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Rocky

Making Kombucha tea at Home

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     So guys and gals my good friend and coworker has been encouraging me to add some supplemental immune support and generally feel good liquid consumables to the diet to help improve over all health.  Kombucha was one of his suggestion and he was eager to help me get started making it myself and happily supplied me with scoby and starter to begin the process.

      I was honestly a bit hesitant to attempt this process myself because it seemed a little more complicated and time consuming than I anticipated. But what the heck, times of the essence and Kombucha tea from the super market is $3+ and is apparently low grade because of the processing to get it to the shelves. It's very easy to make, but adhering to clean instructions is important to ensure best results. A gallon batch of Kombucha can be ready to drink in about 2 weeks and is not degraded by processing and sub par ingredients and is also much less dinero!!!

     Now I repeat the process is actually very simple. Say a good friend is kind enough and donates a kombucha starter and scoby to you; that's all you need along with spring water, sugar, your favorite green tea (preferably organic), a gallon glass jar, 2 coffee filters and 2 elastic bands.

This is a starter batch, half the amount of ingredients and half the volume of a full batch.

You need:

•Kombucha Scoby and starter. 

•1/2 gallons of spring water room.           

• 1/2 cup of sugar.                                       

 • 3 servings of your favorite green tea bags or loose if you don't mind straining it out.                                                             

 • 1 gallon glass Jar.                                     

• 2 elastic bands and 2 coffee filters.       

 • vinegar about 6oz, not exact.

Instructions:

**VERY IMPORTANT!!!**                               (before these ingredients are assembled together in the jar you need to plan the steps accordingly which I'll clarify to prevent contamination. While brewing Kombucha you are also growing a culture (the scoby), the environment in the jar is conducive to other unwanted cultures if you're not careful about contamination. Clean hands, Clean jars, Clean utensils, Minimal contact between multiple surfaces to avoid contamination.) 

Step 1: clean the gallon jar with light soap and water inside and out and rinse well to ensure residue is gone.

Step 2: add 6oz of vinegar to the jar, cover and swish the vinegar vigorously around in the jar for 15 seconds then discard down the drain. After drain just place the jar on the counter close to the stove for convenience for assembly of ingredients. The vinegar residue after the draining is to be left in the jar. Don't touch the inside of the jar now it's perfect and clean.

Step 3: bring 2-1/2 cups of the half gallon of water to a boil in a small sauce pan, turn off stove, carefully add and dissolve the 1/2 cup of sugar and add the 3 servings of tea and allow to steep until the solution has cooled to room temperature.

Step 4: (room temperature is important to avoid scalding the scoby causing damage) after allowing the solution to cool off remove the tea bags and add the solution to the gallon jar (if you chose to use loose tea, strain the tea into the jar with a clean utensil), then add remaining half gallon of room temperature spring water to the jar as well. 

Step 5: add your friends scoby and starter liquid to the gallon jar now. No specific orientation required, just dump it in carfully, don't stir it don't touch it, it's perfect!!!(avoid allowing of the outside of the vessel the (scoby/starter) came in to make contact with the inside of your clean gallon jar!) (that's a example of cross contamination you want to avoid).

Step 6: now that all the ingredients have been assembled into the gallon jar it is time to cover the top of the jar carefully. Place the 2 stacked coffee filter upside down on the top of the jar like a cover, form it carefully to avoid ripping the filters but conforming flat and neat across the opening then secure the filter to the top with the 2 elastic bands.  

Step 7: place the jar in a dark/room temperature place, like in the kitchen cabinets. It's best to not allow it to get too hot or too cold, (68°-76°F) is optimal!

Step 8: wait 2-3 weeks to allow the scoby to form to about a 1/4" thick or more on the top of the tea. As the sugar is consumed by the developing yeast it releases CO2 so you will notice bubbles forming on the surface. Soon after about a week or so you will notice a light pearlescent layer forming on the surface of the tea, this is a great sign!! This is the scoby colonizing, building gradually more efficiently daily, naturally creating the desired Kombucha tea!!!

Congratulations!!!!

     You completed what may have seemed like a complicated process because of the walking on eggshell (keep it clean tips), but after doing it found out IT'S SO EASY!!! The best part is if you love Kombucha you saved money, and if you like biology you learned the importance of avoid cross contamination to avoid growing unwanted cultures!! About that, over the next few weeks take a quick peak at the batch periodically and make observations for anything off color, black or green moldy looking growths on the surface as these are indications of contamination and if this occurs the batch should be discarded and restarted!!! 

      This is also a starter batch, one you won't consume so it is best to have a extra gallon jar ready to prepare the next batch after you achieve growing that beautiful 1/4" scoby!!

     The next batch, the one you will drink is simple, it uses double the ingredients, the same instructions, and just two more weeks. The only difference it you will be adding the the scoby you grew and about 6oz of the top liquid from that brew as the starter, it important to take from the top because that is where the important cultures exist. Toss out the left over liquid and the friends donated scoby and now you are on you way to becoming a scoby brew master.

Flavor can be adjusted by time allowed to ferment. Sweeter sooner, Sour later!! Older Kombucha becomes vinegar!!

Enjoy my friends, I hope you like my instructions. If you have questions just ask or google it!!!

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Edited by Rocky
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Very cool and thanks for the how to....

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Well I've taken it to the next level. I purchased bottles with latch tops to store my Kombucha in the fridge till consumption!! I noticed I made one mistake it my directions, lucky I noticed now than later. A normal batch should only take one week (not two)after the initial batch that builds the scoby but the same rule of thumb still applies to the time line sweeter sooner, sour later!! 

   The batch went with out a hitch and tastes refreshing immediately out of the jar but more importantly out of the fridge the following day!!! .

 I added a 1/8 cup of mango juice to the bottle before adding the kombucha and it tastes amazing!!!

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I had some friends doing this at one time in a galaxy far far away. They had several 5 gallon buckets happily brewing away in the greenhouse...along with their "other" medicinals :brows:

It was suprisingly tasty and its supposed to be healthy. I may try a batch at some point. :)

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