FERMENTING GOOD TIMES

We first fell in love with Kombucha when we were at Goldings Freedive after swearing off alcohol. We liked having a drink that tasted brewed, while our friends didn’t realise we were ‘on-the-wagon.’

Being fermented, it also has some great digestive benefits. So, if you’ve wondered about making your own Kombucha, but haven’t ventured there yet, then our simple recipe may help you get started…

scoby

SCOUT A SCOBY

Ask a friend: The easiest way to source a scoby is to ask a friend. There’s bound to be someone you know, who has an extra scoby or knows someone who does. If this proves fruitless, there’s a wee Facebook group where you can ask other fermenting bods for a scoby to start you off. Make sure your scoby arrives in an airtight container, swimming in plenty of scoby ‘juice.’ 


WHAT IS A SCOBY?

SCOBY is actually an acronym: Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast.

A scoby is a gelatinous disc. It is composed of layers of living bacteria and yeast that transform sweet tea into tangy, fizzy Kombucha. Think of a scoby like a coral reef of the bacteria and yeast world.

Jasmine green tea

CHOOSE YOUR TEA

It’s really about your palette: The tea you choose to make your Kombucha, really depends on your palette. We’ve made Kombucha from tea bags and loose leaf tea, from Black tea, Green tea, Jasmine green tea, Rooibos tea, even Runaway Rose tea and they’ve all tasted great! So decide your tea, grab a good size jar and put the jug on…


INGREDIENTS
3 litres of boiled water
1.5 cups organic white sugar
6-8 tea bags or 1.5 cups of loose leaf tea
A scoby, plus around 6 tablespoons of scoby juice


DIRECTIONS
Pour boiling water into a large pan. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Don’t make the mistake we did of not putting enough sugar in. The sugar feeds the scoby and is what will ultimately make your Kombucha fizzy.
Add and steep the tea (or tea bags) until the water has completely cooled. (If it’s not completely cool, you’ll damage your scoby).
Remove the tea and pour the cooled liquid into a big glass jar (not plastic). Here’s the glass container we use. Thoroughly stir in your scoby juice and then place the scoby on top.
Cover the top of the jar loosely with a clean cloth and transfer to a warm, dark place. Let the mixture sit for 7-10 days. We normally taste it each day from day 7 onwards.
When you taste it, your Kombucha will no longer taste really sweet, will have a vinegary aftertaste and will be slightly fizzy. These signs tell you the scoby has eaten up all the sugar and it’s ready to get really fizzy – aka second ferment.

ginger-cry

GETTING FIZZY

Bubbles are the bomb: For ages, we created Kombucha using just one ferment. We always wondered why it didn’t taste as fizzy as shop-bought versions. Then we Googled and discovered the joys of second ferment. You’ll need three x 1 litre swing-top bottles and our (now) not-so-secret ingredient: crystalised ginger.


DIRECTIONS
Remove the scoby from your half-fermented Kombucha and place in an airtight container. Spoon over several tablespoons of the half-fermented Kombucha into the container, seal the lid and pop in the fridge. The scoby can be stored in the fridge until you make your next batch of Kombucha.
Place around 6 pieces of crystalised ginger in each of the three swing-top bottles. This will feed all the baby scobies swimming around in your half-fermented Kombucha. They will feed off the sugar and give you a bubbly beverage. Using a funnel, pour your half-fermented Kombucha into each bottle, leaving some room at the top. Leave for 7-14 days.
Here’s our Kombucha ferment fizzy scale
7 DAYS: Slightly fizzy
10 DAYS: Moderately fizzy
14 DAYS: Champagne fizzy
The fizziness of your Kombucha depends on lots of factors. The biggest factor in Wellington, is how damp or how dry your house is. This affects how quickly your Kombucha brews in its first ferment and also the number of baby scobies it produces. Correspondingly, this affects the number of days you’ll need for second ferment. We suggest you open one of your bottles on day 7 and test the fizziness – every house will be different!

Let us know how you go on your Kombucha journey. There’s so many ways to create it, this is just the way we’ve found works for us, but we’d love to hear yours 

Sally

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Sally is our Oriental medicine therapist. She likes moving energy in acupuncture channels with needles, her hands or a spot of yoga. Sally’s passion is to restore health through Oriental medicine.