What is Kombucha and How to Make it

“Humans have been fermenting longer than we’ve been writing words or cultivating the soil.”
– Sandor Ellix Katz

Kombucha is a sour tonic fermented beverage, like rejuvelac and kvass, with the incredible power to heal your gut, protect your from chemicals entering your body, and retrain your immune system.  Kombucha is sweetened black tea cultured with a “mother”, also known as “the tea beast,” a gelatinous colony of yeast and bacteria.  Like Kefir grains, the mother ferments the sugars and reproduces itself.

Kombucha is thought to have originated in China, but has been popular in many different cultures around the world.  It is beneficial to health like all other naturally fermented foods.

Kombucha can be made, and most recently it has become available for purchase at all fine healthfood stores.  I’ve even found Kombucha in the healthfood aisle of my local grocery store.  A big shoutout to the company GT Dave’s at SynergyDrinks.com for providing healthy kombucha to local stores in my area.

How to Make Kombucha:

The trickiest part about making kombucha is finding a mother.  Ask at your local healthfood stores for kombucha or a quick google search can help you find exactly what you need to get started.

Timeframe: About 7 to 10 days

Ingredients (for 1 Quart/Liter):

  • 1 Liter/1 Quart water
  • 1/4 cup/60 milliliters sugar
  • 1 tablespoon/15 milliliters loose black tea or 2 teabags
  • 1/2 cup//125 milliliters mature acidic kombucha
  • Kombucha mother

Process:

  1. Mix water and sugar together and bring to a boil in cooking pot.
  2. Turn off the heat, add tea, cover and steep for 15 minutes
  3. Strain the tea into a glass container.  Since kombucha needs adequate surface area and works best if the diameter of the container is greater than the depth of the liquid, it’s best to use a wide container.  Allow tea to cool to room temperature.
  4. Add the mature acidic kombucha.  When you obtain a culture, it will be stored in this liquid.  Save a portion of every batch you make for the next batch.
  5. Place the kombucha mother in the liquid with the firm, opaque side up.
  6. Cover with a cloth and store in a warm spot, ideally 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 to 29 degrees Celsius.
  7. After a 3-7 days, depending on temperature, you’ll notice a skin forming on the surface of the kombucha.  Taste the liquid.  It will probably still be sweet.  The longer it sits, the more time the mother has to digest the sugars, and the more acidic it will become.
  8. Once it reaches the acidity you enjoy most, begin a new batch or store your kombucha disc in the refrigerator.  You now have two mothers – the original one you started with, and the new skin that formed on your first batch.  Either compost the new mother, or give it to a friend to spread the love!  Each generation will give birth to a new mother, and the old mother will thicken.

Learn more with Books about Fermentation:

   
 Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture Foods Fermented Foods for Health: Use the Power of Probiotic Foods to Improve Your Digestion, Strengthen Your Immunity, and Prevent Illness Truly Cultured: Rejuvenating Taste, Health and Community with Naturally Fermented Foods

Information Source:
Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz

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