Making Kombucha

One of my goals for the year is to learn more about fermentation and try a few different things.  I have successfully made mead many times and had very good luck with that.  Now I want to try something new.  Fermented tea.  Kombucha to be specific.  It seems to be very easy and so far it is working very well.  Here is what I did:

1. I got a scoby from Goldfinch Kombucha.  I used this company just because it was the one I found that was easy to get.  SCOBY stands for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.  This is what ferments the tea.  DSC_0131

2. I made green tea.  12g of loose leaf tea with enough boiling water to cover the tea bags in a one gallon wide mouth glass jar.  Then I added 3/4 cup of sugar and mixed it all up.

3. 20 minutes later I removed the tea bag and added water to fill the jar about 2/3 of the way.  Once the tea was just a little warmer than room temperature I added the scoby very gently.  It sank right to the bottom, you can see it in the bottom of the jar.

4. Finally I covered the jar with muslin and a rubber band.  Initially I just left the tea like this.  Then when it wasn’t doing anything I realized that it liked warm and dark so I covered it with a towel and put it on top of the fridge.

When I say it wasn’t doing anything, I mean it was still sweet.  After a week and a half I tasted it and it should have been somewhat tart at this point, but it wasn’t.  The bacteria were not using the sugar.  There was a new scoby forming on the top though, you can see it in the picture. Once I covered and moved the tea, it became tart pretty quickly.

5.  The directions say that once it is tart you can bottle it, however it mentioned that newbies often do this step too quickly.  So when I tasted it tonight and it seemed good to me, I decided to wait a few extra days.  I’ll bottle my kombucha at the end of the week.  Apparently all I need to do is remove the mother along with a ladle full of tea for the next batch then strain the rest of the batch through muslin. Then pour it into bottles that seal tightly.  5-7 days later it is ready to refrigerate and drink!

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