- Firstly, Invest In the Starter Kit
Congratulations, you now own your own mother culture. You now have the ability to make endless healthy homemade fermented elixir beverages. The recipe below will guide you through how to make your homemade brew.
Please note: No one food or medicine can completely eradicate an ill condition. Consume your homemade probiotic drinks in moderation, keep your culture under hygienic conditions always, and prepare and touch your mother culture with clean hands and equipment to avoid cross-contamination. The internet is full of wisdom, but before you follow instructions from online, check to ensure that the person giving the information is relevant and accurate. As long as you keep your mother as a living thing and ensure it is fed, cleaned occasionally, give it rest and at some point, understand it has reached its peak and thus should be binned you will go on to brew at home healthy probiotic drinks and food out of this one kit endlessly.
The recipe below is the same recipe for making your first and subsequent kombucha tea from your purchased kombucha SCOBY. When you purchase your first kombucha SCOBY, you will receive the SCOBY( a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) in a tea which is a brownish fluid. Kombucha benefits include aiding digestion naturally which boosts energy, supports our immune system and equip our bodies to eliminate toxins effectively through the introduction of an overgrowth of good gut bacteria.
As a spa & beauty therapist, my main interest is to use food remedies synergistically with other healthy choices to improve my own general health. Probiotic-rich foods do this by contributing to a healthy digestive system in which more and more research is now proving impacts our over physical wellbeing, homeostasis, and mental state.
Fermented foods have been consumed in all cultures for as long as human history. Different cultures have successfully maintained making them part of their modern diets whereas in some cultures it had completely disappeared until recently remerging as a trend. I hope that your own interest is in incorporating fermented foods for your own long-term health benefits and if not, may your social media pictures look good.
Fermented foods which are probiotic foods, introduce healthy gut flora in our system that helps good bacteria to outnumber bad bacteria in both our gut and our animal friends. A healthy microbiome means that our immune system is more resilient and functions well resulting in overall good health.
The foods we buy from the supermarkets are washed with disinfectants, this results in both good and bad bacteria being washed off them. As such, consuming even healthy meals we cook ourselves lacks any bacteria let alone some of the friendly ones that our guts could benefit from. Drinks such as kombucha brews, water kefir, and milk kefir enable us to introduce different types of healthy & good bacteria inside your gut which in turn promotes an around healthy gut. This should be ongoing, eating and drinking probiotic-rich foods once or occasionally will not result in permanent benefits.
This is simply because our body is designed to process food, break it down and separate its broken-down nutrients dispersing it around our bodies so it functions multiples times a day. This is why it is vital and important to make sure that you keep doing the right things over and over.
Kombucha is tangy tasting and slightly fizzy and you can make it even with no prior fermenting experience. Drinking kombucha tea introduces healthy good bacteria in your gut which in turn promotes an around healthy gut. It is a joy to observe the small colony of bacteria disc grow and transform into a mother that births more scoby discs that you can give to friends and family.
One thing I personally find disappointing about commercial kombucha drinks is the excessive sugar that goes into making them. A lot of sugar is used in fermenting as the bacteria feeds off the sugar. However, it has been proven that up to 80% of the sugar used in fermenting kombucha drinks is still left behind by the time the brew is ready for consumption. This means that if you are one of us who have self-imposed a restrictive refined sugar diet, then drinking commercial kombucha and even most healthy drinks can be unhealthy in the long run.
How To begin A Scoobie From Your First Kombucha Scoby
- A symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY)
- Kombucha starter tea
- Glass jar
- Glass bottle (for taking kombucha drink with you to work or gym)
- Muslin cloth
- Rubber band
- Brown cane sugar 100g
- Teabags 2 bags
- Bottle tag(optional)
- Measuring cups & spoons
- • Boil your water(the way to do this right is by boiling a kettle full of water and then pour into a measuring cup – if you measure the water first and proceed to boil, you will lose some water through evaporation - ensure it is hot water safe).
- • Put tea bags into the glass jar with hot water.
- • Add the sugar and allow the tea bags to infuse as much as possible.
- • Leave it to sit until cooled down to room temperature.
- • Add the scoby to your cooled down tea.
- • Cover with muslin and secure with a rubber band
- • Allow it brew up to 2 weeks. You can start checking for a tangy taste after the first week and decide if you are happy with the taste.
Uses for Kombucha Tea
- Fermented Tea
- Carbonated Alcopop
- Hair Rinses
- Skin Splash
- Sour Dough Starter & Sour Tasting Condiments
- Addition t Smoothies/ Cereal & Protein Shakes
- Addition-To Face Masks
- Probiotic Boosting Drinks
- Homemade cheese
- Assist Wound Healing
Please note that mother cultures are breathing living things. Like us, they live on oxygen and survive through being fed (sugar and tea or dairy and plant milk for the milk culture). The culture you receive is a freshly birth culture. Each culture contains good bacteria and yeast but each type of culture contains specific cultures such as the primary culture in kefir being kefiran, but their many others and in kombucha and jun mothers which appears as a slippery fleshy disc, the disc is made up of a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY).
