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DIY Guide to Kombucha

DIY Guide to Kombucha

That’s correct – It’s all about Kombucha!

Let’s face it, Kombucha is everywhere, and have you ever stopped to think why? Apart from it’s amazing health benefits, Kombucha is a tasty and fun way to look after your body, making it crazy popular but rather expensive. In this DIY Guide to Kombucha, we will not only reveal the wonderful benefits of Kombucha, but also save you some cash and a trip to the store by sharing our DIY Kombucha home recipe! 

 

Kombucha Explained

Originating over 2000 years ago in China, Kombucha is a fermented sweetened tea, usually made with Darjeeling black,  Organic green, or Pai Mu Tan white tea.

So, what makes it different from normal tea? Kombucha is made by fermenting the tea with a colony of live bacteria and yeast. (SCOBY) Symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast is added to the sweet tea and then left to ferment for a few weeks until it’s a sweet, yet tarty flavor. The SCOBY is then removed and the tea is bottled as Kombucha.

The best part is you can easily replicate this process from the comfort of your own kitchen!

 

The Kombucha Health Craze

So why exactly is everyone so crazy about Kombucha?

Well, Kombucha gives you all the fantastic wellness benefits of tea, and is jam-packed with numerous health benefits that your body will surely love you for.

Kombucha is known for these amazing health benefits:

  • Excellent source of probiotics – the fermentation process allows for probiotics to form, which improves overall health, inflammation, digestion, and even weight loss
  • Kombucha takes on the health benefits of the tea it’s made from: the rich antioxidant benefits of Darjeeling black tea, the nutritious benefits of organic green tea, and the cancer fighting Pai Mu Tan white tea
  • Antioxidants in every sip of Kombucha helps to protect the body against cell damaging free radicals
  • The high concentration of polyphenols and acetic acid allows Kombucha to fight undesired bacteria in the body
  • Great for reducing high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and cancers
  • Strengthens the immune system immensely, helping reduce the symptoms of Autoimmune Diseases
  • A fantastic method of pain management especially for inflammation, rheumatism, arthritis and gout

Incorporating Kombucha into your daily routine will ensure an array of amazing healing benefits to flourish in your body and lifestyle.

 

The DIY Kombucha Method

Here is your step-by-step complete guide on how to make the perfect homemade Kombucha.

There are 3 main steps involved in the process:

  1. Making your SCOBY (1-4 weeks)
  2. The first fermentation – Making your actual Kombucha (6-10 days)
  3. The second fermentation – Carbonating your Kombucha (3-10 days)

There are 3 important brewers notes:

  • Make sure your workspace and equipment is sterilized and clean (Clean is Key)
  • Allow your Kombucha to ferment in a glass container or jar
  • Keep an eye on the temperature (fermentation is quicker when it’s warm and slower when it’s cold)

Step 1: Making your SCOBY

Your SCOBY is one of the main and key ingredients in making the perfect Kombucha. A SCOBY is needed to ferment the sweet tea, keep the carbonation in and unwanted bacteria out!

Ingredients

  • 7 cups (1.6L) clean water
  • ½ cup (100g) white sugar
  • 1Tbsp loose Darjeeling black tea
  • 1 cup (235ml) store bought, unflavored Kombucha
  • A large glass/ceramic storage jar
  • A tightly woven cloth (cheese cloth, coffee filter or paper towel)
  • Rubber bands

Method

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a clean pot. Once boiling rapidly, remove from heat and add in the sugar to dissolve
  2. Add in the loose tea leaves and allow it to steep while the temperature cools down. Wait for the tea to reach room temperature before completing any further steps
  3. Strain the tea - removing the tea leaves and pour the cooled tea into the storage jar
  4. Add the store bought Kombucha (if there is any residue at the bottom of the Kombucha bottle add it into the jar as well)
  5. Cover the jar with a few layers of the woven cloth and safely seal it using the rubber bands
  6. Set the jar aside in a dark, still and room temperature space (like inside a cupboard) for 1-4 weeks, until a ½ cm thick SCOBY is formed
  7. Keep the SCOBY in its original tea until you are ready to start brewing your own Kombucha 

We all agree a grown SCOBY may look like a baby alien, so don’t worry if your SCOBY looks scary - it’s absolutely normal 

A fully developed SCOBY can be store-bought as well if you’d like to skip Step 1.

Your SCOBY can be used and reused many times and last you up to 2 years, when properly looked after and cared for. 

Step 2: The First Fermentation

So you’ve got your SCOBY done, and it’s time to start brewing your own Kombucha!

Ingredients 

  • 14 cups (3.3L) clean water
  • 1 cup (200g) white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Darjeeling black tea OR Organic Green tea OR Pai Mu Tan white tea
  • 2 cups (Starter Tea) unflavored Kombucha from a previous batch or unflavored store bought
  • 1 or 2 SCOBY’s depending on how many jars you are using (1 SCOBY per jar)
  • A large glass/ceramic storage jar
  • A tightly woven cloth (cheese cloth, coffee filter or paper towel)
  • Rubber bands

First Fermentation Method

  1. Bring the water to a boil in a clean pot. Once boiling rapidly, remove from heat and add in the sugar to dissolve
  2. Add in the loose tea leaves and allow it to steep while the temperature cools down. Wait for the tea to reach room temperature before completing any further steps
  3. Please make sure your tea is cooled properly, you don’t want to kill your SCOBY by adding it to hot tea!
  4. Strain your cooled tea to remove all loose tea leaves 
  5. Pour the cooled tea into a clean storage jar and add the Starter Tea Kombucha to it (if you are using more than one jar remember to equally divide the liquids)
  6. With extremely clean hands, lift your SCOBY and place it gently into the jar with the cooled tea
  7. Cover the jar with a few layers of the woven cloth and safely seal it using the rubber bands
  8. Set the jar aside in a dark, still and room temperature space (like inside a cupboard) for 6-10 days
  9. Begin tasting the tea on the 6th day – it should taste mildly sweet and vinegary 

Remember to set aside 2 cups of this tea for your next batches Starter Tea!

Your SCOBY may sink or float in your jar, don’t worry – it’s normal

Step 3: Second Fermentation

Let the flavor games begin!

In this final step of the DIY Kombucha – experimentation with different flavors to suit your palate is finally here! In this step you can customize your Kombucha exactly the way you want it.

Ingredients

  • Your own homemade Kombucha from the first fermentation
  • A sweet element (sugar, syrup, honey, or fruit)
  • You can experiment with flavors: fruit, candy, ginger – anything that you fancy
  • Airtight jars or containers (for carbonation retention) 

Second Fermentation Method

  1. Carefully remove your SCOBY and place it on a clean plate (see brewers notes)
  2. Strain your homemade Kombucha into the airtight bottles – leaving around 4cm open at the top
  3. Add your chosen sweet element and flavors
  4. Seal the bottle/container tightly
  5. Allow the Kombucha to stand in a dark room and ferment for 3-10 days
  6. Place in a refrigerator to slow down the carbonation process

Brewers Note: Leave some Kombucha from the first fermentation in the jar with your SCOBY, as you can reuse the same SCOBY multiple times 

You now have all the knowledge on Kombucha and a step-by-step guide to creating your own Kombucha! Whether you like Darjeeling black, Organic green, or Pai Mu Tan white, apples, raspberries or kumquats – You’re on your way to the perfect customized Kombucha!






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