Oh My God, You've Got To Try This And I Really Do Mean It.
A couple of weeks ago a friend asked on a mum group if any of us wanted a Scoby for free to make Kombucha and I said yes. Now what the hell is a Scoby or Kombucha I hear you say...
Well let me tell you that its one amazing little thing (looks like a placenta but bear with me on this one) its got so much good bacteria in it that it really helps with the gut lining, it has so many health benefits its amazing which I'll tell you in a mo but you need to get past the weirdness of it. Its pretty much fermented tea which has been brewed for thousands of years. This placenta like thing is a living symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, which is called a SCOBY, and can be used to ferment new kombucha.
Now I took some over for my parents to taste yesterday afternoon and if you know my dad, he not very adventurous in trying anything. He sticks to what he knows which is fine, some people are like that. So my mum tried some and she said its very refreshing and really tasty. My dad then tried some, which I was very surprised about but happy and he said it tasted like grape juice. So I'm pleased he actually tried some and that he actually likes it. I think I've got another convert which is amazing.
The Health Benefits:
The health benefits are that they are a source of probiotics, It also contains antioxidants which can kill harmful bacteria and may help fight several diseases. Probiotics provide your gut with healthy bacteria. These bacteria can improve many aspects of health, including digestion, inflammation and even weight loss which is tick in my box.
The way I make my kombucha it has 4 tea bags of Green Tea in it so it has all the health benefits of green tea for example antioxidant's, calorie burn and blood sugar control. Kombucha can kill bacteria, because it has so many amazing little micro organisms (acetic acid). It also hugely helps with infection-causing bacteria. It also reduces heart disease risk in any age. It also helps in reducing cancer risk in people and managing type 2 diabetes which again is a win win in my book.
How To Make Kombucha
So lets now get to the good stuff and how to actually make it.
There are two ferments if you want to do them both. I'm just doing the one ferment at the moment until I get some carbonated glass bottles. So the second ferment makes the Kombucha carbonated which I'm sure tastes nice to.
Recipe and Ingredients:
The First Ferment:
-3 Litres of hot boiled water
-2 green tea bags (for the antioxidant content), NOT caffeine-free
-2 black tea bags of any flavour (I don't tend to use black tea bags but you can do)
-1 cup sugar (I have used white and granulated)
-3/4 cup kombucha (either from a previous batch or store-bought)
The Second Ferment:
-Glass bottles (I got 1 litre bottles for actual dinking of the kombucha) The kind of bottles that can withstand pressure, as the carbonation creates quite a lot of pressure and the glass can break. (Do your research as to which one)
-Fruit juice (we use BottleGreen Organic Elderflower juice) It can be anything you fancy. Mix and match the flavours.
The First Ferment:
1. Bring the water to a boil and add tea bags and sugar.
2. Allow it to brew for 20 minutes.
3. Remove tea bags and stir until sugar is dissolved.
4. Pour into a large glass jar (I use a 4 litre Kilner Jar.
5. Once cooled, add kombucha from the previous batch or a shop brought one and your SCOBY.
6. Cover with a piece of kitchen towel and put a rubber band around the top. You want the kombucha to be able to breathe, but you don't want any critters getting in there.
7. Set in a low traffic area where there will be a pretty constant temperature, like an unused room or under the sink. ( I keep mine under the sink).
8. Wait for about 1-3 weeks.
9. With a clean spoon, sample it. If it's sour, you're ready for the second ferment. If it's still sweet, give it a few more days. Always use a clean spoon and no double-dipping because of the bacteria transferring from your mouth to the jar. When its sour, your kombucha is ready to drink. But, for those of you who want it carbonated, you will have to do a second ferment.
The Second Ferment If You Want It Carbonated:
This is the fun part where you can mix the flavours and try out new flavours.
11. Take the SCOBY from the jar and set aside in a bowl to be used in your next batch. You will grow a new SCOBY with each batch, they can be divided and shared with a friend or stored in a "SCOBY hotel" in your fridge.
12. Pour 1 Tbsp of fruit juice in the bottom of each jar. (This is where you can make different batches of juice.
13. Then add kombucha to the top of the bottles and put on the lid.
14. Put the jars back in the same place the kombucha had been and let them sit for a few more days. The longer they sit, the more fizzy it becomes. But, if it sits too long, it will become vinegar. The sugar in the juice produces the second ferment, as the bacteria/yeast eat the sugar they produce CO2.
15. Then place in the fridge and enjoy.
Let me know if you would like me to save you a Scoby and I'll give it to you from my next batch. Its really easy to do and so yummy. Even the children go mad for it, especially now its summer here in England, its so refreshing.
Oooh you'll certainly have to try it. If you do let me know by leaving a comment in the box below.
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Have a great day. Lots of love xxx