So happy you are here. Below is my recipe for making the best tasting Kombucha there is, (according to me).
This recipe is for 1.2 lit of Kombucha- so just use maths to make more or less.
WHAT YOU NEED-
-4 gr of tea (green or black or white, must be caffeinated and not have any oils or flavorings in it.)
-50 gr of sugar
-1 lit of hot water, temperature depending on what tea you are using. This will impact on flavor.
-2 dl* of starter, or old Kombucha*- BUY MY JASMINE AS A STARTER HERE.
*You will want to use roughly 10-20% old booch as starter for each batch.
-1 SCOBY – again, organic you can buy from a store or online, or ask a friend or grow one from old booch- again, Jasmine dreams…
-A 3 lit glass, ceramic or high grade stainless steel jar/container
-A rubber band to go around the jar
-Some tightly woven fabric, not cheesecloth (as this has holes big enough for fruitflies!!!)
HOW TO DO IT
Clean all your utensils and container with soapy warm water. Do not use anything antibacterial, as we are trying to create a place where things want to grow. Make sure you rinse your hands so they are clean, but in general Kombucha and the SCOBY are happy with being handled without crazy sanitation. Life is good!
Heat 2.5dl of water to the temperature needed, pour into your jar add the tea and sugar and allow sugar to dissolve.
Now add 7.5dl of tap water- this will bring the temperature down to around 25 degrees. Check it so it’s not too cold- anything under 20 degrees is really too cold, and anything above 30 degrees is too hot. Too cold and no growth- too hot and your bacteria and yeast will die and that’s not good for anyone.
Taste it. Is it super sweet? Good.
Add the starter and the SCOBY, put the fabric over the top and use the rubber band to secure the fabric. Make sure no holes exist for the pesky flies to sneak into the jar through. Now taste it again, the flavor should still be sweet, but with a hint of sourness to it. This will be your start flavor. Now you know what you have started with and day by day you will taste how the brew changes as the bacteria and yeast eat their way through the sugar.
Now you’ll want to put this jar somewhere warm, between 22-26 degrees Celsius for about a week or so. Keep it away from bread and any other food stuffs, anything else you might be brewing or growing etc. Kombucha does NOT like to be surrounded by things that have a tendency to grow mould so keep them well away!
You’ll notice your SCOBY might float to the surface, or sulk at the bottom of the jar or sit somewhere inbetween. This is all normal. You will get growth on the surface of the booch- this is your very own SCOBY! She might be attached to the old SCOBY, or be totally self sufficient. Either way, if you want to have 2 batches next time, you can separate the two, either by peeling them off each other, or simply taking one out. You should only do this once your booch is ready to bottle though, not during fermentation!
SO, she’s in the cupboard, warm and snug, and it’s been 2-3 days since you made the batch. Now you can start tasting the brew, to monitor the flavor. You will remember what it tasted like in the beginning, and it will be up to you when you are happy with the flavor- but I would say roughly 1 week is a good start for a small batch of booch. Each to their own though, some might prefer it sweeter and some might love the sour screw face of when it gets super vinegary.
Alright, so are now happy with the balance between sweet and sour taste. It’s time to bottle this baby!
First, get a clean large bowl, and put the SCOBY (SCOBIES) in it. Collect the starter, if it’s super strong you’ll only need about 10% but for the first few batches 20% is better, as it will help bring pH down to a good level quickly, (so you avoid the risk of mould).
SCOBY and starter out of the container- you can now use the rest to make booch. Now some might want to drink it au natural, but most people will like to add some other flavourings. Decant the booch into glass bottles with leak proof lids, old used bottles of other things are fine, or nice swingtops from IKEA are cheap and pretty.
DO not use plastic and we want to use inert material to avoid your bottle bending and bloating from the build up of carbonation in the bottle which we are aiming for. Also, plastic COULD leach into the drink and that would not be ideal.
With the 20% of starter and the SCOBY you have, you go right back to the top of the recipe and start again making more Kombucha!
Leave some room in the bottle at the top, to add your ingredients but also for the booch itself. You’ll want to leave about a thumbnail high of room from the cap to the liquid.
So now it’s play time, you can get crazy here. I love using ginger as it always makes the booch fizzy, due to the high fructose levels but you can use anything. The sweeter the ingredients the most fizz you’ll get so be careful. Mangos, pineapples, ginger and strawberries are fizz creators.
For a bottle of 250ml I’d say use a few small roughly chopped pieces of ginger,in total the size of a 4 P coin, but chopped up. Or 4 blueberries, 2 strawberries, a sliver of mango etc etc. The flavor will impart over the next few days, it takes a while, but is effective, so you don’t need much.
Herbs and spices are also nice, here a tiny pinch of things is better than stuffing it in. Cinnamon will become too heavy and undrinkable if you take too much so play around and make notes. You’ll soon find your favored amount.
Now your bottles are filled with beautiful ingredients and booch. Put the lid on, add a label so you know what’s in there and put the bottle somewhere warm and dark. Make sure the bottle is clean so it doesn’t attract those flies again.
This time you’ll want to leave the bottles for about 2-3 days before you check on them. The way to see if your booch is ready is by burping them. That means opening the lid. If there is a wild fizzing sound and bubbles appear in the bottle it might be ready. If the fizz escalates and goes all over the place, you left it too long and you’ll need some time to clean up booch from the floor. If nothing happens, fear not, it just needs more time! So put it back and wait a bit more.
If you are happy with the fizz, then put the closed bottle into the fridge, wait for it to be nice and chilled and then enjoy your very own bottle of home brewed Kombucha! Well done! You’re a master brewer!
Hope you find as much joy and happiness in brewing booch as I have. Good luck and loads of gut loving hugs