Have you ever tried kombucha? It is a fermented tea. I have bought some yummy ones at the store, but it is expensive, $2.50 to 5.00 a single serve bottle. I read that it was easy to make my own kombucha so I decided to give it a try after my sister-in-law ordered me one and had it delivered to my house. She knows I like to try weird, hippy (crunchy for you younger generation) things. I like to ferment my own carrots and cabbage. I love my homemade sauerkraut.
So a few months ago I get the SCOBY in the mail. That is the simple term for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. Sounds disgusting. Looks disgusting too. It’s a slimy, firm glob of mucus looking stuff.
So here I go with my first attempt at making kombucha. I steeped 8 bags of black tea for about 5-10 minutes in three and a half quarts of spring water, after steeping it I added 1 cup of plain, white sugar. I let that cool to about 80 or so degrees. I bought a gallon size, glass jar and put in 1 cup of already made kombucha that I bought. Now I added the tea and enough water to fill the jar. I covered that jar with a cloth that came with it. The rubber band was too big so I used one I already had. First ferment, started.
I had hoped to find some grolsch bottles to purchase during this time but I didn’t. So when the first ferment was done, I gave it 4 weeks. Later learned that was too long. I transferred the kombucha to two half gallon jars. One plain and one with added frozen fruit, just a couple handfuls. Then let it sit with tight lids.
A couple days later I put them in the refrigerator to stop the fermenting process. About a week later I tried them. GROSS. Tasted like vinegar. Further research shows that I did the first ferment too long, but I thought I had up to thirty days. I also had no fizzies, the grolsch bottles are important for that process I now understand.
Have you made your own kombucha? What have you learned in the process? Any good tips to share with me?