Kombucha everyone is talking about it on the Health and Wellness Scene.
You see it at the grocery shop to buy, but how do you make your own at home on your own?
With a Basic Kombucha recipe straight out of the brand new book: Probiotic Drinks at Home by Felicity Evans (Murdoch Books).
Kombucha brewing, the sugars convert into acids, leaving a low-sugar drink. I like to harvest the kombucha when it’s still a little sweet.
However, if you want to make a vinegar or a totally sugar-free product, allow it to ferment for several weeks and use the kombucha vinegar in salad dressings.
Preparation time: 15 minutes Fermentation time: 1–5 weeks Difficulty: Medium
Shelf life: Refrigerate for up to 3 months Makes: About 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups)
1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) filtered water or springwater
4 black tea bags or 1 tablespoon loose-leaf black tea
3 tablespoons raw or white sugar
3 tablespoons kombucha starter culture liquid
1 kombucha Mother, a little smaller than the size of
Bring 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) of the filtered water to a simmer. Pour into a teapot or heatproof bowl, add the tea bags or tea leaves and leave to steep for 3–5 minutes. Strain the tea into a heatproof 1.5 litre (52 fl oz/6 cup) wide-mouth glass jar and discard the tea bags or tea leaves. Add the sugar to the jar and stir to dissolve. Pour in the remaining filtered water.
When the liquid has cooled to room temperature, add the kombucha starter culture liquid and Mother. Cover the jar with a piece of muslin (cheesecloth) and secure with an elastic band.
Place the jar out of direct sunlight in a cool spot where it won’t be disturbed. Leave the liquid to ferment for around 4 days in hot weather and 14–20 days in cooler weather.
Gently remove the Mother to re-use or rest (see page 89). Retain 3 tablespoons of the kombucha liquid as the starter culture liquid for your next brew (see page 88).
Mix in any sediment that has settled at the bottom of the jar, or leave it as it is. Put a funnel in the opening of a 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid and put a strainer on top of the funnel. Pour the kombucha into the bottle through the strainer and discard any solids.
Tightly seal the bottle lid and leave the bottle on the bench to build carbonation. This could take anywhere from 2–14 days, depending on the temperature. ‘Burp’ the kombucha daily to release some pressure by opening the lid slightly and then tightening it again.
When the kombucha is as fizzy and sour as you like (this could range from a small spritz to a ferocious fizz), store it in the fridge to slow the fermentation process, and enjoy cold.
Tip You can make a fabulous hair rinse from kombucha that will leave your hair soft and silky. Allow fermentation to continue to vinegar stage, so that no sugar is left – the kombucha will smell highly acidic. Bottle the kombucha and use it next time you wash your hair.
image and recipes from Probiotic Drinks at Home by Felicity Evans (Murdoch Books RRP $27.99)