Kombucha at home in 10 easy steps

© Mgarten under CC BY-SA 3.0Original

Kombucha is a fermented tea which contains enzymes, amino acids, organic acids, vitamins B and C and has been claimed to have numerous health benefits.

Ingredients
- 200g Kombucha ferment (a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, similar to “mother of vinegar”)
- 3.5oz sugar
- 2 liters of water
- 2 black tea bags (or 2 tablespoons organic black tea)

Directions

  1. Find a buddy who already makes Kombucha and ask for some ferment.
  2. Brew 2L of tea using the 2 tea bags (4 minutes)
  3. Add the sugar to the tea and mix
  4. Wait until the tea cools to room temperature (careful! hot water will kill the culture)
  5. Place the tea together with the ferment in a large jar (3–5L)
  6. Cover the jar with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band (the culture needs oxygen in order to ferment)
  7. Allow the fermentation to happen (keep away from direct sunlight) for about 8–12 days, depending on how strong you like your tea
  8. A layer of bacteria will form at the top of your culture, called a “tea mushroom”
  9. Once finished, you can take out 80–90% of the culture, pass it through a fine sieve and store it in glass recipients in a refrigerator
  10. Rinse the “mushroom” with cold water and keep the remaining culture for your next batch

Remember to take notes on quantities and ingredients use for future reference

My variation
I used brown sugar and only used 1L of black tea and another liter of genuine yerba mate tea (which I’m a big fan of.) Any tea will do but the culture needs a tea made from the actual tea plant (camellia sinensis.) Feel free to experiment with green and white tea once you get the hang of it.

Tip: Allowing the fermentation to occur for more than 2 weeks will result in your culture turning into vinegar. So here’s a cool way of making your own 100% natural vinegar!