I am a complete novice when it comes to fermenting Kombucha. But I decided to try making it myself after sampling several bottles of commercially produced and boutique organic Kombucha. I found them to be either overly effervescent, or the flavours not to my liking. So after consulting the internet, I decided to “give it a go”. And it’s fascinating – like having a small, well-behaved but slightly repulsive pet.
I managed to grow my own scoby, the hard way, from the dregs of a bottle of local organic Kombucha. It took six weeks, but it may well have taken less time if I hadn’t sniffed, prodded, poked and held it up to the light every day. I probably didn’t give it enough sugar either, because once I added a little sugar syrup, the sad looking scoby perked right up, and within a few days “she” was blowing bubbles.
So throwing caution to the wind, I made up my first big batch of sweet tea, let it cool and then slid the scoby into the jar. She promptly flipped on her back and sank like a stone. OMG – I’ve killed her! Consult the internet – apparently not a disaster, it happens quite often. After a couple of days she rose to the top of the jar and I was able to flip her back.
Then she started growing all sorts of trailing appendages and dropping bits of sediment.
Consult the internet again – apparently normal. I’m a bit dubious because “normally” something that looks like this would go in the compost.
And then yesterday, on the seventh day of fermentation, I drank my very first glass of home-made Kombucha and it was delicious. Just a touch of sugar, a little effervescence, and a hint of black tea. Poured over ice cubes on a horrible, hot and windy 36 degree day, it really hit the spot.
I’m not a tea drinker, and I’ve always found black tea to be somewhat bitter, but I really felt like it didn’t need any other flavouring. Well, perhaps just a bit of ginger or a little Turmerix powder for extra health benefits. The next batch is already fermenting …
- Here is a link to the website I used to get me started – she is very informative.
- I used the proportions: 1 litre filtered water, 2 organic black tea bags, 55g sugar, 100 ml of store bought organic Kombucha. I used the dregs from the bottom of the bottle. Once you have fermented your first batch, you can use 100 ml of that to start your next batch.
- Make sure you keep the scoby covered with cloth, and sterilise your jars and bottles by filling them with boiling water.
- Start tasting from the seventh day, when it should be slightly sour and fizzy. The longer you leave the scoby in, the more vinegary it gets.
- I filtered the Kombucha through cheesecloth to remove most of the sediment
- Finally, here is a link to a website which shows what your scoby should and should NOT look like.