Further to my recent post about the health benefits of Kombucha, here is an easy to follow recipe for brewing your own Kombucha tea. Have fun and happy brewing!
You will need:
- 1 Komucha Scoby
- I gallon distilled or filtered water
- 1 cup of Organic cane sugar
- 6 tea bags (or tea spoons) of tea
- 1 glass jar (at least 1 gallon in size)
- tight weave cloth or coffee filter paper and an elastic band
To make a 1 gal batch of Kombucha tea
- Bring 1gal of distilled or filtered water to a boil. After the water starts to boil, slowly add 1 to 1 ½ cup of organic cane sugar. I suggest you do not use non-organic sugar, honey, or maple syrup, agave, etc. when brewing kombucha. Alternative sugars may not provide the kombucha yeast cultures with the correct food source so are not recommended.
- Stir & cover solution, then simmer for another 10 min or until sugar is completely dissolved. Tea/sugar solution may be boiled in metal or glass container.
- Remove tea solution from heat. Add 6 tea bags (6 teaspoons) worth of green tea or black tea and allow solution to steep for 10 minutes. After 10 min. remove tea bags, cover, and allow solution to cool to room temperature. Always keep tea solution securely covered with a tight weave cloth or coffee filter paper
- Transfer tea solution to a glass container for brewing the Kombucha culture, and add the Kombucha Scoby Mushroom culture ensuring you never allow metal or ceramic to have long term contact with the culture. IMPORTANT NOTE: ADD KOMBUCHA S.C.O.B.Y. MUSHROOM and STARTER LIQUID ONLY AFTER TEA HAS COOLED TO ROOM TEMP !
- Fit your covering cloth (or coffee paper) to the top of the container and secure with an elastic band (the culture needs to breath) and allow the inoculated tea solution to set undisturbed in a warm place out of direct sunlight
- Make sure not to fill the brewing jar to full (it should be level with the straight side of the jar not up into the rounded edge.
- Make sure that the smoother white side of mushroom faces upwards, it may float or sink, and this is ok either way. However, by gently placing the culture on top of the tea it should stay towards the top. If it does sink, the culture should start to rise to the surface as gases are forming in the fermenting tea.
Tea will be ready to drink after 5 to 14 days of fermentation, depending on temp (around 75 -85 deg F is ideal) and amount of sugar added (more sugar = more time). If checking pH of a finished batch of tea, it should be around 3; a reading of 4 is to high and 2 to low. Checking pH can greatly reduce the chance of contamination of the culture & is highly recommended!
To make new batch of tea, make sure to Save 10-15%of the old tea solution (as a starter to lower pH below 4.6) and one or two layers of the kombucha mushroom. When it is time for a new batch, just follow the directions above to start the process again.
Helpful Notes & Tips:
- Number problem for most people is getting the temperature at the correct range. You may need a heating device to keep the culture between 75-85 deg F.
- Using organic ingredients will keep the Kombucha cultures healthy & strong as most non-organic food is highly processed, contains anti-caking agents, chemicals, pesticides, and preservatives that may weaken the culture over time.
- Always keep liquid tea covered with a tight weave cloth to prevent contamination via molds or insects.
- Always use distilled or filtered water (city water contains chemicals added & well water has many bacteria that the Kombucha cultures will have to compete). Boiled well water may be fine if it is good quality & free from pathogens.
- Always use food safe lead-free glass container – a Pyrex bowl or gallon size pickle jar works well. Following these basic safety & hygiene guidelines will keep your Kombucha culture healthy, strong, and safe to drink for a lifetime.