A special request from Jane Smile to post this recipe! I have started making kombucha with honey because we are currently on the GAPS/SCD diet, which doesn’t use refined sugar at all. Basic black tea kombucha recipe here.
Makes about 3 quarts (litres)
- 3 litres (quarts) non-chlorinated water
- 4 bags organic green tea (about 3T loose green tea)
- 3/4 c raw honey
- kombucha mushroom (SCOBY)
- 1/2 c kombucha tea from a previous batch of sugar and black tea kombucha
Bring the water to a boil, add the honey and dissolve. Add the tea bags and cover the pot (I use a stainless steel stock pot). Let this steep well and cool to room temperature.
Remove the tea bags and pour the liquid into a gallon size glass jug. Pour in the kombucha 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.
If you are looking for a SCOBY you can find people willing to give them to you at the wonderful site www.kombu.de.
There is some controversy over whether honey kombucha is as effective as sugar kombucha for detoxing. The enzymes in the honey will eventually deplete the Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast and the kombucha won’t work. I get about four batches before I need to use a new SCOBY. Also be sure to use fermented kombucha tea from a batch of sugar and black tea kombucha to get enough appropriate micro-organisms in your brew. Honey and green tea kombucha tastes great, but it does get less potent as time goes by. Be sure to keep aside some black tea kombucha SCOBYs to keep for just making regular kombucha.
This kombucha is very light and delicate and quite delicious. I am not sure but I might like it even more than the regular version. Enjoy!
P.S. Another tasty treat is to do the double fermentation method (basically just add some freshly pressed and strained fruit juice–apple, grape etc–to your jars when you are bottling the kombucha after the ten day fermentation has begun, let ferment 48 hours then put in your fridge and drink it. Check out this link for a detailed description
As far as I understand, if you let the kombucha ferment for longer than usual, all the sugar is eaten up in the process. I have read about this on the GAPS yahoo group and I personally ferment mine until it is quite sour. Anyway, I have read that some people do use honey and it works. Nourishing Traditions says that white sugar rather than honey works better – but I forget why.
Anyway, just thought you should know that you can use sugar if you let it ferment long enough.
Thanks so much for that info, this is a good point, to let the ferment time go for longer to eat up all the sugar, thanks for that, I hadn’t thought of doing that yet.
You are right NT says that sugar and black tea are better for producing the glutathiones which are so good for detoxing the liver, and I think I have noticed that I can drink much more of the honey kombucha without getting the herxiheimer reactions I get if I drink too much sugar kombucha…
Some interesting info here: http://www.sulis-health.co.uk
I do confess I am also boycotting refined sugar here in Canada as they have planted GMO sugar beets despite the research showing how dangerous they are.
Anyway thanks so much for letting us know about using the longer fermentation method for folks on the GAPS, SCD or other sugar-free diets.