Kombucha is an ancient Asiatic beverage. Believed to have started in China, then Russia, it has spread around the world as a health giving beverage. It is best known for detoxifying the body and energizing the mind.
The Kombucha “mushroom”, or “fungus” is actually a Symbiotic Culture Of friendly Bacteria and Yeast or “SCOBY” for short. This living organism ferments sweetened tea to become what is known as the kombucha beverage.
The living culture in this drink helps to restore good health and prevent illnesses.
There are many different recipes using green or black tea, herbs, ginger or combinations.
Kombucha can enhance the properties of herbs to intensify their healing abilities.
There are many different recipes using green or black tea, herbs, ginger or combination. Kombucha can enhance the properties of herbs to intensify their healing abilities.
How to make your kombucha:
Before you start: Wash and rinse your jar thoroughly. Each jar is hand made and the capacity will vary. Fill the jar with water leaving a gap of about 4-5 centimetres from the top. This space is needed so the kombucha culture has room to grow and breathe. While you have the jar filled with water make sure the tap is fitted properly and does not leak. If necessary tighten the tap by holding the back nut (inside the jar) then by holding the tap on the outside twist to tight. Discard the water and you are now ready to brew.
Remember you are making a health tonic. Use filtered or spring water and organic or high quality herbs and teas. Never boil your water/tea in aluminium pans.
Choose (only if you want) to use: Either black tea (may raise blood pressure and help increase body weight) or green tea (may lower your blood pressure and help decrease body weight) You may just choose herbs. When choosing herbs never use herbs containing oils (ask your naturopath or health food store if you have any questions) Fresh herbs will require about 7 times the amount of dried herbs. Kombucha will enhance the properties of the tea or herbs you are using.
Depending on the amount of kombucha you wish to brew, multiply the recipe
eg, if you wish to brew 6 litres multiply this recipe by 3.
- 2 litres of boiling water (no aluminium pans)
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 2-4 teabags or 2-4 tablespoons of loose tea or herbs (If using fresh herbs multiply by 7)
- 1 healthy kombucha SCOBY or culture
- 1 cup of fermented kombucha or mother tea (If you do not have mother tea you will need to buy a bottle of already brewed kombucha)
- Add the sugar to the boiling water and stir until dissolved.
- Add the tea and or herbs to the water and allow steeping for 10-15 minutes.
- Then strain the tea or remove the tea bags.
- When the mixture is cooled, pour into your jar.
- Add the kombucha culture and the mother tea. Make sure to secure the top of the jar with muslin or cheesecloth to keep insects out. The cloth needs to be larger than the circumference of the jar so there is enough overhangs to secure the cloth with a rubber band.
Brewing Time: The time will vary depending on the amount of mother tea, the temperature, etc. It is more important to go by the taste of the tea, making sure it tastes like cider and the sugar has been changed over. The first batch will take about 8-10 days. If you are diabetic or want to lose weight you may want to wait about 14 days. During colder months you will need to add a couple more days and you may need to purchase a heated base to control the temperature.
This method keeps the kombucha continually brewing in the jar. It allows you to dispense kombucha daily and top up the mixture as you go, as opposed to waiting for individual batches.
To do this, allow your kombucha to brew for the desired time (see above). When ready, dispense 10% of the tea and store the unused portion in the refrigerator. Then add 10% of new tea. Do this the first couple of times then the tea in the jar will become stronger, and you can add 30% of new tea to the brew each time. For example a 6 litre brew will produce 1.8 litres of kombucha a day. Make sure you allow the new tea mixture to cool before adding. If you top up with new tea in the evening it will be ready by the next morning.
We recommend dispensing the kombucha into glass jars and storing in the fridge for consumption. By putting the kombucha brew into the fridge it will prevent the kombucha from continuing to ferment and will keep for weeks.
Maintenance: The tap will need to be removed and cleaned out when it becomes blocked. Make sure to not use any soaps or chemicals, just hot water. Carefully remove the kombucha and tea. Remove the tap and flush with hot water. Clean the tap and jar and rinse thoroughly. Place the tea and kombucha back in the jar when finished. If you do need to replace your tap remember to use a food grade plastic tap as you do not want any metal to come into contact with the kombucha.