Kombucha – Home Brewed Elixir for Life
July 3, 2012 § 9 Comments
You know something has gone mainstream when you see it in Williams Sonoma. I saw the make your own Kombucha kit in their catalog and that’s a good thing. But you really don’t need to spend $70 on a home brewing kit. Kombucha is so easy to make at home and if you drink it daily, which you really should, it can be quite costly. Bottles of it sell for about $4 in stores.
I have a batch of Kombucha always brewing or fermenting actually. For those who don’t know about it, Kombucha is a sweetened “tea” that is brewed using a SCOBY, or symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. This scoby, or mother, or mushroom as some people call it, feeds on the sugar in the tea and turns it into a wonder drink. It has a strong, tart taste which may take some getting used to, almost like a mild vinegar. But when you know how good this stuff is for you you’ll get to like it. Really!
Number one on the list is detoxing the body. And we all know how many toxins there are out there bombarding us. Kombucha is a cancer fighter, balances your body’s PH, good for our digestive health, helps fight candida overgrowth, is a probiotic powerhouse and boosts energy. There are many articles on the health benefits, here’s a good one.
And don’t worry that Kombucha is a new fad, it’s been around for over 2000 years. I recently found out that my German grandmother used to make it.
Making your own supply is super easy. You’ll need a few basics supplies: Tea, black or green, organic sugar, and a Scoby. A glass jar, plastic or wooden spoon for stirring (never use metal to touch the Scoby), cheesecloth or other breathable fabric to cover the jar and a rubber band. For detailed instructions and a video to help make the first batch, check out the Cultures for Health website. Then you save some of the brew with the new Scoby to start your next batch.
If you don’t have a Scoby to start with, not a problem. You can start your own using a store bought jar of raw, unpasteurized unflavored Kombucha such as Synergy. You mix this with about a cup of black tea (don’t use herbal tea) which has been sweetened with a small amount of sugar. (a few tablespoons will do) Put this in a glass jar, cover with cheesecloth or even paper towel, secure with a rubber band and leave it undisturbed for about a week. You’ll see the Scoby forming on top of the liquid in the jar.
Here is the new Scoby is forming on top of the old one I am using to start my new batch. Once it’s done and you’ve saved some of it for the next brew, you can flavor the Kombucha. I add some fruit to different jars. One has lemon slices with a small amount of grated ginger in it. Another has slices of pineapple. Lemon and orange are really good.
You can give away the old Scoby to your friends so they can make their own. Or you can let it air dry and smear it with a little bacon fat and give it to your dog. It’s good for them too!