Kombucha Home Brew
Needed before starting:
A Lead free crock or glass container (capacity 1.5 gallons or 6 quarts - plus 3 C and room for a scobby).
3 cups of starter (which is kombucha).
Organic cane sugar
Organic black tea
You will want large quantities of the last three items to maintain the continual brew of Kombucha!
Note: Nourishing Traditions cook book states "White sugar, rather than honey or Rapadura, and black tea, rather than flavored teas, give the highest amounts of glucuronic acid. Non-organic tea is high in flouride so always use organic tea.
Start by bringing 4 quarts of filtered water to a boil.
Add 2 Cups organic cane sugar. Stir for several minutes. This lowers the temperature of the boiling water for the best effect when tea bags are added, as well disolves the sugar.
Add 8 organic black tea bags. Place lid on pot and steep for an hour or more (I have completely forgotten about mine and steeped for 4 hours).
After removing the tea bags, replace lid. Let cool to room temperature. The friend I got my scobby from lets hers sit all night to bring to room temp. I have found I need to do the same. When completely cool make sure your spiggot is in the off position =).
Now pour in 1 to 3 Cups of starter. I have found using a larger amount of starter decreases brewing time. I use 3 Cups.
Place scobby on top.
The dark looking areas on the scobby are thin areas where the tea color is showing through. (The scobby should not have black spots on it. If it does it could be contaminated. I have not had to deal with this, thankfully, but from what I have read you should throw it away and get another if that happens.)
Place a cloth over the top and WAIT. My last batch took 8 days. I had shared a scobby and kept the baby which was on the thin side. The two batches before that took 7 days each. So WAIT. Wait and taste.
You want the batch to have lost all taste of the sweet tea. It will have a zip to it, a vinegarish flavor and be effervesent. I found refrigerating a small amount before determining the taste helps me make a better decision. When the taste is right bottle and refrigerate. I write the date on my bottles.
"A word of caution: Some individuals may have an allergic reaction to kombucha. If you have allergies, start with a small taste to observe any adverse effects."
pg. 596, Nourishing Tradition Cookbook ~Sally Fallon