I’m gifting a scoby to a coffee shop goddess I met over in Alpine. She makes a seductive London Fog and an espresso so worthy of mouth flavoring that Hermes would bring it to all the gods.
She also sold me this little espresso clay…thing…setup?
So far I’ve only used it for whiskey shots.
She brought earthenly delights into my life so I had to return the deliciousness in my own way.
I get excited at the idea of people loving kombucha as much as I do, and asked if she’d ever tried it. She said no and so now I’m giving her a scoby to make her own.
I was going to write out all the instructions on a sheet of paper for her, but this way it won’t be lost and you Interneters can get my four months of wisdom too 😉
The Kombucha Basics:
Brew tea, add sugar, let it ferment for seven days.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is fermented tea. I’m sure you’ve had other fermented drinks 😉
Kombucha is also amazing for your gut flora and since drinking it I feel brighter, more alert and my memory has improved.
Use Google for more information if you’re interested. It knows more than I do.
Sugars To Use:
Organic cane sugar is best since it feeds on it naturally. I’ve also had success with coconut sugar and love the earthy flavor to it, like molasses.
The sugar I use currently is this one.
Sugars To Avoid:
Xylitol (I almost killed my scoby with this one), Splenda, Erythitrol, Honey
I start the ferment with about two tablespoons of sugar and increase the amount each day. There’s debate on if this matters but I just enjoy doing so. I add about a 1/2 teaspoon more each day.
You want pure water in order to not harm the scoby. I use Icelandic Water. Hard water can hurt the scoby. Check the water in your area here
The scoby does need caffeine in order to thrive. I am caffeine sensitive so I do an herbal blend of tea with 1/4 green tea added. Brewed separately. (Herbal needs boiling water while green needs a lower temp to not burn the leaves)
Since you’ll probably be making a gallon of tea it is best to use “too much” tea for the initial steep and then pour in plain water. This also speeds up waiting for the water to reach room temperature.
Here is an excellent tea brewing guide.
Go ahead and use the amount of tea needed for a gallon (or how much you want to brew) in your tea pot and then just add the water after.
I’ve heard tales that if you use green tea you can use honey as your sugar
Your scoby needs to be at 74-82 degrees in order to not overferment at high temperatures and in order to not die from cold temperatures.
I use a tiny heater set to one, about 1.5 feet away and that maintains a fairly good temp, but you need a thermometer to test it each day. You can also get heating pads that maintain temperatures for fermentation.
- Acquire a scoby. I got mine here and it is strong. It even survived xylitol and me figuring out you can’t get the water too cold…or too hot.
- Brew your tea, add 1/4 cup sugar, and let it come to room temperature (see notes on sugar tea above).
- Add about two cups of the last brew or find a neutral kombucha at a store to add. This is not necessary but will speed up the ferment.
- Cover the jar in a nut bag or paper town with a rubber band. I didn’t have a rubber band and just tied it.
- Store in a dark warm room for seven to ten days. Do not leave in direct sunlight.
- Drink each day so you can find out where your taste preference is between sweet and tart. I’m about to get these straws for ease.
- Bottle the kombucha so it stops steeping. You want to use dark bottles to keep the nutrient benefits alive.
- Second ferment with herbs for a few days in wine bottles or plastic, away from direct sun but still in a warm room. This can also make it bubbly, but that’s not as simple as it seems.
For the second ferment I love lavender, or cloves, or vanilla. There’s plenty of recipes online though and even in this epic book I just got on Amazon: Kombucha Revolution: 75 Recipes for Homemade Brews, Fixers, Elixirs, and Mixers
Enjoy your hours and all the liquids you put in them 😉