I had heard about the benefits of kombucha and bought a plain brewed bottle from Marrickville Farmers Markets in Sydney's Inner West a couple of months ago, and I LOVED it!
Not knowing any local SCOBY owners (that stands for Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast), I braved the world wide web and tracked down a kombucha culture of my very own and started brewing.
Fermented foods are a big part of the paleo movement as more people are gaining an insight into the importance of gut healing for overall wellbeing. Not to mention, kombucha tastes amazing!
Kombucha is a fermented beverage with numerous health benefits, as it contains high levels of antioxidants, B vitamins, probiotics and glucaric acid. It is believed that kombucha can provide numerous health benefits, including:
Improved digestion and gut health
Best of all, kombucha is so easy to prepare yourself.
1 x kombucha SCOBY and around 1 cup of kombucha from a previous batch
3 litres filtered water
1 cup caster sugar
3 x organic black tea bags (I use Nature’s Cuppa Ceylon Tea Bags)
1 x 3 litre sterilised jar
1 x tea towel or breathable cloth
1 x ribbon
Boil water in a large pot.
Once boiled, add tea bags and brew tea to desired strength. I leave mine in for around 5 minutes.
Add caster sugar whilst hot and stir until sugar is dissolved.
When the tea is cooled, pour it into the jar. Add the kombucha liquid and carefully place the SCOBY into the jar with clean hands.
Cover jar with a tea towel and fasten with a ribbon or elastic band.
Place jar in a dark place away from other fermenting foods.
Leave kombucha to ferment undisturbed for around 14 days, and then taste the liquid with a straw. If you prefer a sweeter kombucha, you may wish to reduce the fermentation time. The warmer it is, the more quickly the kombucha ferments.
When you are ready to harvest your kombucha, repeat steps 1 to 4, but this time, you will require two jars and a double batch of tea.
With clean hands, remove the SCOBY and a cup of the liquid into a bowl. When the SCOBY is in the bowl, you should be able to separate it into two! That’s right, your SCOBY forms a baby SCOBY!
Transfer the liquid to glass bottles. You may strain the kombucha as there will be some residue from the fermentation process.
You can store the kombucha in or out of the fridge, but it will continue to slowly ferment if you store it unrefrigerated. I drink my kombucha with a dash of soda water for some added fizz, but if you need extra flavour, experiment with adding strawberries, vanilla and ginger to your bottled kombucha.
I urge you to give kombucha a go! It tastes great, its good for your gut and it’s a bit of fun to tell friends and family you hoard and harvest blobs of bacteria.
If you’re looking for a kombucha SCOBY in Sydney, I am happy to help you out. If you are located elsewhere, ask your local health food shop or look online, but be a bit skeptical to ensure you get a well-bred SCOBY.