May 29, 2019
A cell food, kombucha is a healthy, life-giving and healing alternative to fermented or carbonated drinks. It’s really not difficult, and inexpensive to make – not to buy, though! Until I began to make my own, I could not afford to drink kombucha, and had purchased exactly two pint-sized bottles in the last four years (that’s simply a fact). Loving it so much, and with the one gallon batch gone in three or four days, I decided to split my kombucha SCOBY into two batches, and share the process here with my readers, to demystify it for you, hopefully. I cut the SCOBY in half as evenly as I could with a paring knife. It reminded me of my granddaughter Emily’s placenta home, which Kathy stretched like a cathedral in her hands, delivering Nichole’s afterbirth while my daughter Emily and I watched (she was birthed with the same midwife I used when I had my two children). This inspired my daughter Emily to become a doula, and when I saw Nichole before she died, she told me she would always feel honored that her daughter Emily’s birth is what led to my daughter (her sister-in-law’s) passion and life work. Truly, a SCOBY is a living creature: it felt like meat (as I used to remember, as I’m vegetarian going on three years now). I haven’t used sugar in four years, so to me this is a dessert drink!
The SCOBY is from Amazon and was about $10.00. I had been researching this a few years now, and it’s not necessary to spend more on your starter SCOBY – it’s how you feed it that counts as it matures. For the tea, I used 1/6 English Breakfast black tea and 5/6 gunpowder green tea in this batch. The previous batch (last image in slideshow) was made with Twining’s Jasmine Green tea, and is very crisp and delicate, like a fresh apple. I think it’s so amazing on it’s own, with a complex yet delicate bouquet (I used to grow hops and brew beer lol) that the thought of adding flavoring is, for now, just silly to me! I’m new to kombucha (this is only my fourth batch), so am I experimenting in gradual steps, building my foundation to veer from wisely. And yes, I should be using better, cleaner teas. I do the best I can with with what $$$ I have.
Ingredients: Two gallons of home-distilled water, used to make the tea as well as fill the jars, which a 50/50 tea and water, a SCOBY in each jar, and 1 cup white cane sugar in each jar.
Process: Put a SCOBY in each clean jar, add one cup of sugar (the SCOBY consumes the sugar as its food while fermenting), fill halfway with room temperature tea made with distilled water, and add distilled water to bring up to one gallon. Seal, bless with intention, and place in a dark, undisturbed place for a week to ten days. The target optimal temperature is 71′-74′ F.
Done time: After a week, test by placing a straw with one end capped in, and releasing into a spoon or cup (not your mouth, you don’t want to contaminate with saliva if you need to test twice!) If it is sweet, give it more time. It’s perfect if the sweet edge is gone. If you see a bit of blue aspergillus mold (not harmful, basically penicillin like on bread), it’s done and then a bit over done. Stop before the blue begins. After three batches, I feel confident about a nine day batch time! Strain through clean cheesecloth or a small gauge seive into bottles, cap tightly and refrigerate. So delicious and good for you!
Tip: If it gets cool in the house, set the darkened jar (kept in a dark box or covered with a towel) on a plate atop a bowl of hot water, and use your wrist to baby-bath-water-check it =)
Tags: cell food, distilled water, doula, homemade, living food, kombucha, non-GMO, probiotic, SCOBY, tea