While I was in Pennsylvania a few weeks ago my sister taught me how to brew my own kombucha. Dave and I had talked about doing this before but I didn’t think it was a job I wanted to take on. Then my sister showed me how easy it was and I was more than happy to try it!
First, you’ll need a mother. You can buy them (on Amazon, probably at a health food store) or you can find a friend to give you one. Every time you brew kombucha the mother splits, so if you know anyone who brews it, they’re bound to have a spare. If you come visit me, I’ll give you one of mine.
Second, you’ll need a gallon jar. In our case we just bought two gallon jars of dill pickles from Wal-Mart. They were about $5 each. Easy.
Third, you’ll need organic cane sugar. This tends to give the best results.
Fourth, you’ll need plain green tea. You don’t want herbal or fruit teas, as the oils in them can wreck the process. Just plain green tea. We use Newman’s Own Organic green tea bags.
Okay, once you have all that, it’s easy to get started! I follow these instructions but I’ll break them down here, too.
Bring 1 gallon (16c.) of water to a boil. Add 1 1/4c. sugar. Boil for another 10 minutes to make sure the sugar is all dissolved.
Turn off the heat and add your tea bags. I tie mine together to make them easier to remove. Alternatively, you can use 6t. of tea leaves.
Leave the tea bags in for 10 minutes and then remove them. At this point just walk away from the tea – you need to wait for it to cool down to room temperature before you can move forward. This generally takes 2 or so hours, but I’ve left it for longer until I could get back to it.
Once the tea is room temperature, add a tablespoon or so of raw apple cider vinegar. This step is optional, but it can help balance the pH. Pour the tea into the gallon jar. You want to make sure to leave room at the top for your mother. If you’re using a mother from a previous brewing, add in the tea the mother is sitting in, then sit the mother on top of all your tea. Cover with a paper towel and rubberband it down.
It takes about 2 weeks for the kombucha to ferment. You’ll want to leave it in a dark spot, away from the kitchen (the oil in the air in the kitchen can mess things up). I put ours in a closet.
Once the tea is ready separate the mothers – you’ll now have 2! – and place them in small jars. Pour some of your kombucha over them to preserve them (even if you’re going to brew another batch right away). Pour your brewed kombucha into jars or pitchers to store in the fridge to drink!
We have two jars of kombucha brewing right now from staggered weeks. This way we’ll have a new batch of kombucha every week!
The whole process takes about 10 minutes because you can keep walking away and coming back. It’s really very easy and the taste is delicious – a little fizzy, a little sweet, really refreshing and mild.
Do you like kombucha? Have you tried brewing your own?