How to make the perfect kombucha
Kombucha offers significant health benefits due to the presence of probiotics, and other beneficial biochemical constituents. The use of kombucha tea has been relatively less common, therefore, this article is mainly focused to highlight what is kombucha and how to make kombucha/how to brew kombucha, what is scoby and what does kombucha tastes like. Some people are also concerned that who invented kombucha, and what is kombucha made of, and how to make kombucha tea, as they are very conscious about its effects on the human body.
It is a sugary and is often fermented using scoby. Scoby term is used as an alternate for the symbiotic bacterial culture, and yeast. This bacterial culture is a close cousin to the bacteria used for making vinegar. This yeast, and scoby bacteria eats most of the sugar contents in the tea and causes the transformation of tea to slight sour fermented, and refreshingly fizzing beverage containing less sugar contents, and low calories.
Making Own Kombucha Scoby
Kombucha is an extraordinary source of probiotics and kombucha benefits the intestine health and overall body functioning of human beings. Kombucha tea is a good source of treating heartburn, depression, and arthritis. Kombucha scoby is an important ingredient of kombucha tea and can also be prepared at home. Sometimes scoby is developed in a good way, but sometimes there is an appearance of scoby mould, so brewers should be extremely careful to make own scoby.
Brewing kombucha may be a difficult task for the beginners as it needs some kind of expertise, and right measurement of ingredients. However, there is no need to worry about these things, as kombucha tea will never make you feel bad or sick. This tea can be brewed in any environment, however, brewing tea in dirt environment should be avoided, as it may cause contamination, and will adversely affect the quality of the final product.
Kombucha contains some alcohol contents that is released as a byproduct during the fermentation process. Usually, alcohol contents are less than 1%, so the consumption of many glasses will not cause consumers high. However, people having sensitivity for alcohol consumption should avoid this consumption. They can try some alternatives to reduce the level of alcohol in kombucha.
Kombucha tea can be easily made at home by using simple and smaller steps. Although, this process may look like complicated, and long, but in real this is very streamlined, and straightforward process. Once you get some practice, and rhythm, it can be prepared in only 20 minutes in 7-10 days. This tea can be prepared by using store-bought regular sugar, and tea. Scoby can be obtained from any store or friends. If scoby is not available in any nearby store, it can also be prepared at home.
Jars for Making Kombucha Tea
Kombucha tea can be brewed by following kombucha recipe and using appropriate kombucha ingredients in any high quality, and good jar. The use of 1-gallon jar is an excellent approach for the new users, as in this way they can easily handle all the practices. These jars are also available along with lids, and cheesecloths, so there is no need to buy these things individually.
Ingredients to Make Kombucha Tea
This tea can be prepared by following different kombucha recipes. However using 3 ½ quarters of water, 1 cup of sugar, 2 cups of starter tea, 1 scoby for 1 fermentation jar, and eight bags of green tea, black tea, and a combination of both black tea, and green tea is a good approach to make 1 jar of kombucha tea. Some users can also try adding 1-2 tablespoons of flavored tea such as Earl Grey, and hibiscus.
Kombucha tea is easy to make, and can be easily prepared by using stock pot, small funnel, any tight and clean woven cloth, paper towel, covvee filter, tea towel, or any clean napkin to cover the jar. Tea can be brewed in two-quart jars of glass, or 1-gallon jar made of glass. Some good quality bottles having plastic lids are also required. For this purpose, brewers can use any clean soda bottles or swing-top bottles.
Brewers should be careful during the whole process and should try to avoid any mismanagement and contamination, as it may affect the tea quality, and effectiveness. The prolonged contact between metal and kombucha should be avoided during and after the brewing process. This effect will weaken the scoby and will adversely affect the overall quality of kombucha tea.
- Making Kombucha Tea Base and Adding Starter Tea
Once the temperature of tea is decreased, the brewer should obtain the loose tea by removing strain, or tea bags. Now this is the right time to stir the starter tea that in turn will yield the acidic liquid. Resultantly unwanted growth of bacterial populations is avoided in the starting days of fermentation. The resulting mixture can be poured into 1-gallon jar or can also be poured into 2-quart jars. After this step, scoby can be gently added to the jar by using clean hands to avoid the contamination risk.
