Okay, so I am finally putting together a Kombucha tutorial. I know half of you will love this and half of you will find it repulsive. Either way, its still entertaining and useful information. Let’s agree on that.
So what is Kombucha and what is a scoby anyway?!?!
Kombucha is “a mysterious, ancient elixer fermented with a thick rubbery “mushroom” (the mother), which is actually a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (also called a SCOBY)”. Kombucha came into existence in China around 250 B.C. It is a delicious, non-soda, (mostly) non-alcoholic, tart, fizzy, refreshing beverage. You can read about my experience with Kombucha and its benefits HERE.
Now onto the tutorial! Part one will focus on growing your own scoby, from SCRATCH. Meaning, you did not buy it online or on craigslist, etc. Although, that is the easier way to go. (If you are interested in buying one, just email me.)
First, purchase a bottle of original or gingered kombucha. I like to use GT Kombucha. You want to look for one that has LOTS of yeasty filaments floating around in it, and is raw (this is a necessity). feel free to drink the kombucha but make sure to leave all the sediments and cultures (stringy bits) at the bottom and about ½ cup of the tea (liquid).
Second, prepare your “kombucha food”
You’ll need the following:
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar ( use white sugar or turbinado)
- 1 bag black tea (like earl grey) or 1 tablespoon loose-leaf black tea.
In a small saucepan, heat your water until it comes to a boil. then add in your sugar and return to a boil. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Quickly, turn off the heat and add in your tea. Let the pot sit until it is at room temperature. It should not feel warm at all. Then remove your tea bag and pour in a ½ cup to 1 cup of your bottled kombucha and sediments (this liquid should also be at room temp.) Put in a glass quart or pint jar, cover with cloth and rubber band and store in a warm dark spot (like in pantry). This is what’s going to turn into a mother scoby. Note: the kombucha liquid is needed to help keep the brew acidic.We want the acidity in order to prevent mold from growing.
Now, here comes the hard part. You have to WAIT! Keep an eye on the kombucha, in a few days you will see a thin film growing over the surface. The film will thicken later and become a mother. But for now, it must first get to a baby scoby.
This bring me to step three! When the film is about ⅛th of an inch thick, you will need to FEED a little more in order for it to keep growing.It’s still not strong enough to make a whole scoby. I’d say to do this after about a week of growing.
Mine After waiting a week….
Feeding time again
This time, make a quart of tea. Bring three to four cups of water to a boil, add ⅓ cup sugar, then add in another 2 tea bags or 2 tablespoons black tea. Remove from heat and let the liquid cool again. When the liquid is at room temp, remove the tea. Then add the cooled tea liquid along with your baby scoby (and liquid w/ sediment) into a larger glass jar or bowl. Cover it tightly with cloth and rubber band, place back in pantry and watch it grow into a mama scoby!
The kombucha mother should thicken significantly over the space of 10-14 days. I would also use pH strips to test the scoby and liquid.
And finally, when the mother is between ¼ and ½″ thick, you can use it to make yourself a batch of kombucha.
That will be my next tutorial. How to brew endless batches of kombucha once you get a scoby. Yahoo!
Ha, I’m sure you do!! Feel free to leave a comment.
But one thing is for sure, don’t be afraid to do this. It’s worth the wait!
This was my experience with making a scoby. Everyone’s experience is different. It really depends on the environment in which grow it in as well. Hannah from KombuchaKamp.com has a great website full of useful information in relation to brewing, scobies, etc.