10.12.2015

Kombucha





I have been making my own Kombucha for the past few months.  My friend Junko who is an expert of yeast and fermentation, gave me a scoby to start my mown batch one day.  

I thought making Kombucha was extremely difficult because I didn't really know what Kombucha was.  I knew it was a healthy thing to drink. I was also confused with Japanese konbucha, which is a kind of tea brew from dried seaweed.  Kombucha is basically iced tea with sugar, but it's also fermented by using SCOBY, stands for  a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.  

After I was generously given a scoby and Junko showed me how to make it at home, I did a little research.  It is actually not clinically proven by any research that what kind of benefits it has for our bodies.  But people have been drinking it and making it because they feel better about their healths by experience.  That's a good enough reason for me to start making my own and drinking it dairy.  It's also much cheaper than buying them at stores.  After my little research, I read some people are afraid of messing up the process and getting sick from drinking home-made one, but I wasn't too worried about it after I learned the process of making it from my friend who knows quit a bit about yeast and fermentation and assumed me that it's highly unlikely that it'll happen to me.   I've made about 5 batches since then and I really think my body is happier.

If you are interested in making you own, there are sites like this one to explain further more about Kombucha.






I will write a recipe at the bottom as usual, but here's how I made my kombucha.  To make a new batch, I used 2 bags of English breakfast tea, 1 bag of Japanese green tea called houjicha, 2 bags of raspberry tea, a tea spoon of dried camomile from my garden and a cup of cane sugar.  I boiled a gallon of water and added the bags of tea, camomile and sugar off the stove.  Then stir it until sugar resolved and let it cool down to a room temperature.  I got rid of the tea bags and strained the tea into my 2 gallon jar and added another gallon of water.  Then put a scabby in that I had kept in a container with kombucha in the fridge, and a cup of kombucha in the jar and covered the top with cheese cloth and sealed it with a rubber.  Let it sit for 7 days or so in a cool shady area in your house.

I don't have a photo of scoby in this post, but it's white, round, flat and feels like rubber.  

  




About 7 days later, I opened the jar and tasted my kombucha.  It was perfectly sour and fizzy.  

I had some shiso leaves from my garden and lemon cucumbers from a farmer's market.  In case you don't know what shiso leaves are, they are the herbs usually come with sashimi plates.  It's basically basil for Japanese.  I never flavored my kombucha afterwards but I decided to try with chopped shiso leaves, sliced lemon cucumbers and ginger.  

Kombucha was so refreshing.  The best batch I made so far.  I highly recommend the combination of these ingredients I used for flavoring.  







Recipe: 2 gallons


Slightly less than 2 gallons of water
2 bags of strong english breakfast tea 9 (or use 3 normal one)
2 bags of raspberry tea
1 bag of green tea
1 cup of sugar
1 scoby (about 5 inch wide)
1 cup of kombucha (as starter)
1 bag of dried camomile (optional)
a chunk of ginger (optional)



Bring the gallon of water to boil ad turn off the heat.  Add all the tea bags and sugar.  Stir until the sugar dissolves.  Let the tea cool down to the room temperature and add another gallon of water.  Transfer the tea into a jar for fermentation.  Add scoby and a cup of kombucha in the jar.  Covered the top of the jar with cheese cloth and seal it with a rubber band.  Let it sit for 7 days or so in a cool shady area in your house.  

Slice a chunk of ginger thinly and add it in the bottle and refrigerate it for 1-2 weeks.  

You'll know it's ready when it becomes nicely fizzy and slightly sour. 

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