What is Kombucha and how do I make it?

What is Kombucha and how do I make it?

Let’s talk kombucha making!

For anyone that has been living under a rock the last few years, Kombucha is a trend which has taken the modern health food world by storm. What you might not know is that it actually is rumored to date back to 200 BC China!

The drink is made from tea which is fermented with a symbiotic bacteria (scoby) and this has wonderful probiotic abilities- making it great for those of you like me with tummy probs.

Kombucha takes between a week and a month to make but once you’ve brewed the tea and left it to ferment it goes to work on it’s on and you can just sit back and wait to enjoy.

Here are some fun facts about Kombucha plus scroll down for a step by step guide on how to make the tea!

Fun Facts About Kombucha:

  • No one actually knows where kombucha comes from but there are tons of theories.
  • It originally became popular in America as a “cure” for Aids. Scobys were sent through the mail with the tag line “expect a miracle.” They also claimed it would restore movement in quadriplegics and stop hair from turning grey
  • Every scoby is a different yeast so no two kombuchas are the same- it’s a wild ferment and always changing so even two brews with the same scoby are different.
  • Because the kombucha is made through open top fermentation, the alcohol content stays low. The less sugar you use, the less alcoholic it will be.
  • Scientists believe it’s probably healthy but there is actually zero proof of any benefits.
  • Healthy alternative to mainstream soft drinks even if all the life changing health benefits aren’t real.
  • Don’t brew in plastic or ceramics because it holds onto bad things (bad bacteria)- funnily this is similar to laws of halacha and the idea that ceramic dishes “notein taam.”
  • SCOBY stands for Symbiotic Community of Bacteria and Yeast. The yeast is what makes the kombucha slightly alcoholic and the bacteria is what makes it acidic.
  • Why tea? Tea naturally is rich in vitamins, micronutrients, and has caffeine – however it is unclear if the caffeine stays after fermentation.

Baby Jazzie and her SCOBY hotel! A great thing to make if you have too many SCOBYs lying around.

Kombucha How-To

A step by step introduction into brewing your first batch of Kombucha. For this, you will need to have starter tea and a SCOBY.
Yield: 1.5 liters Kombucha

Equipment

  • 1 Glass Jar
  • Cheesecloth

Materials

  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Scoby
  • 7 Cups Water
  • 4-8 bags black or green tea
  • 1 cup unflavored starter tea

Instructions

  • To start, boil the water. Next, add in sugar and stir to dissolve. Add in the tea bags and let the tea steep until it gets to room temp. (You can do less water to make a tea concentrate and then add cold water to speed up the process if you’re in a hurry.)
  • Once the tea is at room temp, if it’s too hot it will kill your scoby, pour 1 cup of starter tea into your sanitized jar. (I sanitize with just boiling water as scobys don’t love soap.) Fill rest of jar with your freshly brewed tea.
  • Remove the teabags and place your scoby on top of the tea. (If it sinks that’s ok!) Cover the jar with a paper towel/ coffee filter/ cheesecloth and leave for 1 week up to 1 month. Technically the Kombucha is then ready to drink!
  • Second ferment: here’s where you add the flavor but you don’t have to- it’s also great as is.
    Take out the scoby !! Very very important.
    To flavor the kombucha you can drip in either fruit, dried fruit, a simple syrup, mint, etc. Close the lid of your jar and let the kombucha ferment for 1 more week. After a few days it should start to get bubbly and yummy! Best served cold- keep in fridge.

Check out my Kombucha Board on Pinterest for more recipes and ideas!

Good luck and happy brewing!

theisraelbites

I'm Jazzie, a 20 something wannabe globetrotter with Celiac Disease. Living in Israel and navigating being gluten free is no easy task, so I created TheIsraelBites to provide English speakers with information about surviving Celiac Disease in the Middle East.

2 thoughts on “What is Kombucha and how do I make it?

  1. Hi there. A couple of questions please. Where do you get the scoby from? What recipe did you use for your challah. Where did you buy the flour that you are using. Thanks! Love your blog/instagraming! Have a beautiful day! Yafa

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