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How To Brew Kombucha

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Ingredients

Utensils F1
1 glass jar I bought my glass jars from Ikea as they are very well priced, glass jars are also available at Lulu or ace
1 cloth cover
1 rubber band
1 tea kettle or pot
Primary fermentation
1l water
8 gr or 4 teabags tea preferably mixed with black or green tea for better taste and to protect the culture, if you are trying to avoid caffeine you can use herbal or decaf teas
80-100 gr sugar
1 scoby
100ml kombucha tea kombucha tea should come with the scoby
Utensils F2
1 tight flip bottle
1 funnel
Secondary Fermentation
kombucha tea without scoby
1/4 cup frozen, dried or fresh fruit
OR
1/4 cup fruit juice

How To Brew Kombucha

  • Medium

Ingredients

  • Utensils F1

  • Primary fermentation

  • Utensils F2

  • Secondary Fermentation

Directions

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Kombucha is a healthy alternative to soft drinks, packaged fruit juices and even energy drinks. There are many benefits to drinking kombucha, it has lots of antioxidants, probiotics, folic acid and b-vitamins. The probiotics naturally improve digestion and the antioxidants strengthen the immune system. The glucuronic acid in kombucha cleanses and detoxifies the body and also helps to prevent cancer and improve energy.

The fermented tea is an ancient Chinese beverage, there are many different stories on how kombucha has been discovered, fact is that today kombucha is an incredibly popular superfood. The taste is slightly stronger than water kefir and very fizzy. Some people may describe it as sour, sharp and slightly sweet. Depending on the tea used and the fruit added the flavours vary.

All that is needed to brew kombucha at home are four simple ingredients: a scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), water, tea and sugar. The scoby (also known as mother or culture) is shaped like a disc and the color ranges from light yellow to dark brown/red.

When I started brewing kombucha, there were several things that I needed to buy. I have a fully toxin-free kitchen and did not own any plastic utensils. However the scoby should never get into contact with metal and it is recommended to only use glass or plastic.

With kombucha there is a primary and secondary fermentation. The primary fermentation takes from 7-30 days and is done in an open glass jug that is covered loosely with a cloth cover. In the secondary fermentation the scoby is removed and different flavours can be achieved through adding juices, fruits or spices. The fizz is added by keeping the F2 in an air tight flip top bottle. Both fermentations are done at room temperature, and F2 can later be transferred to the fridge.

Neither bottled kombucha nor scobys are sold anywhere in the United Arab Emirates. You can make your own scoby with the help of store-bought kombucha which you can bring back from holidays. Another option would be the UAE fermenters group on facebook, where lots of lovely people are willing to share their scobys.

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Steps

1
Done

Primary Fermentation

Heat 1 liter of water and add 8 grams of tea.

2
Done

After 15 minutes remove the tea and dissolved the cane sugar in it.

3
Done

After the tea cooled down to room temperature, add 100ml of kombucha tea and the scoby to the jar.

4
Done

Cover the jar with a muslin cloth and rubber band and keep it on your counter for 10 days.

5
Done

Tip

The average time that kombucha ferments is 7-30 days, the longer it ferments the stronger the yeast flavour gets. Instead of doing the secondary fermentation I sometimes add chia seeds, fruits and herbs to my kombucha when it’s done. You can also add lemon or lime juice.

It is very important to make sure that everything is very clean, if the wrong bacteria gets into the kombucha tea it will go moody.
Do not move the glass jar around, this prevents the new scoby from growing.
Kombucha grows the best at around 20 degrees stored away from the sun.
Instead of sugar you can also use maple syrup, agave syrup, honey (do not use it raw), molasses (especially a mix with sugar) or coconut palm sugar (results in a bitter taste). Stevia and xylitol aren’t fermentable by yeast.

6
Done

Secondary Fermentation

After removing the scoby from the kombucha tea add 1/4 cup of chopped up fruit or fruit juice to the tight flip bottle and ferment it a few more days at room temperature.

7
Done

Then store the kombucha in the fridge. If you do not want to add any flavour, but would like some fizz you can also fill the tea into the bottle without adding any fruit.

8
Done

Tip

If a batch goes bad or the first home-brewed kombucha does not have the desired taste, do not give up. If you did follow all the instructions and still did not succeed, the scoby may have not been stored properly by its previous owner.

Eliza Birg

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