What is kambucha?
First things first, what in the world is kambucha? I was first introduced to kambucha when I stayed with an Air BnB host in Wellington who was into organic whole foods, yoga and healthy living, all the stuff I'm keen on too.
|My pet scoby|
Preparing the tea
I use 2 jars for the kambucha making process. Use glass jars as scobies don't like metal. Try the second hand shops for a cheaper option or jars can be purchased at a knick knack shop.
Put around 10 tea bags of black tea into a large jar. My jar is about a foot and a half tall. I add 2 extra bags of green tea just for fun. The scoby needs the caffeine to feed so using pure green tea won't do. Add in roughly 7 table spoons of brown sugar. For my smaller jar, I use 7 bags of black tea, 2 bags of green tea and roughly 5 table spoons of brown sugar. It doesn't matter really how many bags of tea or sugar you add. The scoby will eat whatever you put in.
Add in boiling water and leave it to brew.
Adding the scoby
Once the tea has cooled (you don't want to kill your scoby in hot tea), add in the mixture the scoby was living in, which is the old kambucha. This neutralises the acidity of the tea to provide a better environment for the scoby. It doesn't matter how much scoby you have as it would grow according to the food you feed it.
I have recently experimented with adding in a few strawberries and raspberries for added flavour. Totally up to you.
|Scoby in the jar of tea|
Cover your jars with a breathable cloth, date the jar and let the scoby work its magic for 7 - 10 days.
|Kambucha in the making|
Bottling your Kambucha
Let your kambucha brew for around 7-10 days. The warmer the temperature, the faster it brews. You can test it after 6 days and when you are happy with the mix of sour and sweet, you can start the bottling process. I usually like mine after 10 days.
You have to save your scoby for the next kambucha batch so scoop your babies into a bowl (remember not to use a metal ladle!) and pour some kambucha in with it. Pour the rest of the kambucha through a sieve before transferring it into bottles.
Plastic or glass bottles are fine. It's just like beer, where it will still fizz in the bottles. I've got a blog post about brewing your own beer too. The kambucha will still brew in your bottles as there are tiny scobies working their magic so the taste might change to a more vinegary taste if you keep the bottles too long.
There you have it. Brewing kambucha is super easy so why not give it a go?