Aug 09 , 2020
1/2 cup / 210g of organic, evaporated cane juice or raw sugar (you can also use refined white sugar)
1 Tbsp. of loose black or green tea OR 4 tea bags
2 litres of water
1/2 to 1 cup of kombucha tea (from your last batch or acquired)
1 SCOBY (from your last batch or acquired)
Second fermentation (optional):
1 cup of fruit juice of your choice OR 1 cup of chopped fresh or dried fruit
Fresh or dried fruit
Fresh ginger / ginger juice
Fresh or dried herbs and spices
Honey or maple syrup
1. Brew the tea. Use unchlorinated / unfluoridated water. Bring to the boil and pour over the tea of your choice and let steep for 20-30 minutes (you want it to be very strong). If using a small tea pot, brew two pots and pour brewed tea into your kombucha container.
2. Sweeten the tea. Add the 1 cup / 210g of sugar and still well to dissolve.
3. Cool the tea. This step is important since the SCOBY does not tolerate heat and has the potential to die if added to hot liquid.
4. Add pre-made kombucha and the SCOBY which raises the acidity level of the tea. This aids the fermentation process, but also protects the SCOBY from harmful bacteria during the initial fermentation phase.
5. Cover. Use a piece of fabric that is tightly woven (a clean tea towel works well) or several layers of cheesecloth, secured with a rubber band. You can even use a piece of paper towel or a coffee filter. The point here is to allow air to flow in and out of the brewing container, while keeping pests like fruit flies out – they love this stuff!
6. Give your kombucha a home. Place the kombucha container in a place where it will not be disturbed or jostled, out of direct sunlight, but where it will get enough airflow (a small cupboard is therefore not the best place). I leave mine out on the counter where I can keep an eye on it, but I do not move it until day 7 when I start tasting.
7. Let ferment for 7-10 days. The fermentation time depends on a few factors, such as the temperature of the environment (warmer temperatures speed fermentation), but also your preferences. If you like a sweeter kombucha, one week may be enough time. If you like a less sweet, more vinegar-y kombucha then allowing the brew to ferment for 10 days or more may be what you’re into.
8. Remove the SCOBY and 1 cup of kombucha. Once your kombucha tea tastes just the way you want it to, prepare to bottle it. Take off all your jewelry and wash your hands thoroughly. Remove the SCOBY and repeat the above process leaving the majority of the tea to bottle.
9. Second fermentation – optional. Divide the juice or fruit among the bottles first, then add the brewed kombucha on top. Seal the bottles and let at room temperature for 2-3 days until it is carbonated to your liking, then store in the fridge. Very important: remember to release the pressure in the bottles every day that they sit at room temperature – this is called burping – open the lid briefly to let any excess gas out, which will prevent an explosion.
10. Enjoy! It’s finally time to enjoy your kombucha! Drink it as is, or flavour it further as you like. I like to add sliced seasonal fruit to my glass before serving, a few slices of ginger, essential oils, superfoods like spirulina or more fresh juice.
Recipe and image credit to My New Roots. To collect your free SCOBY in-store (courtesy of Jamie) please bring a clean jar with you (while stocks last)