Earlier, I purchased a solar oven and used the sun’s rays to bake a delicious loaf of bread. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been brewing my own kombucha and I’m excited to share the results! Kombucha is a fermented tea drink that traces its roots back to Russia. Many claim that it is a “miracle” drink, capable of regulating and restoring the human body. Though the scientific community has not done enough research to back this up, kombucha is still a refreshing and delicious beverage loaded with good bacteria.
You can start the brewing process in a few ways. You can purchase a “mother” online or look around in your community for members who might already be brewing and would be willing to share. The mother culture resembles a mushroom and already contains the bacteria that will help to ferment your tea. I chose to buy a complete starter kit and start from scratch. Oregon Kombucha makes a very easy kit, completely with tea, organic sugar, and a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY).
The first step is to brew your tea. Boil one gallon of water and add tea (according to Oregon Kombucha, their enclosed tea can be replaced with 12 tea bags of your own choosing). I recommend using distilled water to brew your tea. Add one cup of organic sugar and stir.
Once the tea cools, pour the sweetened mixture into a very clean, non-metal container. Add the enclosed SCOBY or mother culture, cover the container with a clean cloth and place in an area between 75 and 90 degrees. Now, wait!
Kombucha will continue to brew for about 30 days. At around a week, the flavor is significantly lighter than after the full month. Try it often after the first week to find out which taste you prefer.
This was my SCOBY after 11 days. The color and texture of the SCOBY may vary, but it will not look like household mold. If you find mold that looks similar to what occurs on old bread, do not drink the kombucha. Don’t get discouraged, just try again and make sure your brewing containers and area are sanitary.
The finished product! I like my kombucha lighter, around the two week mark. You can add a blend of fruit juices or other teas to change the flavor. I chose a splash of white cranberry juice and had it over ice on a hot day. Delicious!