Brewing Kombucha at Home
It's 'Booch Bottling Day! This is always a highly anticipated day in our house because we watch the magic slowly happen over a two-week period. My youngest always reminds me to "wait for him" before we drink it.
Kombucha (we call it, "HippieShine") has made a tremendous difference in our gut health. As an ancient beverage, it has a long history and long list of overall health benefits. We also love it because it is natural, bubbly, and low in calories. It's a nice break in our daily water habit.
There is a plethora of information about how to brew kombucha and I am by no means an expert. However, I've figured a few things out on my own. My brewing operation is very simple - my only real investment is in jars. I grew my SCOBY from a bottle of high-quality store-bought kombucha.
I use one-gallon jars for brewing and 1/2-gallon or pint-sized jars for bottling. I carry the pints with me to work and, to date, no one has asked me about what the heck I'm drinking out of a mason jar. It could be anything!
For this brew, I used a 50/50 blend of black tea and moringa oleifera. It's always a win when you can pack additional benefits in your brew. Moringa tea is delicious and powerful!
My first ferment took 11 days. Because it's cooler outside these days, I moved it into our pantry, where the temperature is warm and fairly consistent. The cooler the temperatures, the longer it takes for your brew to ferment. The ideal temperature is between 75 and 80-degrees Fahrenheit.
My second ferment took 3 days. I used raspberries and cranberries for this batch. It's always fun to see the tea take on the color of the fruit as it ferments and the gorgeous red of this brew is no exception. Raspberries typically create more carbonation and we are bubble-loving family! I waited until I could see a nice layer of bubbles on top of the brew before bottling.
I use a slotted spoon to remove the spent fruit from the jar. Most can be scooped out this way, but smaller pieces tend to be evasive. I use a mesh tea strainer to filter out the additional fruit and yeast cultures. It is the perfect size to fit the mouth of my half-gallon jars and it catches all of the "floaties."
I can tell if it's going to be a good brew from the foam "head" when I bottle it. Look at that!! This is a GREAT brew!