Friday, April 06, 2012

kombucha*brewing, bottling and flavoring

 i showed you how to breed your own scoby in this post and now i will share my method for brewing, bottling and flavoring home brewed kombucha tea! this tutorial will brew 40 ounces of kombucha at a time - i prefer to brew in smaller amounts like this because the jar doesn't need much space while it is brewing and i can have two (or even three!) jars going at the same time with different flavors of tea. one black tea and one green tea, for example. it is easy to tuck the 40 ounce jars into a high cupboard and leave them undisturbed while the tea ferments.

you will need ::
a scoby
36 oz hot water
3 tea bags (make sure it is not decaffeinated tea - your scoby needs the caffeine to do its work) 
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brewed kombucha (use the liquid you started your scoby in)
 pour the hot water over the tea bags. add the sugar and stir until dissolved. then let the liquid cool to room temperature.

 remove the tea bags and poor the cooled tea into a 40 oz jar. add 1/2 cup brewed kombucha and place the scoby on top of the liquid.

 cover the jar with a piece of cloth secured with a rubber band and place it somewhere safe and warm to let it work its magic. i like to bottle my tea after 12 days but this is just personal preference. at 10 days you can slip a straw under the scoby and siphon a tiny bit of tea to taste. when you like what you taste it is time to bottle!

i use empty kombucha bottles for my tea but you can use beer bottles or mason jars if you prefer. make sure they are nice and clean and have a tight seal when the lids are on. 
*while mason jars work just fine if that is what you have on hand i find my tea to be slightly less carbonated when stored this way.

with clean hands gently lift your scoby out of the jar and set it aside on a plate. funnel the tea into each jar. make sure you save a half cup of the liquid for your next batch!

i flavor my tea with pureed fruit. the tea in the photo above has pureed mango in it. i have also used pineapple, grated ginger, kiwi and my absolute all time favorite is mashed strawberries. serious yum. after i add the fruit puree i tightly cap each bottle then leave them out on the counter for a day or two before refrigerating. i find the carbonation builds up more with this method and i get nice, fizzy kombucha.

another wonderful way to flavor kombucha and build carbonation is to use the double fermentation method (my new favorite!!) food renegade has a great tutorial on this.

and that is just about all there is to it! give it a try and let me know how it goes.
happy brewing!

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