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Kick-ass Kombucha

Gluten Free, Paleo, Raw, Savoury, Vegetarian

  • Inspiration
  • Method

The wickedest home brew

You all know by now that the gut is the seat of health. Your gastrointestinal tract has thousands of theatre seats, and upon them perch all manner of bugs. Good, bad, indifferent.

These bugs keep our health intact in crucial ways, like bolstering our immune systems, keeping disease at bay, and even play a role in determining our weight.

So what if our happy hippy bug commune gets out of whack? Fan + shit hitting. Imbalance can happen pretty easily actually. Things that throw your theatre chairs around like a home wrecker include:

  • Too many antibiotics
  • Processed, sugary foods
  • Chemicals and pesticides
  • Being too clean (whaaat? Yes. Diversity in the gut is a good thing. Be common sense clean, but perhaps rethink the next time you go to sanitise spray up to your elbow when you hand brush the bark of that beautiful tree)
  • Here’s something you might want to adjust asap – apparently a major portion of antibiotics enter you not via that doctor pill, but via conventionally raised livestock that you consume. Hit up this article by Dr Mercola if you’re keen for more info on that. He’s a health rockstar.

 

So ok, right now you’re probably like ‘SHIT MAN, I have done/do/will do some of these things! How do I support my gut theatre with tender loving digestive choices?’

Here’s a word for you:

Kombucha.

This stuff is teeming with beneficial flora that will help bring back the beat in your digestive street.

And what do we think is the best way to get it in ya? A sexy home brew, of course. Real food fundamentals. Let’s rock the kitchen.

Clinks*

Carly & Em

Total making time = 10 days
Amount conjured = 1 x 1L jar (or thereabouts)

Ingredients – part 1

1 tea bag of organic green tea
1 tea bag of organic, plain black tea
1 litre boiled water
¼ cup raw sugar
¾ cup kombucha (from a shop, or pre-brewed)
Kombucha SCOBY – either pinch one from a friend or head to ye old internete to purchase.

Ingredients – part 2

1 tsp raw sugar
Your choice of real food flavouring, eg passionate fruit, a peach, hibiscus flowers etc.

Equipment

3 x Sterilised jars (2 at minimum 1 L capacity, the other can be smaller. Wide tops is a plus)
one for initial brew
one as the SCOBY hotel
one for flavouring the brew
Clean cloth
Tongs

How to sterilise a jar?

Wash le jar thoroughly, leave to dry on a teatowel.
Throw it in the oven.
Turn oven on once the jar is in – this is so you don’t crack the jar by hoisting it into a raging furnace, but rather letting it more gradually adjust to the heat.
180 degrees celcius, 20 mins, is how we roll.
Obviously, do not put the lids in the oven – we’re not going to use a lid until the very end anyway.  You can sterilise lids by dunking them in boiling water for about 10 minutes then air drying.

Method part 1

  1. Pour boiling water in jar with tea bags & sugar, steep overnight.
  2. In morning, remove bags with tongs
  3. Pour in pre-brewed kombucha
  4. Pop SCOBY on top
  5. Cover with clean cloth and rubber band to hold
  6. House your baby in a dark cupboard where it won’t be disturbed much, and resist the temptation to check it daily – it prefers to be a hermit for 7 days.
  7. Let it be for 7 days.

Method part 2

At 7 days remove the SCOBY and store it in some kombucha liquid in a separate jar (this is called the SCOBY hotel and it is very fancy)

  1. Strain your brew into the new bottle.
  2. Add 1 tsp sugar
  3. Add your chosen flavouring (if passionfruit, add the pulp & juice) OR you can just leave it plain.
  4. Pop the lid on, and let it brew for another 3 days, ensuring to ‘burp’ the brew daily – undo lid and release air, then replace lid.
  5. Voila – put in the fridge with lid on, and enjoy at your beverage leisure.

Tips

  • Hit up your local food coop and spread the word that you’re looking for a scoby. Someone will come to your brewing rescue.
  • SCOBY = symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts.
  • Be mindful when choosing tea that there’s no essential oil in the black tea – we’ve found that the scoby doesn’t like some oils.
  • Adding the pre-brewed kombucha provides bacteria to help kick start your brew.
  • Do not use a stainless steel brewing container as the scoby can react to it. Don’t use plastic either (BPA, yuk!). We prefer glass.
  • When you put scoby in, it could sink, or it could float. Either way, it’s all good.
  • While your beverage is brewing, the scoby will start to grow a baby on it. This will happen over and over. Just keep using the original scoby as you like, or use a baby.  Whichever way is cool. You can gift your friends baby scobies at their parties. I think they’d like that.

What about mould?
Sometimes the new scobies forming look like mould – but in fact it can be the new yeast growth forming.  Have a look at it. Mould on top appears dry and furry, with separate clump dwellings. Scoby growths look moist.  It can start out as separate clumps, but then merge together as one flap.  Scoby growth will also grow mostly submerged beneath the liquid.

Support
Kombucha Brewers Group – here you chat with a community of keen brewers about your kombucha making journey, send in pics for clarification, and have a merry time.

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