Our good friends over at Barebones Broth came over this week to share their latest batch of kombucha with us that they made just for Peter. We are here to tell you that this recipe is legit!
In this recipe, Kate uses a ready made SCOBY, but you can find excellent instructions for making your own in our friend Jill's book, Fermented.
1. One healthy SCOBY, which is basically a colony of good-for-you bacteria and yeast that you can order online from someplace like KombuchaKamp, or from a friend who's already brewing their own kombucha.
2. One gallon of black tea, brewed.
3. One cup of organic sugar. I recommend not subbing alternative sweeteners like honey, etc, because they're tougher for the SCOBY to digest and turn into good probiotics.
4. Two cups of raw "starter" kombucha, which you can get at the farmers market or the grocery store. Just make sure to use unflavored.
Place the SCOBY and starter tea in a glass or porcelain bowl and cover with cheese cloth or a towel.Mix the sugar in the tea then let stand, covered until it's room temperature. You don't want to shock your SCOBY with dramatic temperature changes!
Once the tea is at room temperature, mix the starter kombucha and your freshly brewed tea in a 1.5-gallon glass or porcelain jar (I use a beverage dispenser with a spout at the bottom, because that makes for easier harvesting). Place the SCOBY gently on top. Don't worry if it sinks -- just leave it.
Cover the jar with either cheese cloth or a towel and secure it with a rubber band. Flies and fruit flies LOVE this stuff, and you don't want their bad bacteria in there.
Leave it at room temp, undisturbed, for four days.
Then remove SCOBY, dispense into glass jars with lids that seal tightly (I prefer swing-top bottles like you use for beer), cap them and leave at room temperature 3-4 more days for the second ferment. This is the part that makes the drink fizzy. You can also add fresh fruits at this point, like blueberries, peaches, honeydew and mint to give the kombucha more food and create the carbonation. Just avoid any citrus. Taste them periodically to make sure you're getting the flavor profile you want. The longer it sits, the more vinegary it will become. Once you like the taste, strain it, return it to the bottle and stick in the fridge.
This week I am going to try making a pumpkin spice kombucha by adding small amounts of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice and fresh ginger, along with 1 tsp of sugar per 16 ounces, during the second ferment.