Remember I started brewing it? Since my first try was a flop, I tried again with a new scoby. And it was a success! It was wonderfully sweet. A little too sweet, but I will get it down soon. And it's lovely to drink when you want something fizzy and sweet, instead of a soda. I can see myself drinking this all summer, sitting on our porch and enjoying a cool summer breeze. It will be much classier than last summer when Erin and I sat on our porch drinking a cold beer after tiling some of our kitchen floor, and by sitting I mean we were sitting on metal chairs we found in our basement next to our toilet and stove/oven. Because naturally everyone has those on their back porch. hehehe. We were tiling our bathroom and kitchen at the same time and it looked like a dump yard. So, kombucha=classy :)
I started this time with a new scoby. I used a gallon of filtered water I bought at the store. I used organic black tea bags. I sanitized my jar with vinegar, no soap. Soap is bad for the scoby. I also added a splash of vinegar to the tea mixture to give it a little "Umph"
If you have looked at kombucha recipes online, you will find there are roughly, I don't know, 6,479. Just kidding. But seriously, no 2 are the same. So I will just let you know what I did.
What you need:
-1 gallon size glass jar. Just use glass, don't risk metal or plastic not working right. ( I bought mine from Target for $18 and it has a spout at the end which is PERFECT for bottling the tea).
-8 organic black tea (don't use Earl Grey)
-1 cup organic white sugar (the yeast with work best with the plain, bad for you sugar)
-cloth and rubber band
- almost forgot this one, the SCOBY! (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast)
-100% pure juice of some sort, I used pomegranate
Here is where I bought mine.
Pour the filtered water into a stock pot and bring to just below a boil. Turn off the water and add the sugar. Stir to dissolve. Then, add the tea bags. I hang all the tags by the handle so they don't float around.
After an hour, take out the bags. Let the tea come to room temperature. I leave mine overnight and in the morning I pour the tea into the glass jar. Make sure the spout is turned off. Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything. Really make sure the tea isn't hot or it will kill the good bacteria of the scoby, be patient people!
Add the scoby to the tea. It will sink to the bottom. Add any liquid that was being stored with the scoby. If you don't have at least a cup of the liquid, you can add a teaspoon or two of vinegar. That's what I did. It just helps it get going. A little somethin somethin.
I place one of my homemade napkins over the top of the jar and secure it with a rubber band. You want it to breath but don't want any nasties to get inside. That is the mistake I made the first time I brewed. I used cheesecloth and a few days later I had fruit flies floating on top. Then mold. Yikes!
Leave it alone. Give it some space man. Let it work it's magic! This was hard for me. I would sit in front of the jar each day and use my flashlight app on my phone to look inside it, without really touching it of course. Kombucha can take 7-14 days to be ready. Do your own research and see what you think. Day 7 might be super sweet and day 14 could be super sour. So, taste it often after day 7 and see if you want to stop.
Now here is where you just experiment with it. After 8 days, I tasted it. It was a little scary, since it looked like this. Don't worry, this is only the top. I poured some out of the spout.
I could see lots of teeny tiny bubbles floating to the top and boy was I excited! It was carbonating all on its own! The scoby was at the top and had formed another film at the surface ( a baby scoby). So i bottled it. I filled the bottles about 80% and added 100% pomegranate juice to flavor it. Then, I placed them in a container in my pantry and covered them with a towel (in case they explode) for 3 days. Then, refrigerate, and drink! Be classy :)
|After juice, you don't need to add very much.|
|I placed them in this tub and threw a towel over the top, just to be safe.|
I feel like I could have let them sit out another day or 2, since my pantry is a little cool. And this batch I'm doing now, I let it sit for 10 days before I bottled it. Now they will sit in my pantry for 4 days. We shall see.
What do you do with the scoby and tea left in the jar? I'll tell you! I have been doing a continuous brew. There is less risk for contamination that way. So, I leave a cup or two of the tea and scoby in the jar. Then, start over with brewing more tea, letting it cool and add it back to the jar. Start over with brewing it for a week or so. If you want to stop, save a cup of the tea and the scoby in a glass jar. Just make sure your hands are clean before transferring the scoby.
Want a scoby so you can make your own?? I got one for ya!