Last year we started brewing our own Kombucha tea, it is such a wonderful fizzy bitter sweet fermented drink with the added benefit of being extremely good for you on so many levels.
Back then a friend gave us a "mother" or SCOBY as the are called, which is the starter culture needed when brewing at home. I did not keep my batch going or I would have still had a mother. (with each batch, the mother grows a "baby", a new mother )
So when I started craving this wonderful drink again I started asking around and could not find an available mother. I asked at the local farmers market, and found one for sale for $20, which was just more than I wanted to spend, so with some research I realized that I could easily grow my own,
and so I did.
I started with about a quart of boiling sterilized water to which I added two bags of green tea( you may also use black or white tea, but not herbal tea). I boiled the tea bags for a couple of minutes, then turned it off, and let the bags steep for I'd say 15 minutes or so. I rarely follow any recipe completely, and I am sure there are many ways to do this. Then I added sugar, a necessary ingredient for the fermentation process, I added about 4T of sugar, and the let it cool to room temperature.
Then I poured my sweetened tea into a glass jar, must be glass, and added a bottle of store bought raw organic Kombucha,( The Raw Kombucha can be bought in any health food store) no flavors added, covered with a cloth, cheese cloth or other, and set aside in a warm place out of direct sunlight.
after one week, bubbles started appearing on the surface, a sign that the fermenting is happening
and after two weeks my new mother or SCOBY was ready
this is a look at it from the top
So tonight I started brewing my first batch.
Again I boiled sterilized water and added 7 or 8 green tea bags, like before you may use black or white tea, traditionally black tea is used I believe. Let it steep for about 15 minutes add about 1.5 cup of sugar, let it cool to room temperature, then I poured it into a 1 gallon glass jar, added 1 quart of already brewed live Kombucha ( I used what I had grown the mother in ), and added sterilized water almost to the top of the jar. Then I took my newly grown mother and laid it carefully to float on the top, facing the same way as I had taken it out, covered with cloth, put is back in its dark warm place, and there it will sit for about two weeks when I will pour off my fresh batch and start a new batch, remembering to save a quart for my new batch, plus I will have an new mother to share with a friend.
( I am also working on an experiment to see if I can grow a mother without the use of a bottle of already made Kombucha, I will post the results when I have an answer )
Lovely homemade goodness, I am looking forward!