I finally realized that even though I spend a lot of time raving on about the wonders of kombucha I haven’t posted a basic description for how to make it. Every ten days I follow this routine which provides me and my man with tasty kombucha tea while the next batch ferments on the countertop. Halve the recipe if you are the only one drinking the kombucha tea.
- 6 liters (quarts) water
- 8 bags strong black tea
- 2 c sugar
- kombucha mushroom (SCOBY)
- 3/4 – 1 c kombucha tea
Bring the water to a boil, add the sugar and dissolve. I often like to use unrefined palm sugar or raw cane sugar instead of refined sugar, but this gives the kombucha a different sort of flavor, the refined sugar is meant to be the best to use for kombucha and gives it a light and crisp flavor. I just don’t like using Rogers sugar as I heard they were using GM sugar beets. Add the tea bags and cover the pot (I use a stainless steel stock pot). Let this steep well and cool to at least room temperature.
Remove the tea bags and pour the liquid into a two gallon glass jug. Pour in the tea and place the mushroom on top. (When touching the mushroom be sure to wash your hands properly first). I cover my jar with a small plate to keep out dust and flies, some people cover it with a dish-towel held in place with a rubber band. Put the jug in a warm(ish) place that is out of direct sunlight and leave it for 7 to 11 days. This time will depend on how sweet or sour you like your kombucha and what the temperature is. In the summertime I can often just leave it for 8 days, in the winter I might even leave it for 12.
I also recommend starting to drink only about 1/4 cup of the kombucha tea in the morning and night and slowly raising the amount to about 1/2 c. This is especially important if you do have a weak liver or a desperate need to detox. If you tummy feels a bit funny lower the amounts until your body has cleaned itself out a bit. You may also experience a Herxheimer reaction 3 to 10 days after starting to drink the kombucha. This is a good sign, but if it is a severe reaction stop drinking it for a couple days and reintroduce it in very small amounts.
Variations of all types can be made. You can substitute various types of sugars as I mentioned earlier, you can use various teas, green or red, although it is said that the best healing properties come from black tea and white sugar. It is advisable to use organic tea if you can afford it, but if you can’t regular is better than not making it at all. I also advise not using lapsang souchong as it makes the tea bitter and smoky. You can also add various herbs or spices. Ginger is a favorite.
Every time you make a batch of kombucha a new baby will form. I generally just leave this baby on the mother mushroom until it gets rather large or until someone needs a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). I keep a gallon jar full of extra SCOBY’s with plenty of kombucha liquid to sit in in my fridge. These I keep on hand for anyone who would like one. Since I got my first baby for free, I always give these out for free and have posted my information to the site www.kombu.de. Over the last year I have met some very interesting and wonderful people through this kombucha connection, it is an excellent way to meet like minded people.
If you need a baby (SCOBY) and are in Vancouver, BC please let me know through the contact for above. There are also places that will send you a baby in the mail if you can’t get one locally.
I would also love to hear of your experiences with drinking or making variations of kombucha recipes, please feel free to post them in the comments section below.