Saturday, 14 January 2017

Homemade Kombucha


As I mentioned here I'm not drinking alcohol during 2017. So far so good! I thought I would miss that relaxing glass of red wine on Friday nights, but actually I don't. Well, there have only been two Fridays since New Year's Eve :) Anyway, I think that kombucha is the perfect drink to sip on instead of wine. I like to pour my kombucha into a wine glass and maybe also add some frozen raspberries to make it more "special".

Blood orange kombucha with frozen raspberries
 
I used to buy small bottles of kombucha which are crazy expensive here in Sweden. But now for the last few months I've made my own after receiving a SCOBY (more on that below!) from a friend. When I first began brewing my own I thought it would be extremely complicated and time-consuming, but it's actually the opposite. It's so simple once you get the hang of it.


So what is kombucha?
It's a fermented tea! Doesn't sound that delicious? It is! It's fizzy like a soda but much less sweet and more acidic. More "grown-up" in taste.

Since it's fermented it contains live bacteria/probiotics which are super great for your gut. It has many other health benefits, but I actually mostly drink it because it's so delicious. If you like acidic and vinegar-y tastes, you'll love kombucha.

And what is a SCOBY??
SCOBY stands for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. It's the thing that makes it all happen (the fermentation process, that is) and as you see it's a combination of both bacteria and yeast. The SCOBY looks like a disgusting slimy little pancake but without it, no kombucha.

A SCOBY can be bought online or in some health-food shops. The simplest way, though, is to get one from a kombucha brewing friend, as you get an extra SCOBY in every brew.

How?
I loosely follow Sarah Britton's excellent instructions on her blog My New Roots (see her post here). I highly suggest you check out her guide before starting.

I mainly do like this:
  1. Brew about 1 litre (4 1/4 cup) of super strong tea (I most often use green gunpowder tea). I probably use about 2 tbsp loose tea. Let it brew for at least 15-20 minutes.
  2. Pour the tea into a super big (3 litre/12-13 cups) glass jar. Add about 1 cup (2 dl) organic cane sugar* and stir until dissolved.
  3. Fill the rest of the glass jar with cold water until almost full. Make sure that the tea is cooled down before continuing as the SCOBY will die if added to hot/warm tea.
  4. Add the SCOBY and about 1-1 1/4 cup (2-3 dl) pre-made kombucha (store-bought or from your last brew).
  5. Cover the glass jar with a tea towel secured with a rubber band.
  6. I usually let the tea ferment in room temperature for 10 days or until it tastes acidic and not sweet. If you want it less acidic, let it ferment for a shorter time.
  7. Now it's time for the second fermentation to make the kombucha fizzy! Remove the SCOBY and about 1-1 1/4 cup (2-3 dl) kombucha to be used in your next brew. You should have two SCOBYs by now, the "mother" and the new "baby". Use one of them in your next brew and give the other away,
  8. Pour the kombucha into bottles through a sieve with the help of a funnel. Add about 2/3-1 cup (1,5-2 dl) of fruit juice in every 1 litre bottle. My favourites so far are blood orange juice and grape juice. I also like to add some grated fresh ginger and a squeeze of lemon.
  9. Seal the bottles and put them in room temperature for about 2-3 days or until fizzy. Everyday during this time the lid has to be opened to release some pressure or the bottle might explode.
  10. Done! Store in the fridge. Enjoy!

*That much sugar!? I hear you say. Yes, don't panic. The sugar is needed for a fermentation to take place. It's food for the SCOBY and there won't be any sugar left in the finished kombucha if you let it ferment long enough.

2 comments:

  1. I've never tried kombucha, because as you said it is quite pricey, but I've heard so much about it. Thanks for sharing this recipe, I think I need to order some SCOBY.

    Kathryn | nimblenote.blogspot.com

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