Kind024 Posted May 20, 2019 Share Posted May 20, 2019 Greetings to the Lab community and beyond. There is an awareness about healthy eating around the community here. I hope this will help fortify the movement. There is alot of information out there about the health benefits of Kombucha and how it's made. This is the method I use. It's kind of a perpetual cycle once you get started. I'll try to put them in steps... A couple notes: ...Clean your hand well before handling the Scoby...that's the slimy looking thing in the jars. ...Dont use metal utensils. Metal will kill some of these microbes. ...Careful when carbonating the brew in the final stage. As with all sealed ferments they can explode! I've never had a flip top bottle explode before. The rubber graumet usually gives to the pressure first. You'll see the overflow of foam dried on the outside of the bottle. ...Temperature influences how fast things ferment. The cooler the temperature the longer it takes. I've had it take almost 2 weeks. At a certain point it's too cold and the microbes cant function properly and the brew will develop an unpleasant taste. ...If a bottle is left in the hot car. The microbes will activate and start producing more Co2. Dont open warm kombucha in the car or anywhere you dont want to paint the ceiling with it! Step 1. Brew one gallon of black tea and add one cup sugar per gallon. Make sure the tea has cooled below 100*F before adding the scoby. These are one gallon vessels. Each has a scoby culture and about 1 cup of brew from the previous batch. The added brew will help set the microbes off in the right direction for the next batch and help keep pathogens from growing. Cover the jars with something breathable. The yeast produce Co2 and ethanol as they make available to themselves the oxygen molecules in the sugar. This is parchment paper with a few pin holes will allow it to breathe. Muslin cloth works well too. These will go into the veg room under paper bags...no light. The veg room is about the warmest place in the house. Fermentation microbes work best at consistent warm temperatures. 85*f - 98*f depending. Making whiskey mash is a different process. But the yeast still needs consistent temperatures...quality moonshine is an art form and im not proficient in creating it so I'll spare you the gibberish. These will ferment for about 7-9 days or when the flavor shifts from sweet to tangy. Step 2. It's been 9 days on this brew and it's done. This is ready to drink at this point. It can be bottled or put in a pitcher in the fridge. It can also be flavored... The scoby will grow every batch. Eventually it can be peeled in half to make another starter culture. Now the scoby goes to the next jar and a cup of the finished brew is added... ready for another gallon of sweetened black tea. Now that the tea is fermented it can be flavored. I add from 1 - 1.5 cups of fruit per 1 gallon of plain kombucha. This one is going to be mango and ginger. I add ginger to most of the brews. It helps to chop the fruit well or a quick puree to make good surface area and release the juice. Everything is strained before bottling so I dont remove the ginger skin. When the fruit is added I give it a gentle stir. The yeasts will stoke up when more sugars are added so careful it doesn't foam over. After the fruit is added this goes back to the veg room to ferment for another 3 days or till the sweet from the fruit goes away. You'll be able to taste the shift. The jar on the right is ready to make another batch. Step 3. Strain and bottle the flavored kombucha. This is a different brew used for the photo. I keep 3 gallons staggered in constant rotation so I didn't have to follow one batch to the finish. Now the fruit has been fermented it is strained and the brew can be bottled. This one was blackberry and ginger. This stuff makes great worm food. All the left over fruit and any extra scoby gets fed to the worms. The worms cover the scoby like baseball in the worm bin. I've never seen that much excitement over any other food. Its basically a patty of living microbes and worms eat microbes. A muslin bag works well. The fruit mash is squeezed well to keep all the juice in the brew. Some folks will blend the fruit really well and put it in the bottles unstrained. Once its strained its put in these 500ml flip top bottles. You'll get about 6+, 500ml bottles out of a finished gallon. Depending on the displacement of fruit. Now it can be consumed as is or it can go back into the warm veg room for another 3 days to build carbonation. I like to add about 1/2 tsp of sugar to each bottle before they get closed and go back into fermentation. This will keep the yeast active and feed their production of Co2. Step 4. After 3 days in the sealed bottles it should be ready. You can test one bottle to make sure the carbonation is correct. It's a good idea to chill the brew before opening the bottle. Also keep your palm over the top as you release it at first and do it in the sink! It can foam over fast. The cold will slow the processing of the microbes and settle the carbonation a little. When it's done just right it will pop like champagne and hold that same crisp effervescence. The carbonation can easily fill half a glass after opening. I open and pour at the same time. I'll put some links up in another post about the health benefits. This is a post to set things off and let the members continue to share their kombucha experience. I'll do my best to help along the way. I'm sure this post needs editing...I'll be back later. Unconditional, kind "Be the light that lights lights that light other lights." C.R. Jr. Link to comment
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