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Brewing Kombucha for Beginners

Updated on September 11, 2016

For Starters

So let’s talk some booch. You know, the booch. Our tangy, cultured, bubbly friend of the fermented variety. Yes, I mean Kombucha. Aka, the booch. Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for the nickname, so I’ll settle with proliferating it.

I recently bought a 6 pack of gasket swing top bottles and transferred my 1st batch of Kombucha into their royal blue bellies. A whole lotta love.

The Nitty Gritty History

Since starting the brew I’ve read more on the particulars surrounding this elixir, and the vast quantity of information, down to the most delicate detail, is astounding. The type of water used, the length of fermentation, the amount of oxygen allowed, the color of the spots forming on the scoby, using vinegar as a starter, blah blah blah. I don’t mean to be sacrilegious, but come on, I just want to make some magic, not start a booch brewery.

So for my own beginner’s sake, and everyone else wanting a simple, jargon-free layout of process and benefits, let me K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid…just in case.)

Despite its more recent celebrity status, Kombucha is quite an ancient beverage, said to have originated in the early 200’s BC in Asia. It was referred to as the Tea of Immortality. It is a combination of water, tea, sugar, and a “mushroom,” or scoby, which is an acronym for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast (didn’t know that one either). It goes by other funky names as well, my favorite being the Mama.

Through a fermentation process of 7 days – 3 weeks, depending on your taste preferences, Kombucha is born! The mama will self-propagate, allowing for multiple batches, and/or the sharing of Kombucha mama love. The chart below is a great display for understanding the basic health qualities of this lauded elixir.

How to Make Your Own

There are plenty of websites and books available with extended descriptions of how to brew it, troubleshooting, and experimentation. The Cultures for Health is a site providing free ebooks on numerous fermentation projects. The ebook on Kombucha is a treasure trove for both Kombucha beginners and old timers wanting to go deeper.

***Important note to mention before starting is to NOT allow anything metal to come in contact with the scoby because it can damage it.

Now, a sweetly simple recipe for a u-brew, borrowed from StupidEasyPaleo.

Basic Ingredients:

1 SCOBY

8 black tea bags

1 cup sugar

1 gallon of water

1 gallon glass container

1 a breathable cover eg. – an old t-shirt, towel, layered cheese cloth

Directions:

  • Boil 64 oz of water (8 cups) in a large pot.

  • Add tea bags and allow to steep for 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags.

  • Add sugar and stir well.

  • Allow the tea to come to room temperature and pour into a clean one-gallon glass container.

  • Add 64 oz more water to the jar and place the SCOBY (along with any of the extra liquid it came with) into the container.

  • Cover with folded cheese cloth or a paper towel, and secure with a rubber band.

  • Allow the homemade kombucha to ferment in a warm, dark place for 7-14 days. This often depends on how warm it is. You may drink the homemade kombucha tea then or to do a second fermentation. This is usually done by separating the kombucha into smaller, tightly sealed bottles. The gasket top bottles are a favorite. The second fermentation is done to personal preference, but many like to do it for another week.

So if you’re new to the booch brewin’ like me, embrace the beginner status and enjoy!

3 stars from 1 rating of Kombucha

© 2016 Emily

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    • herownwings profile image
      Author

      Emily 12 months ago from Oregon

      Oh cool vespawoolf! I've never done water kefir before. Do you have an article on that? I'm glad I could help make things clearer. :) It gets even more fun when you use different types of teas or add berries for a variety of flavors!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 12 months ago from Peru, South America

      I've made homemade water kefir but haven't ventured into trying kombucha yet. This article is easy to understand and makes me want to try this delicious and healthy beverage. Thank you!

    • herownwings profile image
      Author

      Emily 12 months ago from Oregon

      Thanks! Yeah, the first few times I tried it I didn't like it either. I'd say it IS an acquired taste as you suggest. There are many different flavors you can buy as well as fruits/teas you can brew with the kombucha to make it more personally palatable.

      Thanks for your feedback. :)

    • cclitgirl profile image

      Cynthia Sageleaf 12 months ago from Western NC

      Welcome to HubPages!

      I didn't know all this about kombucha. I'm afraid I tried it once and didn't like it...perhaps it's an acquired taste, haha.

      But thanks for sharing this info - I learned a few things about kombucha and the process of it!