I've been curious about kombucha ever since Zach Lutz wrote about here on Zoobird. That's Zach in the photo above. I tried it for the first time the other day at a coffee shop in Orlando called the Drunken Monkey.
And, just a couple of days ago, I followed Di Stobaeas's advice and stopped by a local cafe' called The Jones (it was delicious) and had some homemade stuff there. That's Di in the photo above! The waitress told me how to make it, so I thought I'd post some info about it here. I found a website with instructions and a video:
Have any of you made any kombucha? Do you have any tips to add? I hear one of the most important things is to make sure to wash everything very well.
I met WJ at our local organic grocer. He gave me a sheet of instructions he's followed that work well for him in his artisan Kombucha endeavors.
While I visited with WJ at the organic grocery, he showed me the commercially crafted Kombucha they had on the shelf. I have to admit, it was delicious. I tried "supergreen" and strawberry. I was hooked. But, face it: 99% of the beer you drink is gonna be cheaper than buying this Kombucha, even though it's easily worth twice what they're asking. You know what I mean. Either way, it's fun to make and I bet my K is ass kickin'! I have the best teachers, I'm sure.
This is the recipe for Kombucha WJ gave me.
I used some very interesting green tea that people seem to like. It's gunpowder tea and tastes great to me. This tea retails for about $2.00 in our local Asian grocery.
Gunpowder tea looks like little balls of tea.
Gunpowder tea makes good compost for your plants when you're done brewing it.
Pour the brewed tea in, make sure the liquid is lukewarm to room temp because if it's too hot it will kill the SCOBY mother. SCOBY is an acronym standing for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.
This is how the SCOBY mother looked when WJ gave her to me. She's cool, having been refrigerated to keep from spoiling. I hear from Saroj that it may not be necessary to refrigerate the SCOBY. She never does!
There's the SCOBY mother, ready to gently put in the tea liquid, "icky side" down.
Here's the finished batch, looking smug and happy. Somewhat like Lawrence of Arabia, no?
Saroj said "She says if you're using vinegar, it's not necessary to add the tea starter from your last batch. I say if you're using tea starter from the last batch, why use vinegar? I make the best kombucha I've ever tasted using yerba mate." Can I use a liter pop bottle since I don't have a glass jar?
Saroj Earl said: Congratulations & good luck with your first batch of kombucha. I'm certain you'll be enjoying your own fresh delicious brew when it's ready. Sorry, I don't know the science of kombucha. And I haven't experimented with length of time for fermentation. I consistently go from new moon to full moon or full moon to new moon, but I've seen that in the warm weather, the babies are much thicker and the taste is a little more vinegary so I often shorten the fermentation by a day or two in summer and lengthen when the winter is colder. I consistently use about 1-1/2 cups of organic cane sugar, haven't experimented with different sugars or amounts. I haven't tried adding fruit juices either. Oh, and I've never refrigerated a scoby. I had never heard that. Let me know if you learn more on that. I consistently get a kombucha that tastes similar to champagne to me.
Mike said: It's the first thing I have ever fermented. So, there's some science I don't remember. I've always wanted to try brewing. Just never did it. I've read about it a few times over the years. I know that the amount of sugar you put in and the time the brew ferments are two factors that affect the taste and strength. The cool thing about this kombucha is that you can make it with all the favorite teas: green, mate, black, and even flavor it with fruit. I just love the concept. And, I absolutely love how what I've tried so far tastes. I've tried three kinds: GJ's, Carpe Diem, and the homemade stuff from The Jones restaurant here in Gainesville:
"Kombucha tea has a harmonizing effect on the metabolism"
I didn't know it was OK to keep the SCOBY out, unrefrigerated. Cool!