Kombucha, It’s Benefits and Me

Updated: Mar 22

The Health Benefits of Drinking this Fermented Tea, How I got into Making my Brew and the Recipe I Follow that Saves me Tons of Money while Giving me Gallons of Tea.


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The Preservation of Health is Easier than the Cure of Disease

It’s no secret… if you come into my kitchen on any given day, you’ll find something growing. I usually have life growing in the form of veggies seedlings, sprouts, herbs, sourdough yeast, or Kombucha. I started making Kombucha about 2 years ago when I realized how easy it was. At the time I was paying over $3 for a 16oz bottle of the stuff in the supermarket… then I found out I could make it for pennies at home! I haven't had to buy another bottle since. And I wanted to create this post so I can have a record of how I now make my Kombucha and so others can find the info here on my site.


First… what is Kombucha exactly? I know you’ve seen the bottles around or heard your super healthy friends talk about the benefits. But do you know what it is? It is a type of fermented carbonated tea that was first brewed in China but has since made its way around the World. It isn’t the only fermented tea out there though, there are other types (such as Pu-Erh tea), but it is the most popular here in the US today.


Popularity rose due to the reported health benefits this fizzy drink brings… that’s why I started drinking it. I remember my first experience buying a bottle, it wasn’t pleasant that’s for sure. My brother-in-law mentioned Kombucha to me about 9yrs ago, I had never heard of it up until then. The next time I was in Wholefoods I saw the brand and flavor he mentioned and grabbed a bottle. I was so excited to try something new and the bottle was sooo pretty! Well, I got to the car and cracked it open… the green fizz exploded in front of me like Champagne!! I was totally caught off guard as I jumped out of the car…


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Lesson 1? DO NOT SHAKE BOTTLE… unless you want a Kombucha smelling car, shirt, and lap. Not cool. I hadn’t even realized the bottle had been jostled- it doesn’t take much to make it erupt. Anyways… I took my first sip and realized this stuff tasted like pond water! Seriously. The adjective "Disgusting" isn’t covering my first opinion of the green pond liquid…


Lesson 2? Don’t take my Brother-In-Law’s recommendations again.


I’m usually an adventurous person, I like to try all kinds of new things… but that was the worst. I was later told I picked up the worst flavor I could for a 1st timer, lucky me right!? I didn’t give Kombucha another try right away but I did go back for more punishment a few months later… the pond water started to call me after I kept hearing about it from other sources. Maybe it was just the challenge of seeing if I could learn to like this drink everyone has started to say was super healthy for you. And I did learn to love it… in fact, it became addictive actually. But the price per bottle was not addictive, it was repulsive. That’s when I decided to make my own… that brings us to being all caught up on my Kombucha tale.


And what are the said benefits of drinking this tea?


It is said to help aid your digestion, rid your body of toxins, and boost your energy. It’s also said to improve your immune system, help you lose weight, ward off high blood pressure and heart disease, and prevent certain cancer. Kombucha’s claim to aid digestion comes from the fact that fermentation makes probiotics and probiotics help with diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). When kombucha is made from green tea, you get its benefits, too. Green tea may also help you burn fat and protect you from heart disease.


Now with that all being said, I must confess to not paying those claims any mind anymore… I no longer believe in any one thing being a cure for an ailment. Even though those claims are what brought me to start drinking the stuff- I don’t think the drink does all those things. Surprising right!? I am going to write a separate article about why I feel that way now and link it when it’s posted.


Despite my feelings about the claims, I do still drink this tea because it’s part of my whole healthy lifestyle… and it’s fun to make! I don’t drink wine anymore, so I drink this in a wine glass instead. Plus, the kids can’t get enough of the stuff…


Kombucha, Glass Bottles. Refrigerator, Tea
Kombucha bottles

Things I have learned from making my Kombucha tea…


1) There is some slight alcohol content in this tea due to the fermentation process… I don’t find it a problem with my homebrew but still, I don’t give my kids a lot of it. They usually only have a small cup per day at the most.

2) There is white sugar used in the recipe, but it’s mostly eaten by the yeast in the tea, so the final product barely has any left if fermented all the way.

3) Home Brewing this tea doesn’t always produce the same amount of fizz as some store-bought brands because they add additional ingredients to their batches to make it fizzier.

4) People will think you are weird when they see these jugs sitting on your dryer in your laundry room.


Now it’s time for the recipe…


Home Brewed Kombucha Tea Recipe





Ingredients & Supplies


Everything you need to get started:



Kombucha Scoby, Tea Yeast
Scoby

  • 1 Healthy "Scoby"- This is the yeast that will create the magic for you. I got mine off of Amazon but if you know someone who brews Kombucha they can give you one for free.

  • 1 gallon Glass Jar

  • A couple of glass sealable Bottles/Jars for your finished product

  • about 14-15 cups of Water

  • 6-8 tea bags- Black or Green Tea. No herbal teas

  • 1 Cup White Sugar- Don't try to go raw or alternative here. Just plain fine white sugar works best.

  • Muslin Cloth or Lg Coffee filter

  • Rubber band to hold the cloth tight so nothing gets in

  • Optional add-ins such as fruits, juices, and/or other flavorings (EX: peaches, pineapple, lemon, ginger, oranges, pomegranate, apple sauce, elderberries, grapefruit)


Directions


First Phase

  1. After you receive or rehydrated your Scoby, you can begin to brew your tea.

  2. In a large pot heat about (14) cups of water

  3. After it's steaming hot (no need to boil) add the tea bags & sugar, mix, and let sit until steeped. Strain bags and let the tea cool to room temperature.

  4. When the tea cools, add to the (1) gallon glass jar.

  5. Gently add the Scoby and the rest of the liquid it came with into the jar too.

  6. If there is still extra space in the jar, fill it with more room temperature water, leaving some space at the top for any carbonation.

  7. Cover the opening with the muslin cloth and secure it with a rubber band. I also like to label the jar with the date just so I don't forget how long it's been sitting.

  8. This tea has to sit in a dark area (pantry/cabinet/laundry room) for about (7)-(14) days depending on temps. The warmer the temp, the quicker the ferment. During fermentation, the Scoby may float on top or sink to the bottom and after a few days, a new layer will form to fit the opening of the jar like a seal. You don't want it to be too cool/hot or the tea won't ferment properly, and mold is more likely to happen- about 75degress is best.


Second Phase

  1. After the tea has fermented (you can do periodic taste tests after 7 days to determine its readiness. The longer it sits, the tangier & vinegary it'll taste) and you're happy with the flavor it's time for the second ferment. Here you can add your add-ins if your wish. The yeast will feed on the sugar from the fruits that you add so make sure the fruit is chopped into teeny pieces.

  2. Add the flavorings you want to each clean glass Jar/Bottle (or none if you choose), then add tea. Flip-top bottles that are sold for bottling brews are helpful, but I use a 2-gallon glass dispenser I continuously keep filled in my fridge. Make sure to leave enough room for bubbles to form.

  3. Then seal the bottles and place them back in the dark area for another day or so, until the carbonation has built up. Then place in Fridge and drink when cold. They will keep for a few weeks... maybe even longer. Enjoy!!




Got Tea questions?? Don't worry, I might be able to help. Leave a comment here or shoot me an email and we'll get you rolling...

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