I started brewing kombucha around 6 months ago. I was well aware of the benefits of good gut bacteria but I wasn't quite sure what the best option was for helping boost it. As stated before, I'm not a large fan of supplements so I was on the hunt for fermented foods that I could incorporate into my daily diet.
Extra SCOBIES removed, almost ready for a top up.
Cue kombucha and it's amazing symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). I was obsessed with kombucha and couldn't wait to try my first bottle. I searched every store in my Biggest-Little-Hick-Town but couldn't seem to get my hands on a bottle. It wasn't until I travelled to San Diego in October for a chiropractic conference that I finally had my first encounter with GT's kombucha. I purchased 2 bottles, one flavoured to drink right then and there, and another plain to coax into producing me a fine SCOBY. Upon returning home I followed all the correct steps to grow a SCOBY from a store bought bottle of 'bucha but after waiting weeks without results I finally gave up and dumped my creation down the drain.
It was shortly after that I was surfing around on Kijiji and came across an ad for free kombucha SCOBIES. Now, let me tell you, A was horrified when he learned that I planned to show up at a stranger's house to collect a rubbery, yeasty pancake but I was so desperate to start brewing that I answered the ad immediately. The seller, Jenna, instructed me to show up at her house after work with a large glass jar. The whole situation was a little strange but interesting as she invited me into her home and proceeded to show me step by step how to brew my own kombucha. I left her house about a half hour later with a large jar of strong kombucha mothers and a head full of information.
I use a vintage sun tea jar to brew my kombucha in. It has a wide opening at the top which I cover with cheesecloth and a small spigot at the base. I use the no fuss continuous brew method to make my kombucha. The steps are essentially the same but instead of emptying out my finished 'bucha and starting a new batch from scratch I just top up the jar with new tea as need be.
Loose leaf oolong tea brewing.
You will need a few things to get started: A large jar, a SCOBY floating a few cups of 'bucha from a previous batch, tea, and some sugar. Start by brewing your tea. I like to use loose oolong tea in my brew but most people tend to use regular black tea. I add a couple of teaspoons of loose tea to my french press and top with boiling water. Once my tea has brewed I transfer it to a another jar where I stir in about a 1/2 cup of white sugar and let it cool to room temperature. At this point I usually pull my kombucha jar out of the pantry and inspect its contents. Too many SCOBIES in the brew will ferment it too quickly so I like to removed all the extras leaving only one or two. Extra SCOBIES are placed into the compost. (I like to store a back-up in a SCOBY floating in a small amount of kombucha in the fridge in case my brew of 'bucha falls victim to mold or pests.) After my sweet tea has cooled to room temperature I top up my continuous jar with it, cover the jar opening with cheesecloth, and place the whole thing back into the panty.
At this point, I can drink the kombucha if I like but it tends to be a little on the sweet side. It takes about 3 or 4 days for my 'bucha to reach it's tangy, fizzy prime. I find I have to top mine up about once every week or so.
All ready to go back to into the pantry.