The Big Taste Test, The Kombucha Diaries pt.3

The big taste test of my first home brewed kombucha happened this week. But let me back up a little.

After the KT fermented with the scoby for about 12 days, it was ready. How do you know it’s ready? No the SCOBY doesn’t scream out I am done in here, it’s a taste test. The first one. You take a straw, move the SCOBY aside and take a draw. Mine tasted great on day 10 but a little sweet so I let it go two more days. Then it was time to flavor and bottle.

Ready to bottle

I had saved some GT Kombucha bottles and washed them, let them dry out and then before bottling gave them a nice hot water dip in water. Of course boiled water. You don’t want to use tap water as the stuff found in tap water can harm your SCOBY I am told. Makes sense anyhow, I am making this for health why use water filled with who knows what.

washed bottles

I took a good chunk of ginger and peeled the skin off and then cut it into little chunks and smashed it a bit to release some of the juices and then dropped two pieces into each of the bottles. Next I took two limes, cut them in half, squeezed the juice into a bowl and then put 1 tsp into each bottle as well. Easy enough.

Next I moved the baby SCOBY into my SCOBY Hotel and added some of the brewed KT to cover and put the lid on. That goes into my cupboard untill I need a fresh SCOBY. I took a cup of the KT and put it aside with the Mother as I was steeping more tea for my second batch while doing this. Really this is to simple.

I filled the bottles with my brewed KT, put the lid on and put them back in the warm location I had fermented in the first place and let them sit there for another 5 days. I would go in and burp the bottles and give them a little turn to mix stuff up. After the 5 days they went in the fridge and were ready to drink.

So what did my first batch taste like? As I said online, “Oh My Kombucha Goodness”. I love GT brand but I have to say I think I am really loving my own. Both my sons gave it a try and one of my sons had never had KT before and he ended up walking off with the remainder of my bottle.

I am two days away from tasting my second batch of home brewed KT. I am really leaning toward cranberry this time around.

So in the end I learned that this brewing Kombucha is easier than I expected, more fun and much cheaper. I should get 6 bottles out of the next batch so that would be 12 total. If you figure GT Kombucha runs about $4+ a bottle that’s $48 worth of KT tea I have brewed. Not bad.

If your nervous about brewing your own, don’t be. Need some help? Check out the Kombucha Mama’s site and/or join the fun on FB where you can share pics and ask questions and get support.

Till next time,
Blessings,
Shelly

Beer and Marriage

So my husband is a beer snob. I say that with love and respect. I just took longer to come around to this whole craft brew thing. Now I am enjoying all the lovely flavors and hunt for that special brew. I knew wine goes with certain foods but never ever thought about beer and food. My husband had mentioned it and I pondered it but never gave much thought to it. Never seen anyone honestly pair a beer to food. My step-father had his favorites and that was it. He has since got on the craft brew fun train. No the closest I got to pairing beer is having an Irish dish and a nice dry Irish stout with it. Irish dry stouts are my favorite. So why mess with perfection I thought.

My first issue of Bon Appetit showed up and I flipped threw it and picked a few recipes to try. Then one night I actually started reading and found an article about Belgium ales. Knowing my husband likes some “odd” (read that as I never heard of them) brews I thought the recipes in this article might be fun to cook for him. He also loves seafood. So this sounded perfect. Just happened that day I had driven by a local farm and they were having the “seafood guy” back for the season. So fresh seafood and beer would really make my man happy. So I started out on my adventure to cook Moules Fritas, or the updated version in the article.

This recipe is not hard but I am telling you getting mussels made this dish a challenge. First Saturday the seafood guy was at the farm we ended up coming home with scallops and wrapped those babies in bacon as he didn’t have mussels. My husband grilled those with BBQ sauce and they were very tasty. I was just upset we didn’t get the muscles.

This week we went up again hoping he had some fresh mussels but were saddened to find he didn’t. My other seafood place emails you what they have weekly and I knew that was a loss. So we went to the grocery store that I am fond of. I know the woman who runs the fish department and was praying she was there as if the grocery store didn’t have it I knew she would know a good place to get some. Happily they had mussels  and we asked for some fresh ones from the back. She was happy to get them for us. Next we ran over to our favorite package store and picked up some Belgium White Ale. I had wanted to get Hoegarden like the recipe said but the store didn’t have it so we got a 6 pack of Long Trail Belgium White. I have to add here that I am loving it just to drink. mmmm

This dish was easy to make and I was happy to have my hubby in the kitchen being my Sous Chef.  Most of my kids were out of the house and so it was just me, hubby and my 10 year old son. Wasn’t sure how he was going to take to this dish but to my surprise he cleaned his bowl!  There is nothing left for the teens who missed out. To bad. lol

You could taste the beer in the broth but man was it good! I am sold. That’s it. I am more than willing now to try all kinds of different  way to not only cook with beer but to pair with different foods. Which is a good thing when your married to a beer snob. Think he might be turning me into one too. Gotta love when your hobby and your hubby’s hobby can be meshed together to form a perfect union.

So here is a link and couple of pictures.

Bon Appetit

http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2010/05/mussels_steamed_in_beer_with_creme_fraiche_herbs_and_parmesan_croutons

Hubby’s gift

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For my husband’s birthday I got him a home brewery kit. We went to a store to get the supplies needed to make his first brew. Then to a pub with a great selection of beer on draught.

Today he started the process of brewing . I am not so sure if each step he took but I was snapping pictures as he was cooking up his hoppy brew. It smelled really good.

So are here are some pictures of the brew getting started. It’s now sits in the bucket for the next week.