I have been asked by a number of people recently how I make my Kombucha at home. Making batches of Kombucha at home is quite easy once you get started and can save heaps of money, so I thought I’d share my tips. I was lucky enough to get a S.C.O.B.Y (SCOBY) from a friend a few months ago, and have been making batch after batch and trying (with all my might) to get all of my family and friends into it as well. The flavour combinations are limitless!

You can usually get a SCOBY from a friend or online. If you live in Melbourne, get in contact with me and I can help you source one.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN KOMBUCHA

Materials Required:
– S.C.O.B.Y starter culture
– 2x jars (2 ltrs or larger)
= Bottles with air tight lids (as many and whatever sizes you like)
– Fine cheesecloth/nut milk bag etc
– Measuring cups/jar
– Fine mesh sieve
– Black or green tea
– White or raw sugar
– Various fruits

S.C.O.B.Y stands for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast and is therefore a living organism with some great digestive health benefits. As it is fermented and fizzy, it can also be a great alternative to soft drinks! As your SCOBY is a living organism, it is best to use organic ingredients when making Kombucha and always have sterile equipment.

Firstly, add your SCOBY and juices (started culture should come with a SCOBY and some liquid) to one of your jars and use a fine cheesecloth or nut milk bag to cover the top. You want the SCOBY to be able to breath, but no insects/dirt to fall in. Place away from direct sunlight (like in a cupboard). 

First Stage Ferment
Next, brew some sweetened tea. You can use black or green tea, but don’t use herbal teas, as the oils will damage the SCOBY.  Organic is better if you can. For every cup of water you use, use one tea bag and 1 tablespoon sugar. You can use raw or white sugar and organic is best if you can. Obviously the less tea you make, the smaller your batch will be.

Allow your sweetened tea to cool to room temperature, and then pour into your jar with the SCOBY. Add your cover again and allow to stand for 7 days in a cupboard out of direct sunlight. The area should have a relatively even temperature throughout the day. 

After 7 days, your sweetened tea and SCOBY mixture will have lightened in colour. This is an indication that the fermenting process is working and this is considered your first stage ferment. With clean hands (no soap residue) take out your SCOBY and put it in a bowl or container. Now strain your Kombucha through your sieve, into your second jar. If some smaller bits get through the sieve, that’s fine – it’s safe to consume (extra good bacteria). Rinse out your first jar with hot water only (using detergent will harm your SCOBY) and place your SCOBY back into it and add approximately 1 cup of the plain Kombucha liquid on top. Place your cloth back over the top and put back in your cupboard until you’re ready to make another batch.

Second Stage Ferment
With your strained Kombucha liquid, you can now add your fruit. This is considered your second stage ferment. You can use whatever fruit and combinations you like. It’s fine if the fruit isn’t perfect and ‘on its way out’. You could also add some fresh herbs, spices or chai tea. You can use as little or as much as you like also, all based on your taste preferences. It might take you a couple of batches to work out how sweet you like it. Now add the lid and place back into the cupboard a further 3-7 days. If you like your drinks mildly fizzy, 3 days is enough. If you like them really fizzy, go for 5-7 days. Slowly release the pressure in the bottle every day or so and replace the lid. Once you are happy with the fizziness and sweetness from the fruit, simply strain into individual bottles, add an air tight lid and place in the fridge. The cool temperature of the fridge will stop any further fermentation process. They should be fine in the fridge for approximately 10 days.

My favourite fruit combinations are:
Lemon, Ginger and Turmeric
Dragonfruit, Raspberry and Ginger
Chlorella and Green Apple
Apple and Chai Tea
Lemon, Mint and Ginger

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