All about kombucha brewing for beginners! A kombucha habit can end up costing you a small fortune when you purchase from the store. However, if you make it yourself, it costs pennies on the dollar. Plus, when you make your own, you get to customize flavors and create the sweet/tart balance to your liking. Best of all?? It’s so much easier than you probably think.
Around here, if you go to the store to purchase your favorite kombucha, you’ll easily drop $3+ dollars on one 16 ounce bottle. At only one bottle a day, that habit will run you (and this is a conservative estimate) $84-$90 a month.
I don’t know about you, but there’s no way I’m spending that on a beverage every month – no matter how healthy it is for me.
*Note: as with anything, excess consumption can be a cause for concern. All things in moderation. Also, certain people with compromised immune systems or health issues should use caution. If you’re concerned, some things to consider here.
*This post contains affiliate links to things I use and love. Full disclosure here.
FAST FIX FRIDAY
EVERY(ISH) FRIDAY, MY GIRLS, THE PURPLE HYDRANGEA AND FARMHOUSE MADE, AND I GET TOGETHER AND BRING YOU A SUPER SIMPLE, FAST FIX TO SIMPLIFY AND BEAUTIFY YOUR HOME AND LIFE.
This week’s fix:
Kim: has been busy over in her neck of the woods – go see what’s new with her!
Why Kombucha is Good for You
In his article here, Dr. Axe explains-
Known as the “Immortal Health Elixir” by the Chinese and originating in the Far East around 2,000 years ago, kombucha is a beverage with tremendous health benefits extending to your heart, your brain and (especially) your gut.
How does this ancient drink make such a huge difference in your body?
Due to the fermentation process involved in creating kombucha, it contains a large number of living healthy bacteria known as probiotics. These bacteria line your digestive tract and support your immune system, as they absorb nutrients and fight infection and illness.
Since 80 percent of your immune system is located in your gut, and the digestive system is the second largest part of your neurological system, it’s no surprise that the gut is considered the “second brain.”
If you already eat a whole foods based diet, drinking kombucha regularly is a great addition that can help you maintain peak immune health, which trickles down into an impressive number of benefits for your overall health
Be sure to check out the eight health benefits of kombucha here (scroll halfway down the page to go right to the 8 benefits).
And here is another excellent article on the health benefits of kombucha from Wellness Mama.
Now – Let’s Make some Kombucha
If you’re like me, and you need step by step instructions that are easy to follow, I’ve got you covered. I jumped straight into the deep end and ordered this fantastic starter kit from Amazon.
I loved that it came with *everything* I’d need to get my home brewing process off to a great start. Can’t say enough good things about it.
I’d tried making kombucha many years ago with a rogue SCOBY I got from somewhere (can’t remember where) and had very little in the way of instructions. Let me tell you, it was an epic fail. EPIC, I tell you.
But this time – well, let’s just say it’s been such a huge success that I can’t keep it in stock in the house! My boys love it as much as I do and we’ve had fun experimenting with different flavors.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
First off, here is the kombucha brewing starter kit I bought. It comes with everything you need for your first two gallons (batches) of kombucha. TWO GALLONS. That means this starter kits more than pays for itself! Count me in!
Once your starter kit arrives (or if you’re winging it with a rogue SCOBY)
- Brew your tea (I use 4 cups of boiling water), letting it steep for 8-10 minutes. I brew in this glass container.
- Discard used tea bags.
- Pour your tea into a clean gallon jar (included in the kit)
- Add 1 cup of sugar (I use organic and raw now that the sugar included in my kit is gone) and stir with a wooden spoon to dissolve.
- Add any additional water you need to make just under a gallon (leaving room for your starter liquid and SCOBY mother), and let it cool. The starter kit has a handy adhesive temperature gauge to stick on the side of your gallon jar you can use. I just go by feel and when the tea is good and cool, I add the SCOBY and the included kombucha starter liquid.
- Give it all a gentle swirl or two with the same wooden spoon and cover with the included cloth or a paper coffee filter or cheesecloth. Use the rubber band to ensure a snug fit on your cover. You don’t want anything getting inside there to contaminate your brewing goodness.
- Set in a warm place, out of direct sun, and let it sit – undisturbed – for 7 days. You can leave it up to 12 days. The longer you leave it, the less sweet it becomes.
If you’re wanting to try this without the starter kit, just use the amount of tea (loose leaf OR tea bags – your choice) you’d need for a gallon of tea. I do one tea bag for every 8 oz. cup of water. That’s 16 tea bags for one gallon, if you’re wondering. 😉 You’ll still want a gallon glass jar for brewing.
A Quick Word on Water
For what it’s worth, I swear by our Berkey filtration system. This is the water we use for everything we drink or cook with. It’s also what I use for my kombucha. Our Berkey gives us remarkable water, removing 99.99% of contaminants, including the Rx drugs, pesticides, and all the other yuck you don’t even want to know is in your water. We also have the fluoride filters and love them. I used to think our tap water was pretty good, but I won’t even tell you the gross stuff we clean off the filters. So thankful it’s no longer going into our bodies.
After Seven Days
You’re ready to sample your Kombucha! Using the “tester straw” included in your kit, slip it down inside the brew and remove a sample. If the sweet/tart balance is to your liking, you’re set! If it’s still a bit sweet for you, let it sit another day or so – until it’s just how you like it.
Decanting your brew – with *optional* second ferment
Now that you’re ready to decant your brew, wash your hands thoroughly, reach into your kombucha, and pull out your “mother”, the SCOBY. Place her in a clean, small glass vessel.
Pour about 1 cup of your current brew over the top to cover the SCOBY. This will now become your starter liquid for your next batch! 🙂
You have two options now.
- Pour remaining kombucha into a large jar(s) with a tight fitting lid – to keep all that bubbly goodness contained.
- OR (this is what I do) – pour remaining kombucha into individual glass flip-top brewing bottles. I have these here *shown below*. They’re awesome. Add a little fresh or frozen fruit to the bottles. Clamp the lids on and place in a dark location, out of direct sun, and leave for 2-3 days. *BE SURE TO VENT EACH BOTTLE ONCE A DAY* (sorry to yell – but if you don’t vent them, you may end up with an explosion of kombucha all over inside your cabinet. That would not be fun to clean up. My little boys get the biggest kick out of watching me vent our bottles. Some of the carbonation gets a little wild! 😀
And now you’re done!! Your kombucha is ready to be savored and enjoyed and raved about!
Our favorite flavor combinations so far have been apple, blueberry, goji berry (pictured above), and raspberry. But the flavor combos are endless! Ginger, mint, strawberry, mango, grapefruit, orange, grape – anything goes! This is where you get to have even more fun experimenting with flavors and finding the ones that YOU love best.
Pretty cups and serving utensils optional, but so fun. Have you made kombucha yet? What flavors have you tried/will you try?