Kombucha, a kind of fermented tea, has become a popular health drink. Although it’s available in supermarkets, kombucha is easy to make at home. Popular Kombucha brand Kombucha Brooklyn sells a kit online. Whether you pick up their kit or you decide to do it yourself, follow these simple steps to brew your first batch:
1. Gather ingredients: SCOBY, meaning Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast, is the starter culture for kombucha. A small quantity of completed kombucha, brewed tea, and sugar are the only other ingredients you need.
2. Sanitize: Clean your hands and work station.
3. Get a pot, and fill it with water.
4. Boil the water and steep tea. Sweeten with a cup of sugar.
5. Allow the tea to return to room temperature.
6. Transfer tea to glass jar.
7. Add a little completed kombucha. This keeps the mixture acidic enough to get good fermentation and prevent bad bacteria and molds.
8. Add the SCOBY.
9. Cover with cloth, secure with rubber band.
10. Store in a warm, dark place.
11. Allow to ferment for a week.
12. Sample: The tea should not taste particularly sweet-the acidity level should be at pH 3.
13. Remove SCOBY by hand.
14. Pour tea into final storage containers using funnel.
15. Seal and store at room temperature for 2-5 days. This allows carbonation to form.
Serve your kombucha as a refreshing beverage with a salty dish, like lox on bagels.
Photo: zeevveez on flickr