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!

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§ 9 Responses to Kombucha – Home Brewed Elixir for Life

  • Jenny says:

    I received my WS catalog yesterday and noticed their Kombucha kits for quite a hefty price. This is something I have been wanting to try~I’ll pin this for later as we’re in transition mode at the moment. You have a beautiful blog! Thanks for sharing.

    • Agi's Farmhouse Kitchen says:

      Hi Jenny and thanks so much for the comment. Making Kombucha is so easy though the first time it’s all a little foreign. Waiting for it to be ready takes the most time! Glad you liked my blog!

  • cliff says:

    I have some every day (about 12 oz., total), and it’s pretty amazing— if only for the (ahem)… digestive benefits. My liver is probably happy, too. However, while it may be easy to make, we’re outta counter space. So we buy it. For anyone wanting to try it, I’d suggest buying it for about a month, and then see if you want to invest in the home-brew thing. Also, you may want to experiment with the “dosage”— it can be powerful stuff.

    • Agi's Farmhouse Kitchen says:

      Yes it is powerful stuff! In many ways. The taste is strong and foreign but you can add some spring water too at first if you like.

  • I want to start making it from the store bought Kombucha. I am asking for someone to explain how much I should save from bottle to add to the 1 cup black tea. Do I use the entire bottle to the 1 cup tea and how much to save to continue making it?
    Many thanks,

    • Hi Joanne,
      I’m a little confused about your question. To make kombucha using tea, you need to have a ‘mother’ or SCOBY (see my post) This is what will transform your tea into kombucha. You also need sugar, the SCOBY feeds on this. If you don’t have one, you can get your own using unflavored store bought kombucha and letting it sit, covered, in a warm place (see post for links on exact directions) Hope this helps. There are many videos on how to make your own, it’s super easy!

      • Thanks for the response. I apologize for any confusion. I was curious about how much of the store bought Kombucha to use (the entire bottle or just save some of it) for growing the SCOBY. I will look for video and check out your other posts for directions.
        Thanks again!

      • You’re welcome and if you have trouble finding directions just let me know!

  • […] Spirulina kombucha is my latest concoction. Simply add a teaspoon of Spirulina powder to your homemade kombucha (click for recipe).  Next, squeeze half a lemon into your blend. Go easy on the lemon if […]

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