Kombucha, a fermented tea beverage, has gained immense popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits, unique taste, and ease of brewing it at home. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about kombucha, from what it is and its health benefits to how to continuously brew kombucha at home.
This fermented tea is a great replacement for soda and sugary beverages. It’s naturally low-sugar, fizzy, and kicks the craving for soda for a lot of people who brew it at home.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage made from sweetened tea, usually black or green, and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). The fermentation process results in a tangy, slightly sweet, and fizzy drink that can be enjoyed on its own or flavored with various fruits, spices, or herbs.
What Are the Health Benefits of Kombucha?
While more research is needed, some potential health benefits of kombucha include:
- Improved digestion: Kombucha contains probiotics that may promote a healthy gut microbiome.
- Immune support: The antioxidants and vitamins in kombucha may help support the immune system.
- Detoxification: Kombucha contains compounds that may support liver function and detoxification.
How to Continuously Brew Kombucha at Home: A Step-by-Step Guide
By continuously brewing kombucha, you can maintain an ongoing supply of this delicious and potentially beneficial beverage. Follow the instructional guide provided earlier in this blog post for a one-gallon batch of kombucha. To continuously brew, follow these steps:
Ingredients and Supplies for Continuous Brewing:
- 1-gallon jar for the first fermentation
- 1 cup (8oz) of starter tea
- 1 scoby “mother”
- 6 regular, unflavored, black tea bags
- 1 cup of organic cane sugar
- Small stovetop pot
- Rubber band
- Kitchen rag
- Food thermometer
- 12-16oz sealed home brewing bottles
- Gallon pitcher
- Sticker thermometer to place on the gallon jar (optional)
Brewing the first batch of kombucha (first fermentation)
- Gather 6 regular unflavored black tea bags of your choice
- In a small pot, bring 2 cups of distilled and filtered water to a boil
- Once boiling, turn off the heat
- Add in all 6 black tea bags, cover, and let steep for 10 minutes
- Strain the extra tea from the bags back into the pot and dispose of them
- Add 1 cup of organic cane sugar to the tea and let dissolve
- Once dissolved, add all of the sweet tea into your 1-gallon jar
- Fill the jar with distilled, filtered water to nearly full saving enough room for the scoby and starter tea
- Make sure the liquid temperature has dropped to below 90 degrees Fahrenheit
- Add in your starter tea
- Add in your scoby
- Cover with a kitchen rag and secure it in place with a rubber band
- Place in a safe dark area away from light. *Kombucha thrives and brews fastest at around 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit. *If the ambient temperature in your home is too cold, you can buy a kombucha heating pad online.
- After several days (depending on the temperature) your kombucha will begin to become more vinegary in taste. *You want the tea to taste slightly sweet but also have a kick of that vinegary taste. Too sweet means it’s not ready, too vinegary means it’s been fermented too long. On average after 5-10 days, your kombucha should be ready for the second fermentation. Whenever you think the taste is well-balanced.
Beginning your continuous brew
- Reserve 1-2 cups of kombucha from the first fermentation above as starter tea for the next batch.
- After bottling the kombucha for the second fermentation, immediately add fresh sweet tea (prepared using the same instructions as before) to the remaining starter tea and SCOBY in the one-gallon jar.
- Stir gently to combine the fresh sweet tea with the starter tea.
- Cover the jar with a kitchen rag and secure it in place with a rubber band.
- Place the jar in a safe, dark area away from direct sunlight, maintaining a temperature of 70-85 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal fermentation.
- Allow the new batch of kombucha to ferment for 5-10 days, or until the desired taste is achieved.
- Repeat the bottling and second fermentation process, reserving starter tea for the next batch each time.
- Fill your kombucha bottles with 2-3oz of sugary fruit or 100% fruit juice
- Using your pitcher and funnel, fill the remaining space in the bottles with kombucha (leaving 1-2 inches of headspace) *Make sure to save 1-2 cups of this kombucha to be used later as starter tea
- Close the bottles
- Leave the bottles in a warm dark space
- “Burp” the bottles once daily to remove excess pressure
- After 2 days, open your bottles to test the carbonation. If the bottles have little carbonation, continue the second ferment for another day. Continue this process until the kombucha is very fizzy. Once your kombucha is fizzy, store in the fridge, cool, and enjoy. 🙂
By following this continuous brewing process, you’ll always have a fresh supply of kombucha on hand. Experiment with different flavors and enjoy the satisfaction of brewing your own kombucha at home.
Kombucha is a fascinating and delicious beverage with a unique taste and potential health benefits. By continuously brewing kombucha at home, you can enjoy a fresh supply while saving money and having fun experimenting with different flavors. Use this guide as a starting point and customize your brewing process to suit your preferences. Happy brewing!
Kombucha Frequently Asked Questions
How long does it take to brew kombucha?
The first fermentation typically takes 5-10 days, while the second fermentation can take an additional 2-7 days.
Can I use flavored teas for kombucha?
It’s best to stick to unflavored black or green tea, as flavored teas can interfere with the fermentation process.
How long does kombucha last?
Stored in a sealed container in the refrigerator, kombucha can last for several weeks to a month.
Why Should You Brew Kombucha at Home?
Brewing kombucha at home allows you to:
- Save money: Store-bought kombucha can be expensive, while home-brewed kombucha costs just a fraction of the price.
- Control the ingredients: You can select high-quality, organic ingredients and experiment with different flavors to suit your taste.
- Enjoy the process: Brewing kombucha is a fun and rewarding hobby that can be shared with friends and family.
What Does Kombucha Taste Like?
Kombucha has a unique taste that is slightly sweet, tangy, and fizzy. The flavor can vary depending on the type of tea used and the length of fermentation. Many people enjoy experimenting with different flavors by adding fruits, herbs, or spices during the second fermentation.
Can You Drink Kombucha Every Day?
Yes, many people enjoy drinking kombucha daily. However, it’s essential to listen to your body and adjust your intake according to your personal tolerance and preferences.
Does Kombucha Have Caffeine in It?
Kombucha contains a small amount of caffeine, as it is made from tea. However, the fermentation process may reduce the caffeine content, making it lower than the original tea used.