How To Make Kombucha
A few important notes before we get started;
Metals should never be used with Kombucha and therefore you should always ensure that you remove all jewellery before you start especially rings but you may also want to consider removing necklaces if they dangle and may come into contact with your Scoby (metals only need to be kept away from the scoby and the finished drink. You do not need to worry about metal kettles etc.). We personally use plastic utensils (saves accidents) however metal spoons can be used to stir the tea BEFORE you add your Scoby. Once the scoby has been added, DO NOT USE METAL. Another thing you may want to consider if you have a metal sink is using a plastic bowl in the sink if you are working over the sink as the Kombucha Scoby can be VERY slippery!!!
Second, if you are diabetic you must NOT drink Kombucha without seeking the opinion of your doctor, and if you are on any heavy medication, it might be best to check out whether Kombucha is suitable to mix.
It is best to introduce Kombucha into your system slowly. You do not want to add too much goodness too quickly as it can overwhelm the system and you need to give your body the opportunity to naturally adjust to the changes. A small glass daily (1/4 pint) is enough in the first week; this can be increased to a larger glass in the second week and then in the third week if you want to you can drink more.
In regards to the Kombucha cultures themselves, they require a balanced temperature, not too hot, not too cold, so do not expose them to extremes.
Finally, when not brewing, always keep your Kombucha sitting in a good amount of sweet tea or its own juices. This is imperative.
And don’t worry, it might seem a bit complex now, but you will pick it up very quickly and once you have done, it will seem very simple and will be exceptionally rewarding.
(we recommend you read this thoroughly before starting)
To brew Kombucha you will need;
- A glass container/jar of some description, we use jars that hold approx 2 litres and all the information below is geared towards brewing in a 2 litre container.
- Tea bags – we use organic tea, and it is imperative that all brewing is done using a base of ‘real’ tea, be it green, black, white etc.
- Sugar – granulated.
- A tight weaved cotton or muslin cloth and elastic band to cover your jar
Okay, boil a kettle full of water. Put six tea bags into your glass container, then add between 160 and 200 grams of sugar to the container. We usually go for nearer 170 grams, but this is preference.
With tea bags and sugar in your container, when your kettle boils, pour the boiling water into the container in which you have placed your tea bags and sugar (but NOT your Kombucha!! You will add this later). Stir your boiling hot container full of tea and sugar, then wait half an hour before removing your tea bags, and then leave to cool.
Wait until the container’s liquid is cool to touch, by that we mean, if you stick your little finger in, it feels no more than barely warm, and closer to cold. Cold is best, but naturally cold, not freezing. With the tea bags removed place your Kombucha in the top of your container, the lightest side upwards (don’t worry too much if this is hard to gauge). The Kombucha will either float, sink or something in between, all good. If the tea starts to seep over the side of your container with the addition of your Kombucha, it’s fine to let some of the tea out. With your Kombucha floating in the tea, put a piece of cotton or muslin over the container top, like you do with homemade jam. Then find a spot for your container, this should be somewhere out of direct sunlight but in a room of a relatively balanced temperature.
Now, judging the readiness of your Kombucha drink is not a scientific process. You will come to ‘know’ when it is brewed, but don’t worry, before you have gained this knowledge for yourself, we offer this advice. Your Kombucha will take between 6 to 14 days to brew. Take a look at the darkness of the tea when you first put your Kombucha into it, then note how the liquid changes colour over the passing days. The colour will change, to a degree, and the liquid will become slightly cloudier. Our recommendation is that, after three days you pour a very small amount into a glass and have a sip. If the brew tastes fruity and not tea like, it’s ready, if not, leave it another day and try again. As you get more experienced you will come to learn the brew duration that best suits your taste buds and palette.
When you feel your brew is ready, pour your brew into the container you plan to keep your ready made drink in, but remember to leave the scoby sitting in a small amount of the brew in its brewing jar. Put your ready made drink into the fridge, leave it for a few hours and then drink! The longer you leave it in the fridge, the fizzier it will get, and it can be left without going off so drink at whatever pace suits. While your Kombucha sits in its jar in the small amount of its own juice, either boil the kettle to brew another batch (that way more should be ready by the time you have drunk your first lot), or if you are not ready to brew some more, cover the top of the jar and leave your scoby sitting in its juice.
Please remember that this is a living organism and needs to be treated with respect. Any problems email us at firstname.lastname@example.org