Always ensure your scoby supplier rears and handles food cultures following FSA food business regulations.
When you first receive your culture, if you are not ready to start making your brew straight away, please keep the culture in its original sealed bag and deep inside your refrigerator until you are ready to make your batch as freezing mother cultures keeps them successfully in hibernation.
Once you start brewing/ fermenting with your culture, always save a small batch of your finished brew or fermented tea, to add to each fresh batch you start. This simply helps the fermentation process to start quicker. This is what is called starter tea. The starter has probiotic yeast and bacteria that help fresh brew ferment.
ALWAYS, wash your hands and clean them before handling your mother's culture. You can touch and feel your mother with your bare hands, especially when you want to clean floaties and aesthetically not pleasing babies such as it is common to see floating brown yeast or a detached flimsy new baby. Yeast accumulates over time inside your glass jar which looks like waste by-products. When handling your mother always ensure your hands are clean. to avoid cross-contaminating your mother with other bacteria. REMEMBER that you will not be able to tell good from bad bacteria so always use clean utensils and hands when you decant your brew.
The process for making your homemade fermented brews is the same SIMPLE steps each. For the TEA brew tea with sugar as normal using the quantities given. Wait till the tea has cooled before adding your scoby. Cover and leave it to brew till you see bubbles.
When it is warm in the summer, your fermentation would be ready quicker(3 days), however in colder months, it may take longer(2 weeks). You can always tell from the presence of bubbles or tasting sour.
Your mother cultures go into hibernation when they get cold. If you try to brew in a part of your house where it is cold, your brew will not take long to start fermenting and your culture may go to sleep. Please not note that a sleeping culture can be revived with warmth. Once revived, a culture will go on to ferment your brews successfully. A sluggish culture will not or may take a long time to ferment but they are not dead.
If you have to travel or simply want to take a break from brewing, always just pop your mother's culture back inside the fridge in the glass jar with enough batch of your last brew to cover the top of the culture and close the jar.
To resume brewing again, simply follow the brewing process all over. You can start and stop as many times as you like.
Do cultures die? Yes, after making several batches, your mother will be giving birth several times over the course of brews. As your mother has babies, you can give away the babies or store them in the freezer. One day, you will look at your scoby and it may look dehydrated, sluggish and tired, at this point, even an untrained person can tell that a mother is far too matured to be used still. This can happen after 1 year or after a few months, depending on how well you treat her and make her work. At this point, it is okay to discard the mother (which is a cellulose that can be cooked and eaten or buried) and then proceed to use one of her babies to brew batches.
You can make kombucha even with no prior fermenting experience as long as you follow these instructions to make any kind of kombucha drink with Jun or traditional kombucha scoby.
After the 1st brew, you can refrigerate and drink as it is. OR you can decant the tea into another airtight bottle and ferment for a second time with fruit juice, fresh or dried botanical additions. I am personally not a fan of second ferments but feel free to do as your taste bud wants.
Kombucha and jun tea is best enjoyed as a cold beverage. It is very easy to brew at home; no special equipment is needed for this type of fermenting.
PLEASE do not put your scoby in hot tea Keep your scoby away from extreme heat at all times. Warmth hotter than normal room temperature can kill your scoby colony.
The starter tea would kick start the fermentation process quicker, You can choose to not add it at all, omitting it slows the process but you will get there. (If you have purchased the full kit, you do not need to measure the water amount you need, just fill the fermentation glass jar up. If you are not familiar with measuring in the kitchen, go to the website and look for SCHOOL).
I intentionally use far less sugar when you compare my suggested measurements to others. I eat a refined sugar-free diet and I hardly drink commercial juice. Despite the fact that scoby feeds on the sugar, there have been tests done that prove that scoby does not eat up more than 80% of sugars in fermentation. The more sugar you use, the more you leave room for excess sugar left in your fermented tea. So I sometimes even use just 5 x (50g) tablespoons of sugar for the same quantity of water.
Tea naturally has caffeine, the longer you leave your teabags infusing, the more caffeine would be left in your tea. Scoby likes caffeine so do not worry about it killing them but, if you are not someone that consumes caffeine then go on the website and look through the classroom for articles on brewing kombucha with alternative caffeine options.
After your first brew, you may reduce or increase the sugar. You can go as low as 2- 4 tablespoons(20g – 40g) for subsequent brews.
You can recharge your scoby every few months by fermenting with an overdose of sugar with the intention to not drink your brew if you choose to. Due to the high amounts of sugar still left behind in your finished fermented tea. You can also use a combination of brown and white sugar or molasses.
Ready to drink Kombucha and jun taste tangy and it fizzes when you start pouring.
Treat your scoby as a pet even if you don’t want to drink your tea. It is a joy to observe the small colony of bacteria disc grow and transform into a mother that births more scoby disc that you can give to friends and family.