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How To Make Kombucha

Published on 05/22/2012 by in Deann, Recipes

Kombucha

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Sugar (If you can, use organic cane sugar)
  • 4l Distilled water (Do not use tap or treated water)
  • 4-6 teaspoons loose leaf or tea bags (use green or black tea with no added oils)
  • 1 Piece of cotton or linen (Cheese cloth is too porous, however cloth basket style coffee filters work)
  • 1 Stainless steel or glass (10L pot. NO Aluminum)
  • 1 Wood, glass or steel spoon

Note

Keep hands, vessels and utensils clean! Avoid anti-bacterial soaps as you are trying to grow a bacteria culture.

Directions

Brewing the Tea
Step 1
Put distilled water into a stainless steel or glass pot. Do NOT use ALUMINUM.
Add sugar and stir. Bring it up to a boil and let it boil for at LEAST 3 minutes.
Add the tea and boil for another 2-3 minutes.
Turn off the heat source and allow the tea to steep for 10-15 minutes (to your liking).
Remove the tea bags and let the tea cool to room temperature.
Pour the steeped tea into your vessel and add the culture with mother tea. Never put your kombucha culture into hot tea as it will damage the culture.

Use the cotton cloth to cover the top of the vessel. Adding a couple of pieces of masking tape in an X will help prevent the cloth from falling into culture. Secure the cloth with an elastic band.

Place the vessel in a quiet and dark area with good ventilation and an ambient temperature of 23-28C (73-83F). Try not to move the vessel around as it might disturb the culture and the fermentation process.

This process will take approximately 7-10 days.

You can check your kombucha for the desired taste by either using a PH kit (desired pH level is 3), or you can gently nudge the baby mushroom aside with a straw. Take a sample from near the bottom of the vessel and taste it. If it's still too sweet, cover the vessel and check again in a couple of days.
Harvesting the Mushroom
Step 2
Once your kombucha is ready, it's time to harvest the mushroom and refrigerate your fermented beverage.
Remove the cotton cover and you will notice 2 cultures now grown in the vessel. If the mother and baby have grown together, you can gently pull them apart. Put the cultures into a clean glass jar and add 12-24 ounces of the fermented tea. You can keep these in the refrigerator until you are ready to brew another batch of kombucha.
Pour the newly fermented beverage into another glass container that you can seal up and put it in the fridge. This stops the fermentation process yet will allow CO2 to build up giving your kombucha a slight "fizz".

Make sure you leave enough starter tea with your cultures. If none is available, then you can use 2 tsp apple cider vinegar for every 10 cups of water.
Oh no what did I do wrong??
Step 3
"My kombucha didn't sprout a baby"
Don't panic. There are times you won't get a new culture sprouted. This is most likely caused by the temperature being too cold. Also if you try to brew your tea near the TV, microwave, or dishwasher that may stop the culture from doubling.

What IS that brown tendril thing hanging from the culture?
That's just a yeast. Sure it looks rather weird but it's completely normal and harmless. You can filter these out when you bottle your kombucha by straining through cheese cloth

And the black, blue or orange bits?
That's likely mold. Do NOT inhale the spores. You will need to discard the tea. You can try to gently wash away the mold from the culture with distilled water, apple cider vinegar or distilled vinegar. Start a new batch with a previous brew. If you do not have one, prepare with new tea adding 2 tbsp of organic apple cider vinegar for every 10 cups of tea. If the entire kombucha turns brown, the culture has been severely damaged and is no longer suitable for brewing.

But my culture sank!
That's OK...some sink, some float, some flip over. It's all good.

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