Health

How to Make Your Own Kombucha

BY Dave Freeman, Eco18.com TIMEJuly 24, 2013 PRINT

Kombucha is a holistic tea that is derived from fermenting sugar with a living culture known as a SCOBY, which stands for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.

Frequent users claim the drink detoxifies the body and energizes the mind, but no substantial evidence has proven this.

The taste can range from very sweet to tart and vinegary depending on how long you let it brew. Some people are skeptical to try this beverage but the ones who are daring enough usually get hooked immediately.

When starting your first home-brew one must have a few essential supplies, the first being a glass container big enough to hold a gallon of tea.

Next you will need a pot big enough to boil the water, measurements are based off a gallon batch size. Ingredients you will need to make your batch of Kombucha are: 6-10 bags of organic white, black or green tea–or a variety of all three; a cup of sugar, which will act as a catalyst for the culture; and lastly your SCOBY for short.

This living culture can be found in any bottle of Kombucha bought at your local Whole Foods store. You will want to store your Kombucha in mason jars so the rubber keeps the jar airtight. Once all the supplies are at hand you are ready to get started.

1. For best results use a gallon of store bought purified water just in case there might be any impurities in the tap. Turn your stove on high and cap the pot until it boils, once it comes to a boil remove heat and add 6-10 bags of choice tea.

2. Strain the tea bags after they have been soaking for a few minutes and remove them from the pot, then pour in 1 cup of sugar and stir until fully diluted.

3. Let the batch cool before transferring it into the glass container, this typically takes around an hour or two. I recommend leaving the lid slightly cracked to release heat yet keeping dust and other particles out.

4. Once the batch is cooled pour the tea into your glass container and add the bottle of Kombucha. It is important to know that every batch needs about 10-15 ounces of starter liquid from the previous batch in addition to the SCOBY.

5. After pouring your SCOBY and starter tea into the mix, it is time to cover the glass container. To do so, fold a clean bandana in half and place it over the top of container, this will aerate the tea while keeping any unwanted particles out. Fasten the bandana with a rubber band and place the tea in a dark area. Typically 2-3 weeks is the normal brewing time but is subject to the individuals preference, the longer you wait to bottle the more tart the tea becomes.

6. When bottling Kombucha, fill the jar all the way to the top and fasten the lid tightly. Let the bottles sit in room temperature for four days before refrigeration, this helps the carbonation process. After four days your bottles should be adequately carbonated, place your bottles in the refrigerator and enjoy the following day.

Eco18 is a collective of creative-writing individuals from different backgrounds with a common goal—to live a healthier, more natural lifestyle. Their combined expertise, humor, and opinions explore green and sustainable in a practical, fun way. www.eco18.com

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