Sunday, February 5, 2012

What Is Kombucha and what do I need to start making my own?

This is PART I, in what will be a series of posts on Kombucha.

Kombucha is an effervescent, fermented tea which is full of antioxidants and live bacteria.  Kombucha has many alleged health benefits (there hasn't been enough research to substantiate), for myself I have noticed increased energy, improved digestion and I feel it also helps with my immune system.  When I run out (which happens occasionally) is when I really notice the difference it makes.
  • increases energy
  • aids digestion
  • helps with constipation
  • Probiotic, helps fight overgrowth of Candida 
  • helps detox the liver
  • high in antioxidants
  • glucosamines aides in joint recovery
  • Alkalizes the body
  • Boosts your immune system
  • contains B vitamins
There are 4 necessary components needed in making Kombucha, tea (Black, Green or Oolong), sugar (regular white sugar or organic sugar, NO honey or other substitutes), water, and a SCOBY.  

A Healthy Scoby
What is a SCOBY?  SCOBY stands for Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast and is the essential ingredient for fermentation.   The SCOBY is what gives the Kombucha it's healthy bacteria.  It actually eats the sugar in the fermentation process, which is why you never want to let your Kombucha ferment longer than 4 weeks.  If it goes past 4 weeks the SCOBY will run out of sugar and your SCOBY will become unhealthy.  A typical fermentation is about 10-14 days and can then be bottled.

If Kobucha is new to you I suggest purchasing some from from your local Natural Food Store and trying it first.  It's best to start out slow, about 4-6 ounces a day for the first week, allowing your body to detox and adjust.  Then you can increase your consumption.  Be sure to up your consumption of water too, the water will help flush the toxins your body is releasing thanks to the Kombucha.  I will caution that the store bought Kombucha does contain caffeine, so drinking it in the morning would be best.  I make mine decaffeinated at home so we can drink it at any time of the day and so the kids can enjoy it too.  The brand I suggest is Synergy and the flavors I like best are, Cosmic Cranberry, Gingerberry or Strawberry Serenity.  One reason I suggest trying it first, is some people will love the taste and find it very refreshing (like me), others however, will not.  It actually was not love at first taste for me.  The first time I tried it I really didn't care for it, then a few months later I tried it again and loved it! that you've tried Kombucha and like it, what do you need to start making your own at home?
  • 1 or 2 gallon glass open mouth jar ( I like these jars from Target )
  • Black, Green, or Oonlong tea bags (my preference is black tea)
  • SCOBY (from a friend or from Cultures for Health online)
  • Sugar (either white or organic)
  • 2-4 cups starter tea or Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Clean t-shirt or other loose knit fabric to cover the jar with
  • Large rubber band to hold the fabric in place
  • Plastic or wooden spoon for stirring

Anchor Hertitage Glass Jar 1 gallon ($7.87) or 2 Gallon ($14.19) 

Tea Bags

A healthy SCOBY from a friend or from here.

Organic or regular white granulated sugar

2-4 cups of starter Kombucha or Apple Cider vinegar

small piece of clean t-shirt material or other loose weave fabric.

Large rubber bands

Wooden spoon for stirring 
Sometime before the first fermentation process is over you will need to gather the following:

  • 4-8 (30-34 Oz) flip top bottles (depending on whether you use the 1 or 2 gallon)
  • small mouth plastic funnel for filling the bottles
  • Cheesecloth 
  • glass measuring cup or plastic ladle
  • fruit juice, or fresh fruit and fresh ginger if you like
Here is the type of flip top bottles I suggest, these were at Costco this winter, but the health food store and the Grocery outlet have similar ones.  Or you can order empty bottles online.

Bottles with yummy Contents, works out to about $2.50 per bottle.

Pin It

No comments:

Post a Comment