- Addition of Scoby, and Proceeding Fermentation
The mouth of the jar should be properly covered by making a few layers of clean, and tightly woven cloth, paper towels, or coffee filters. Preferably, it should be securely tightened by using good quality rubber bands. In this way, the entry of insects and flies can be easily banned and prohibited. This jar can be stored at any place to allow fermentation at room temperature. However, direct interaction with sunlight should be avoided. Fermentation should be allowed for about 7-10 days, and during this period brewers should keep a good check on scoby, and kombucha.
Sometimes scoby may float on the top or either it may settle down in the sides or the bottom. A cream-colored scoby layer formation will be evident on the surface after a few days of fermentation. Usually, this layer is attached to the old scoby, but sometimes these layers may be separate. So, brewers do not need to worry to must ensure this association or attachment. The brown, and stingy bits can be observed beneath the scoby that is generally settled down to the bottom in the form of sediments. Whereas, bubble formation is also evident during this process and it is an indication of healthy, and normal fermentation.
Brewers should start tasting kombucha after seven days by pouring some kombucha into a cup. Brewers can add this kombucha to the bottles after felling a balance between tartness, and sweetness according to their taste, and preferences. Next batch of kombucha can be prepared by making strong tea as described in the above steps. The bottom layer of scoby can be removed if it is getting thick in the jar.
- Bottling of Finished Homemade Kombucha
Starter tea should be properly measured from the kombucha batch and should be carefully set aside to prepare the next batch. This fermented kombucha can be poured to the bottles by using funnels along with any fruit, herb, or juice for adding good flavor. It is essential to ensure half an inch of space in every bottle to keep the room for infusion.
- Adding Flavors to Homemade Kombucha Tea
Although, unflavored, and plain kombucha is good beverage but some people may prefer to use flavored kombucha. Commonly, people are using fruit juices, whole fruit, ginger, whole spices, and fresh herbs.
- Addition of Fruit Juices
Addition of a few drops of juices to the kombucha containing bottles is a good way to add flavor to kombucha tea. The amount of juice can be reduced or increased depending upon the desired level of fruity taste. Some most common, and favorite flavors include pomegranate, mango, cranberry, grape, blueberry, and cherry. Addition of chopped fruits and fruit juices also accelerates the carbonation process as the sugar contents in these sources provides fresh meal to the kombucha.
- Whole Spices, and Fresh Herbs
Some chopped pieces of whole spices such as cardamom, cloves, and cinnamon, and fresh herbs such as basil, thyme, and rosemary can be added to give good taste and flavor to the kombucha tea. Some people have also reported the use of kombucha mushroom to add unique taste and flavor.
Addition of ginger juice or chopped pieces of ginger is helpful to make tingly, and spicy kombucha. Ginger can also be added alone or in combination with any other fruit. The use of powdered ginger should be avoided as it cannot be easily dissolved to the kombucha and will cause the development of gritty taste.
- Addition of Whole Fruit
Brewers can add some pieces of their favorite fruits to the kombucha to add good, and nice flavor. The pieces of fruits can be added to jars or directly to the bottles. If these are added to the jars, the jars should be properly covered, and steeped for some days followed by the straining and bottling. Here the formation of scoby can be observed on the surface of liquid, but there is nothing serious to worry about as it is normal and fine, and consumers can discard it before drinking kombucha.
- Carbonation and Refrigeration of Finished Product
The bottled kombucha should be stored at room temperature and its direct exposure to sunlight should be greatly avoided. The color changes to rock solids is an indication of good carbonation, and it can be ensured in 1-3 days. Use of plastic bottles is a good approach for carbonation. Whereas, the processes of carbonation, and fermentation can be stopped by refrigeration. It is strongly recommended that prepared kombucha should be consumed within one month to avoid any negative implications on human health.
- Making A New Fresh Kombucha Batch
The jar should be carefully cleaned after taking out all the kombucha tea. The above-mentioned same process and equipment can be used to make the next batch of kombucha.