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How to Brew Kombucha

By on February 18, 2013

Anyone who has “fallen in love” with kombucha are probably interested in healthy foods, and because they are, they should take the time to know how to make kombucha.

Kombucha – “What is kombucha?” This is a very valid question. If you don’t know, a ‘to-the-point’ definition of kombucha is simply fermented tea. While this definition is true, it falls short of the multitude of the many benefits of this tasty and fizzy beverage. For many kombucha lovers, their introduction to this healthy drink may have been through buying it ready-made and at a huge price from a health food store. If you are one of these people, let me tell you, you can satisfy your kombucha cravings in a far less expensive way by making it yourself.

Health Benefits of Kombucha – Not only is kombucha a good tasting beverage that is considered by some as a soda substitute, there have been many and varied health benefits associated with the regular consumption of this beverage. However, health-minded people reading what goes into the finished kombucha may cringe when they see black tea and white sugar. The sugar is necessary for the SCOBY to “eat,” so it can turn the tea into kombucha. All health benefits are a result of the action of the beneficial bacteria and yeast that work together to convert the sweetened tea into kombucha. The SCOBY eats the sugar while releasing beneficial  bacteria and helpful yeast into the brew.

Here are just a few of the many reported health benefits of kombucha:

  • Prevents cancer
  • Improves eyesight
  • Maintains healthy digestion
  • Body detoxifier
  • Clear, glowing skin
  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Arthritis pain relief
  • Treats diabetes
  • Energy booster
  • Increases metabolism
  • Works as a general wellness tonic

While there may not be scientific studies to confirm any of these and many other reported benefits of kombucha, it seems logical that drinking even a large amount of this fermented tea is a very good addition to one’s wellness. It is no wonder then that health food stores charge an enormous amount of money for a mere 12 ounces! You can quickly, easily, and very inexpensively make gallons of kombucha for yourself at home.

How to Make Kombucha –
Here is a list of the supplies and ingredients you will need to brew your own kombucha.

Supplies:

  • 1 gal. wide-mouth glass jar
  • A rubber band
  • A coffee filter or paper towel
  • SCOBY (SCOBY is an acronym for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeasts) starter kombucha tea

Ingredients:

  • 8 tea bags, black, not herbal tea, OR 4 black tea bags and 4 green tea bags
  • 1 cup of white sugar
  • 1 quart of pure water

Directions: In the gallon glass jar, place the SCOBY and the starter kombucha tea.Then, in a medium size pan, bring the quart of water to boil. Remove the pan from heat and immerse the tea bags. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Let the tea steep and cool. After the tea is cool, at about room temperature, add the brewed, sweetened tea to the glass jar containing the SCOBY and the starter tea. Fill to nearly the top of the jar with more water. Cover the mouth of the jar with the coffee filter and secure with a rubber band. Place the jar in a warm place for several days  and then the kombucha will be ready to serve.

The resulting flavor of kombucha will be a totally up to you — a blend of sweet and sour. The longer you let it brew the more sour it will become. After a few days, dip a straw into the side of your jar and cover the top of the straw with your finger to retain the liquid inside the straw to get a sample of the finished product. When the taste is to your liking, remove all but almost a cup of the liquid from the brewing jar and place it in the refrigerator OR flavor it for a second brewing time.

Second Brew (Optional) Step to Flavor your Kombucha –
While many people like the natural taste of kombucha, others prefer it flavored. Kombucha cannot be flavored in the original brewing container since the addition of flavoring components may interfere with the brewing action of the SCOBY or kill it altogether. Another benefit to a second kombucha brew is to increase the “fizziness.”  After removing the kombucha from the brewing container, put the kombucha and whatever flavor component you wish into another container, tightly cap it this time and let it sit in a warm place for a few days. An ideal second brew container to use is plastic soda bottles. Here are some kombucha additions. Add as little or as much of any one or more of these so you will get the perfect kombucha flavor:

  • Ginger root
  • Fresh or frozen berries
  • Apple slices
  • Lemon or lime juice
  • Grape juice
  • Cinnamon sticks
  • Peach slices
  • Vanilla extract OR a vanilla bean cut lengthwise

Kombucha Making Tips – Making kombucha is an art, not a science. Experimenting with various sugars, teas, temperatures, brewing time, flavorings and even SCOBYs will give a different finished product.  However, there are some  common sense tips to observe in your kombucha brewing.

  • Keep your utensils very clean. Any foreign bacteria has the potential to kill your SCOBY.
  • Don’t use herbal teas, as some herbal teas will kill the SCOBY.
  • The SCOBY will grow and form baby SCOBYs which you can give away to other kombucha brewers. It is best to separate SCOBYs with very clean utensils. Again, any bacteria on your hands may kill the SCOBY.
  • Use caution with any second brewing. If you do a second brewing in tightly capped glass bottles, the resulting pressure may make the bottles explode.
  • Between brewing times, let your SCOBY in the brewing jar with about a cup of kombucha.
  • Add chia seeds, nature’s answer to Pop Rocks ®, to your finished kombucha for a gourmet touch.

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Guest Post by Mary Jane:
Mary Jane is a contributor to  www.dansdepot.com.  Purify your survival water to make kombucha. Click here to find out how to make your own kombucha SCOBY.[/colored_box]

 

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About Coach Karma

Coach Karma L Senge has been in Personal Protection / Self Defense as well as the Fitness & Nutrition world for over 31 years now and continually teaches around the world. He has held seminars for many government agencies around the world as well as seminars for civilians. He currently teaches seminars in the United States, Europe, India, and throughout Central America. As well has oversees many training groups around the world.
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