Kombucha Brewing Class

Hey friends! This post is all about the kombucha brewing class that Sierra and I hosted together. Stick around until the end for a two part video tutorial with all the details on how to make this wonderful drink!

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha originates from Russia and the far east. It is a sweet, tart, effervescent, fermented tea beverage. Some of the health benefits are improved digestion, aiding the liver in detoxification, an immune booster, and it is also a cancer preventative.

What is a SCOBY?

The mother culture is known as a SCOBY, which is a Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast. The cultures are highly adaptable, and hard to kill. They reproduce a second (baby) SCOBY on top of the mother culture when you you make a batch of Kombucha. You can keep these extra SCOBY’s or pass them on to friends, compost them, or give them to your animals to eat.

The bacteria and yeast consume sugar making vitamin B, lactic acid, acetic acid (which is vinegar), and glucoronic acid. A healthy liver will also make glucoronic acid on its own to aid in its own detoxification. The glucoronic acid in Kombucha will help in this process. In addition to feeding on the sugar during the process of fermentation, the SCOBY will also consume the caffeine from the tea as well.

Things you will need to make Kombucha:

For the First Step: Making your tea/First Fermentation

  1. Stock pot
  2. Gallon glass jar
  3. Good clean water from a well, spring water, or filtered water (Good water = good kombucha)
  4. Black tea or green tea
  5. Flavored teas that do not contain artificial flavors or colors
  6. Hibiscus flowers {MountainRoseHerbs.com} (Optional for added color/flavor)
  7. Pure Cane sugar
  8. SCOBY culture
  9. A batch of pre-made Kombucha for a starter
  10. Clean towels
  11. Rubber Bands

For the Second Step: Second Fermentation/Bottling Process

  1. Pyrex or Anchor Hocking four cup measuring pitcher
  2. Whisk
  3. Sugar
  4. Glass bottles that have swing top lids (check out this blog by Shanna to get ideas on collecting bottles)
  5. funnel
  6. Plastic mesh strainer
  7. Scotch tape and paper for labeling

Recipe 1 When Using Herbal Tea:

4 herbal fruit flavored tea bags

4 black tea or green tea bags

1 cup cane sugar

2 Tablespoons hibiscus flowers{optional}

3 quarts water

Recipe: 2 When Using Black Tea:

4 flavored black tea or green tea bags

1 cup cane sugar

2 Tablespoons hibiscus flowers{optional}

3 quarts water

First Fermentation Instructions:

First, pour 3 quarts of water into stock pot and add tea, sugar and hibiscus flowers. Next, place stock pot on the stove and turn to medium heat. Bring to simmer, then turn off the heat. Let your tea sit until completely cool. When the tea is cool, remove the tea bags and strain the hibiscus flowers. Put the tea in your glass jars, and then add your SCOBY and starter. Lastly, cover the mouth of the jar with clean towels or cotton material, and secure with a rubber band. You will place this in a warm, dark place to ferment for seven to ten days. I place mine on top of the refrigerator and then I cover the jars with a large, clean towel.

Second Fermentation Instructions:

Kombucha is very sensitive to temperature and climate. Depending on the weather, you should have two SCOBY’s in seven to ten days. Take the SCOBY’s out and place them in a clean jar to store them for future use. Pour enough Kombucha starter over the SCOBY’s to cover them. This helps to prevent them from drying out and also feeds them. Now you will need to whisk the Kombucha vigorously, then add 1/3 cup of cane sugar. Do not skip this first whisking! It awakens and redistributes the culture throughout the jar and prevents an explosive reaction when you add the sugar. Whisk vigorously again until the sugar is dissolved. This process of adding more sugar before bottling is known as second fermentation. Second fermentation is how you will achieve carbonation in the final product.

Bottling and Storage:

First, have your bottles ready with the funnel. Then you will pour the fermented tea with the extra sugar into your liquid measuring pitcher. This makes it easier to pour into your funnel. You can strain this if you want to, but it is not necessary. Pour the Kombucha into each bottle leaving some head space. When filled, wipe each bottle top off getting any excess Kombucha off the lid. Then you will either screw the lids on tightly, or cap them. Next, label bottles with the flavor of Kombucha you made, the date it was started, and the date you bottled it. Allow the bottles to sit for around fourteen to twenty-one days, again, depending on temperature. (warmer weather = faster fermentation)  After the allotted time, refrigerate until cold and enjoy!!

Notes From Our Kombucha Brewing Class:

  1. Do not use Anti-bacterial soap as it will kill your culture.
  2. Do not use tea with artificial flavors, soy lecithin, or artificial colors.
  3. Only use pure cane sugar. American sugar beets have been genetically modified.
  4. Place a towel over the top of your bottle when opening…sometimes they will explode like champagne!

Video Tutorial:

Here is the 2 part video tutorial from a Kombucha  brewing class that I offered to some friends in the spring of 2015. I hope it will help you in your Kombucha brewing adventure! -Starla 

Part 1: FIRST FERMENTATION!

Part 2: SECOND FERMENTATION!

http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIW9FiiLilc

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