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Published November 22nd 2020
Kombucha: a healthy alternative to soda
Kombucha can be purchased almost everywhere: it has become so popular in the past few years that it has also become a slightly expensive trend to follow especially if you are addicted to its taste and numerous health benefits. As an alternative, more and more people are brewing their own kombucha at home so they can enjoy all its flavours and the process of preparing homemade fermented tea. And the best part is that it is fairly easy and fun to brew big batches without spending more than a few dollars!
But what is Kombucha? Kombucha is actually a sparkling sweet and sour beverage. It is basically a blend of black tea and sugar fermented by a yeast called SCOBY. To make it simple the scoby transforms the sugar into living culture and acids creating a natural organic low sugar, fizzy, tasty and refreshing fermented tea called Kombucha! Advocates say it helps digestion, releasing body toxins and it boosts the energy. I absolutely adore the taste and when I have a craving for a sweet beverage, I don't feel guilty drinking plenty as it is pretty low in sugar but still very tasty!
Delicious, healthy and inexpensive homemade Kombucha
Here's an easy to follow, step by step beginners guide to make your own Kombucha. As you will notice, it is pretty simple but you will need to purchase a scoby for your very first batch. You can purchase your scoby and its starter liquid online or in an organic shop or even better ask a friend to give you one. The truth being that once you become a kombucha brewer, you grow also plenty of scobies that you are happy to give away to those in kombucha needs, see now you are part of a big community.
Start by boiling 8 cups of filtered water. When it begins to boil add your tea and let it sit off the boil for about 20 minutes. Once the tea is brewed, strain the tea and pour it into a large glass container. It is important that it is glass and not plastic or else! Add the sugar to the tea and stir well until dissolved. Add in the rest of your filtered water and let the temperature cool down. Once and only once the tea preparation is at room temperature add the scoby to your tea along with 1 cup of natural kombucha or Starter Liquid. Remember your scoby is a living culture so you don't want to kill it, this is why you have to make sure that the tea is not hot anymore. Cover the container with a clean dishcloth so your brew can breathe but you also want to avoid contaminations by flies so secure the piece of cloth with a rubber band. Place your container somewhere dark at room temperature in the back of your cupboard. Your scoby must be as snug as a bug in a rug (not too warm, not too cold)!
Work in progress. No need to say that it is essential to manipulate the scoby and all the recipients and tools with clean hands to avoid any contamination. Use soap not hand sanitiser as the scoby is a little sensitive beast
You have to show patience and let your brew ferment for 7 to 10 days. I know this is tempting to look what is going on, if it is working, if a unicorn or something weird appeared in the meantime, been there done that, but it is better to let the yeast and magical bacteria do their fermentation work without constantly moving or checking your brew. Keep faith and let mother nature do her job! Liquid should go from a dark brown at the beginning of the process to a light golden brown colour after fermentation.
As you can see (on the left) this is the colour of Kombucha after 10 days of fermentation Vs on the right at day 1
After 7 to 10 days you can now start bottling your golden brew, don't forget to save your scoby and 1 cup of your natural kombucha for your next batch (just repeat the above process) and pour the rest of your mixture into glass bottles, place them in the fridge and enjoy a glass of natural delicious homemade kombucha whenever you feel like it!
Don't forget to save your scoby and 1 cup of natural Kombucha to brew your next batch and so on, and so on...