What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is a natural living beverage that has been fermented using a blend of tea (green, black, rooibos), raw sugar, and a SCOBY (a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast). The SCOBY feasts on the sugar and tea, then converts it into wonderful healthy enzymes and organic acids such as gluconic, lactic and acetic acids that benefit your gut and body. During the fermenting process, kombucha becomes effervescent and has a slight tang. You can add fruit to flavour it after the first ferment and

Kombucha s fantastic for anyone experiencing gut issues such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), leaky gut, bloating or general pain in the gut. It is also great for brain fog, fatigue, low immunity, food sensitivities, allergies and skin conditions. In these instances, adding a potent dose of good bacteria to the gut can be very beneficial.

How to brew Kombucha at home

You will need
(to make a 2.4 litre brew)

½ cup organic raw sugar
4 tea bags (black, green, rooibos)
One Kombucha SCOBY
200mls of kombucha tea (starter)
2 litres of filtered, purified or spring water. (must be chlorine free)
Muslin or other natural cloth and rubber band or string.

What to do

  1. Make a brew of tea using 500mls of boiled water, the sugar and teabags. Give it a good stir to ensure the sugar is dissolved then let it steep and cool for 20 minutes.
  2. When this is cooled, strain your tea or remove your teabags (give them a good squeeze) and pour this into your vessel.
  3. Add the remaining water (1.5 litres), then add the 200mls of starter tea and SCOBY. The SCOBY will sink to the bottom but when the tea is ready it will float to the top, or possibly grow a new SCOBY on top.
  4. Cover the opening with the cloth or muslin and secure it with a rubber band or string. Do not use the vessel lid. The SCOBY needs to breathe.
  5. Set your kombucha vessel in a space away from direct sunlight and dust.
  6. Do not disturb for approximately 7-14 days. (times could be longer in winter)
  7. To check if your brew is ready, pour some out of the tap of your vessel if it has one or grab a straw and place it just below the SCOBY, put your finger on one end and remove (this causes a suction). Pop that into your mouth to taste. It should taste sweet but with a slight tang.
  8. If your brew is still very sweet, leave it a couple of extra days, but be careful not to let it brew too long otherwise it will turn vinegary.
  9. When your kombucha is ready, decant it into capped bottles and store it in the fridge.
  10. Remember to keep 200mls of stater liquid to make your next brew.

The second ferment: Adding flavours

Once your kombucha brew is ready to bottle, this is when you add flavours and create the effervescence. It’s very simple: for every 1 litre add 1 teaspoon of sugar and your favourite fruit. I like to a combine a couple slices of fresh pineapple, ginger and mint or frozen blueberries and raspberries. I then screw the lid on tight and let it ferment again for 5-7 days. This will flavour your kombucha and also create the effervescence. Watch your bottles closely though. If you see quite a lot of activity in the way of bubbles at the top of the bottles around the fruit, your brew will be ready. Be careful when opening as it may be rather fizzy.

When you brew is ready, store it in the fridge.

Enjoy, Mardi.