Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Making Kombucha

A Kombucha "Mother" plus about 1 cup starter Kombucha from a friend
3 Quarts non-chlorinated water
5 Organic black or green tea bags (caffeinated)
1 cup white sugar


A large glass gallon jar, I use a lemonade jar with spout, but other jars would work too
Coffee filter and rubber band or similar
Canning jars and lids or bottles
A strainer with plastic mesh (optional)

Pour the water into a large pot and bring to a boil. Turn off heat. Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the tea bags and cover. Set timer for 15 minutes. Remove tea bags when timer beeps and let tea cool. You don't want to kill your "mother"! When tea is cool pour it into the jar and gently add the starter Kombucha and the "mother" so she floats on top. Cover with coffee filter and secure with rubber band. Set into a warm spot 70-80 degrees for 5-7 days. You can taste it after 5 days and see if the sweetness is right for you. The sooner you drink it the sweeter it will be. If you want more sugar to be fermented out of it, you can wait a little longer.

After 5-7 days you will see little bubbles and smell vinegar. The kombucha should be ready. Take out the mother with very clean hands or a plastic spoon. (Never use metal with live cultures) Put the mother and about a cup of Kombucha in a quart jar and set aside. You are now ready to bottle your Kombucha. Canning jars work well for me and I fill them as full as possible to retain some fizz. The kombucha is actually naturally effervescent. It just amazes me! Refrigerate when done. Pour into wine glass to enjoy!! I start the new batch right away and while it ferments we consume the jars I bottled up. It works nice for our family. There are other methods, such as continuous kombucha and secondary fermentation. Search the web for more information on those methods.
Good luck! Prost!

Note: you may want to strain some of the fuzzies out of there. I strain some and otherwise just fish out stuff when I open the jars. Your preference. In either case it won't hurt you any if you don't remove them. Do not use a metal mesh strainer since metal reacts with live cultures. It is somewhat difficult to find plastic mesh strainers. I found some on the "Cultures for health" website, but the mesh is not very fine and won't strain out much.

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