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

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Slowing Down-The Kombucha Diaries (pt2)

It’s been 9 days, as of writing this, since I started my first batch of Kombucha. So far it looks like it is going well. It smells like Kombucha and is looking like it. If you look closely at the pictures below you will a second SCOBY is forming too.

Brewing some KT

Looking down at the new scoby forming

I decided this first patch is going to be a ginger lime flavor. I love GT’s Gingerade but I also love a ginger tisane I make that has lime in it so I am going that route this time. I have fresh ginger and limes waiting for the big taste that happens tomorrow to decide if I bottle or not. Living in New England and keeping our home cooler than most would, my buch has been fermenting in the warmest room in our house at 70 degrees so it might take just a tad longer than I hope. We will see. I am in no real hurry.

I started some other fermented foods in my kitchen. I have a quart of ginger carrots that I moved to cold storage this week and can’t wait to try. Also, with the help of my husband, put two quarts of kimchi to ferment today. The recipe was found in Nourishing Traditions but I admit I adjusted a few things. A little more ginger and more red pepper flakes because we like things spicy.

Mashing some carrots and ginger

ready to ferment for 3 days

The house smelled lovely as my husband pounded the mixture together to release the juices. We couldn’t help but nibble on it. It will be hard to not eat it before it’s done to be honest. I love kimchi.

gathering my ingredients...where's my chili pepper flakes?

My hubby mashing everything together. Wish you could smell this.

Two quarts ready to ferment. Yum!

It’s funny I have the foods sitting around fermenting and I am waiting to eat them but can’t yet. It’s another lesson in patience for me. Another thing pulling me back to a slower pace as things get busy around me and call me to get caught up in the crazy busy energy. It’s especially fitting with it being winter, a time to be slower, reflect and go inward. A time to get back into the rhythm of my life and figure out what is important and what isn’t. To plan what I will nurture this spring and what I will let go.

Food is medicine, as Hippocrates said, but sometimes it’s the method that heals us or teaches us the most.

Till next time, I hope your finding your rest and ways to slow down this winter,
Blessings & love,
Shelly

The Kombucha Diaries (Pt. 1)

My first batch of kombucha is happily brewing in the warmest room in my house. I keep going in and saying hi to my SCOBY and telling it how lovely it is. Yeah I have officially slipped over the edge to crazy kombucha lady. That’s ok it’s better than having a zillion cats I suppose.

My SCOBY

I was so excited when my SCOBY showed up. What’s a SCOBY? Its the Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast that is the culture used in making kombucha tea. It has many names the more common I have heard are Mushroom (no it’s not a mushroom at all) and Mother, as as my kombucha brews my SCOBY will have an offspring, hence the term mother.

Making the tea


Happily Fermenting

So I am currently waiting the 10 days as my SCOBY and the sweet tea mixture ferment. Then I’ll taste and decide if it’s time to flavor it and bottle for give it more time to get it’s funk on. I’ll let you know how it goes.

While doing this I also am doing another “buch” thing. I am participating in the 30 Day Kombucha Challenge. If your looking for a way to drop soda, coffee or some other vice adding in a little kombucha daily can help. I have not drank soda in years. Coffee is not an issue either ( I rarely drink it) for me, so why do this? I wanted to see how kombucha could change my health by drinking it daily for 30 days. Finishing up the first week I have already noticed I have more energy. Not a weird energy either but a sustained happy energy. Hard to explain but it feels great.

Morning cup of Multigreen Kombucha, so yummy.

So come join if your interested even if just to see what this is all about.

Till next time,
Blessings!
Shelly