jars for my first batch but am ordering swing cap bottles for my second batch which I read are better at sealing in the air. TIP: Always make sure to leave about an inch of air at the top so the booch doesn't explode when you open it. You can also open your bottles every few days to "burp" it and let the air out while it ferments. Also, I removed my scoby with cleanly washed hands and placed it in a large pasta bowl while pouring out the kombucha. I poured through a small net strainer to catch the leftover scoby strands.
- VERY IMPORTANT: Make sure to leave about 10-20% of the kombucha tea in your jug with the scoby and cover with the lid (not cloth) until you are ready to make your next batch. You will need this liquid with the scoby as your "starter tea."
- NOTE: It doesn't matter whether your scoby sits at the bottom or top of the jug. I noticed around day 5 a second thinner scoby formed. This is normal. You can either save this in a jar in your cabinet as a "hotel" scoby to be used for a later batch or toss it. If it's stuck to your first scoby, then you can either pull them apart or keep them together for the next batch.
- NOTE 2: Don't be alarmed (like I was) if small baby scobys form in the top of your individual bottles. This is normal. You can strain the tea out and either save the scoby in a jar in your cabinet for a later batch or toss it.
So Why Should You Make This Crazy Stuff? (The Benefits)
- packed with probiotics (needed to reboot your intestinal flora which can be weakened through poor diet or taking antibiotics) providing essential nutrients for digestion and balancing good vs. bad bacteria to help gut health
- fermented foods boost immune system
- contains amino acids
- increases mental clarity and mood stability
- regulates appetite and increase metabolism and weight loss
I normally don't ever cook with added sugar (even if it's organic cane sugar) but it seems that's the only way to get your tea to ferment. I typically opt for a natural sweetener such as organic honey, pure maple syrup or dates, but I don't think they would get the job done here. I'll have to do some research on that but for now, I'm going to drink my booch because I think that it's worth it for all of the other benefits (and love the taste).
Finally, you should name your brew. Mine is LEXSENTIALS BOOCH :)