How to make this healthy probiotic drink in your favorite flavors
With Sharon Peterson
My favorite Kombucha Tea Recipe.
There are many types of fermenting that are very good for your health. Some sound and even look a little shall we say…. strange?? Kombucha fits in the “strange” category. 🙂 This is a fermented drink to keep in your fridge. It is NOT a canning recipe.
What is Kombucha anyway… and how do you pronounce it??
I have to chuckle when my son asks me about kombucha… he forgets just what the name is and once called it Sambucha. So now in our house we have “sambucha” .
Kombucha is a fermented, probiotic, healthy sweet tea. It is very good for you, tastes sweet and tangy at the same time, and if made correctly will often be bubbly and carbonated.
Kind of like a healthy soda!
A few ounces a day boosts the immune system and gives great benefits to your gut health.
Kombucha can be purchased commercially in many health food stores. It is becoming more an more common so you might just check your local supermarket too. However…. it’s not cheap.
If you are a DIYer, make it yourself! It is not difficult but it does take some care and time.
The best part about making your own kombucha is; you can create your own favorite flavors. Using tightly sealed bottles gives your kombucha fizz!
The first thing you will need is a scoby. The scoby is sometimes referred to as the mushroom… but it is different. It looks like a rubbery disc that floats on top of your tea. This is what “eats” the sugar out of your tea and creates all the health benefits.
It grows as you make more batches and can be shared with friends!
You can purchase a scoby online. You should get instructions on how to treat your scoby and get your first batch started. If you get a scoby from a friend be sure and get about 2 cups of kombucha as well to get your first batch started.
Kombucha Tea Recipe
This kombucha tea recipe is for a gallon of kombucha. You will need a gallon jar, water, 1 cup sugar, 8 tea bags, 2 cups kombucha from a previous batch and the scoby.
Step one…. make sweet tea.
Boil about 13 cups of water (a little less than a gallon). Add 1 cup sugar and stir until disolved.
Add 8 tea bags to your sugar water and allow to brew for 15 minutes or so. You can brew to your desired strength. Remove the tea bags.
Allow the sweet tea to cool to room temperature.
Step two allow it to Ferment.
Add 2 cups kombucha to the sweet tea and gently place your scoby on top.
The scoby should float, but it may also sink. Don’t worry, it will float back up to the top. Cover the top of the jar with a lint free cloth secured with a rubber band.
Kombucha Tea Recipe; Fermenting
Now your fermenting stage starts. Keep the tea undisturbed and at room temperature. 65 to 85 degrees is recommended. I usually keep it covered with a cloth. You could put it in a cupboard but if you are like me, don’t forget it is in there! I like mine out on my counter where I see it regularly.
Fermenting time will vary. Anywhere from 7 to 30 days. The longer the ferment the less sweet and more tangy your kombucha. Room temperature will also affect this time frame. Warmer temperatures will cause kombucha to ferment faster. For our taste usually about 2 weeks is right.
Taste your kombucha every now and again and stop when you have a tangy sweet pleasing flavor. The easy way is to stick a straw right into your jar below the scoby and have a sip. You could also just dip in a clean spoon. No double dipping!
The kombucha is ready now to strained and rebottled to be used as it is, or flavors can be added with a second ferment. I always do that second ferment.
Best Container for a Second Ferment?
You have two choices now. Re-bottle your kombucha into canning jars with seals and rings, or special bottles with wire bail style, extra tight lids.
Canning jars work. I’ve used them regularly and had no issues. However I also didn’t get much carbonation. My results tasted great but I really wanted to try and get the bubbles.
I now have these EZ cap lids… and I love them! I’m not sure why but the way they are made makes for more bubbles in your drinks.
- They have an extra tight wire bail style top. This seems to add a bit of fizz to my kombucha.
- Fillmore Container has a couple of sizes available. The 16 oz is perfect for individual drinks.
- They come in 3 colors, clear, amber and blue.
- And they are fun!
Here is a facebook video where I explain how they work. FillmoreContainer.com sent me these bottles to try out and I’m so glad they did!
Kombucha Tea Recipe; Second Ferment
The first thing is to decide what you want to use to add flavor. Our favorite is blueberries. I add in about 1 to 2 T blueberries to each bottle. You can use other types of berries or even add a bit of juice to each bottle for flavors. The possibilities are endless. Do you like ginger? Add a slice of ginger to the bottle. A little goes a long way. Experiment and see what seon ferment flavors and combinations you like best.
After adding the flavors to each jar you’ll fill them with your just fermented kombucha. In order to pour off the kombucha you’ll need to remove your scoby to a bowl or a new jar. Keep covered and wet.
Pour the kombucha off the top into the bottles, straining it as you go. Be sure and save about 2 cups from the bottom for your next batch. (As you are finishing up this batch…. start your next batch! )
Seal your jars or bottles up tightly and allow to ferment again. This is when it will get fizzy. You can second ferment for 1 to 5 days. You’ll need to be sure and “burp” the bottle to release any overpressure. I usually just do a one day ferment with our blueberries.
After this second ferment you can strain the solids out and re-bottle again before placing in the fridge but it is not necessary. I usually just pop them in the fridge.
Enjoy your kombucha when it is cold!