Wednesday, September 19, 2012

When is tea not tea? When making Kombucha

Some time ago while reading dear Cinnamon's blog I read about this strange drink called Kombucha. I was intrigued by the idea and as left it at that.

A little while later as we were looking at making some dietary changes I again looked at the idea and even though I am NOT a tea drinker I liked what I read about the health benefits (there are many places to read more about this) to give this a try. Thankfully Cinnamon was most very generous and sent me a 'scoby' for starting our first batch.

We use the Double Fermentation Method and have been making this since about March this year. Just recently Autumn  has taken over the making of this from me as it is her most favourite drink, and so she wants to keep the supply up.

So on to the recipe. I have used mostly the recipe from Food Renegade  since the very beginning and here is how we do it.
First off bring to the boil about 7.6 liters of water
Add  about 10 bags of tea. I have used a mixture of simple black tea and the Green Kombucha . We tend to use about 8 regular to 2 Green tea mix, but I think you could mix this up too.
We add our sugar, 2 cups of white sugar and dissolve (not honey or any other sweetener, the sugar does get changed chemically and is simply food for the yeast)  at this point with the tea bags.
We leave the tea bags in till it reaches room temperature
This is the scoby, in some left over Kombucha from before
Pour your tea mixture into some glass wide mouth jars (do not use metal or plastic for jars or for handling the scoby either) and place the 'scoby' along with half the liquid it is sitting in, into the jars.
Place a coffee filter or even paper towel over the top with a rubber band to prevent insects or dust from entering. Do not place a lid on top as it needs oxygen to ferment!
Put into a dark cupboard or area for about a week.
About day 5, remove the scoby and set it aside on a plate, pouring about a half cup of the fermented tea mixture over the scoby to keep it moist.  Put it in the refrigerator. Every other batch or so, you’ll be able to separate the old scoby  from  it's new growth which will have grown on top of the old scoby. (It may separate on its own, or you may just pull them apart.) When that happens, the new growth will become the scoby for your next batch of kombucha tea.  The old scoby can be passed on as a gift or discarded.
Keep the scoby and about 1/2 cup of the old mixture to restart your new mix
Now you are ready to add some fruit juice and ferment the second time.
We add about 1/2 a cup of grape juice ( our choice flavour) to each bottle and then evenly pour out the 'tea mixture into the bottles.
Frankly we are not exact in this part but even it around.

However I do do a straining process during this phase to reduce any small 'bits n pieces' that might have come off the scoby form entering the finished product.

Place bottles back in your dark place for about 48 hours and then refrigerate.
Note well: if you are in a hot climate they will continue to ferment and get fizzy which could lead to explosions, so place in fridge to avoid this.

Before drinking you may want to strain again as  a slight scoby may have accumulated  during this last phase.

Start the tea process again so you have a continual  supply of this drink.
We use this as a 'tonic' once a day and every one gets a small glass maybe around 100ml as a requirement.

This post was done at the request of Father John and Father Augustine whom we gave a glass full of before we left Tasmania.
I wish you happy brewing Fathers!

There are many sites that have ideas and recipes for this drink simply google them and you will get a lot of information.

Blessings to you and your homes,


Emily Fay said...

Thank you for sharing your journey in this! I am very intrigued ~ I am going to have to look up more on it. Hope you are settling in well and enjoying a lovely day~

Cinnamon said...

It is good isn't it. I like it because it works. Helps with upset tummies which makes us all feel better :-)


Kelly Casanova said...

I'd love to have a go at this, is there anywhere specifically in Australia where you can get the scoby?

Kelly Casanova said...

I also wonder where you can buy the kombucha green tea bags?

Gae said...

Dear Handmaden,
I can send you a scoby if you are interested. I got mine from Cinnamon and they traveled really well :)
Just let me know.

Sadly I have not been able to get the kombucha green tea bags in Aus, yet. I may one final source still.

Let me know if this interests you
God Bless


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