Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Homemade Kombucha

After recently becoming interested in the process of fermentation in food, I am embarking on a project: making my own kombucha! A type of fermented tea that is often mixed with juice, I have been drinking kombucha for about a year. The fizzy drink is becoming incredibly popular in natural food stores, as it boasts great health benefits, and I usually drink a bottle a week at my local Co-Op. But after speaking with several individuals who make their own kombucha, I have not been able to get the thought out of my mind.

Below I outline the first steps in making kombucha, which takes around 3 weeks. In following posts I will divulge more information

To start the process you must first grow a mushroom-type object call a SKOBY. You will need:

1 large mason jar
cheesecloth and rubber bands
Organic white tea
1/2 cup Sugar (the kombucha will eat the sugar so don’t skimp!)
4 cups Water
1 store-bought bottle of raw kombucha

Boil a large mason jar in water for 5 minutes to kill any bacteria that may already exist. As with any canning procedure, everything must be kept very clean. In a large pot brew 4 cups of organic white tea. I used 4 tea bags. Boil the water for the tea no less than 5 minutes to insure cleanliness. Allow the tea to completely return to room temperature.

Pour the tea in the clean mason jar with the cup of sugar. Finally, pour the bottle of raw kombucha tea into the jar, cover the top with cheesecloth and secure it with a rubber band. Place the jar in a room-temperature location where it will not get disturbed for 3 weeks, until a disk-shaped SKOBY is formed.

The photo above shows a jar that I began last week, and you can see the growth forming at the surface already! Stay tuned for more!

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