Thank goodness for more wonderful blogger friends to keep me going throughout this week. I’m currently en route to California [I’m only partially freaking out right now..] and am so happy to share this guest post from another one of my favorite bloggers, Lindsay. I’m slightly obsessed with her blog full of recipes, fitness tips, and Corny Cotter love. I mean really, check out this Carrot Ginger PB Bread.. looks amazing! Between that and the kombucha brewing recipe below, I can’t wait to get into a real kitchen again!
Howdy from Texas! I’m Lindsay Cotter from cottercrunch.com. I have passion for triathlon and supporting her husband, James Cotter, in his professional triathlon career. My blog subtitle pretty much sums up what I write about → life as a pro triathlete’s wife, nutrition manager & fitness consultant, kombucha lover, and wannabe wino who has a joyous passion for GLUTEN FREE cooking! I should also add in there “Sherpa wife.”
The ABC’s of Kombucha Brewing
Anyway, I am excited to write a guest post about Kombucha for Brittany today. You know what that means, right? I’ve finally been termed a “booch mamma!” That, my friends, is name I will do my best to hold high! 🙂
So let’s get back to real purpose of this post, KOMBUCHA! Kombucha has been a HUGE life saver in my life and for so many reasons, and needless to say, I am passionate about it! So I thought I’d share some of the ABC’s of Kombucha and how to brew it. Stick with me here, k?
- What is it? – fermented tea, an ancient elixir consumed for thousands of years by civilizations all over the planet.
- What are its benefits? – Kombucha Kamp has a great article on the benefits of Kombucha. Here are just a few that I have noticed in my own consumption.
- *Probiotics – healthy bacteria
*Alkalinize the body – balances internal pH
*Detoxify the liver – happy liver = happy mood
*Increase metabolism – rev your internal engine
*Improve digestion – keep your system moving
*Boost energy – helps with chronic fatigue
*Relieve headaches & migraines
*Reduce kidney stones
*High in antioxidants – destroy free-radicals that cause cancer
*High in polyphenols
*Heal excema – can be applied topically to soften the skin
*Lower glucose levels – prevents spiking from eating
- Want more? Check out the studies and testimonials HERE!
- *Probiotics – healthy bacteria
- How? – It is recommended that you should start drinking 4-8oz of Kombucha on an empty stomach 2x a day followed by plenty of water to clear out all the toxins. Once your body has adjusted to it (over an extended period of time), you can increase your intake.
Okay, now that you have an overwhelming amount of information. Let me tell you a little bit of how I use it and why.
You see, for years I had been struggling with a lot of digestive issues from a parasite and a gluten intolerance. I turned to kombucha for gut healing (along with other natural supplements). I had been drinking it on occasion before, but this time I decided to use it for more of healing reasons.
It was also about that time that I decided to start making my own batches. I spoke with Hannah over at KombuchaKamp.com a lot and she guided me through the process. After a few weeks, I had my own scoby and was ready to brew!
Here’s my BREWING tutorial. I have gathered this from lots of other websites and tweaked it to make my own flavoring. I’ll type out the instructions below as well. Let me know if you brew!
You can easily buy a starter kit online or even buy a scoby from craigslist. Just make sure they are not moldy or damaged when you buy them. Once you have a mother scoby, you are ready to brew.
KOMBUCHA – Here’s How:
- Wash all utensils with hot sudsy water and rinse well.
- Boil three quarts of purified water.
- Add 1 cup white sugar to water when a rolling boil is reached. Boil water and sugar for five minutes.
- Turn off heat and add 4-5 tea bags of black and/or green tea. (Must have caffeine in tea which the scoby feeds on).
- Steep about 30 minutes and remove tea leaves or bags and let tea cool (it doesn’t hurt to steep the tea longer). Cooling is about 3 to 5 hours from time you turn stove off.
- Pour cooled tea into gallon size glass container.
- Add your Kombucha culture placing it so that the smooth shiny surface lies up. Add fermented Kombucha Tea from a previous batch.
- Place a cloth over the top of the jar and secure with a rubber band. This keeps dust, mold, spores and vinegar flies out of the fermenting tea.
- Allow to sit undisturbed in a well-ventilated and darkened place away from direct sunlight (temp. 65-90 degrees F.) for 6 – 15 days. I keep mine in a closet.
- To make sure the tea is ready to harvest; pour off a couple of ounces for a taste test. I usually test it by sticking a plastic straw in and sipping a little bit.
- Taste Test: A taste test on a batch of Kombucha Tea may taste like this: 4-6 Days – Too sweet, not all sugar converted. 7-9 Days – Tastes like sparkling apple cider. 10+ Days – Vinegar taste becoming prominent.
- When the tea is brewed to your taste, pour the tea into glass bottles and cap then place in the refrigerator. This can now be second fermented with fresh juices, or pieces of crushed fruit, or crystallized ginger. Store bought juices are pasteurized and may effect healing quality of finished kombucha product, so I’d stick with 100% fresh juice. Sometimes I use sparkling water too.
- Make sure to leave enough starter tea from your last batch (about 1/2 cup) to make another batch of tea. Repeat directions and add this to your starter and culture to start the process again.
**Note: the cultures my float on the surface or sometimes it sinks to the bottom. Either way is fine.
To this day I still think of it as my healing tonic. I drink 16-20 ounces a day. Yes, this seems like a lot but my body is used to and can handle a higher dosage.
My Newbie Tips:
- It definitely takes an acquired taste, so be open minded.
- If you would rather buy Kombucha to try out first, look for fruity flavors. These have added natural juices to them, like GT’s cranberry, passionberry, or strawberry. It will help you get used to the taste. Even though I’ve ALWAYS loved the taste. I am weird like that though. 🙂
- Drink 4 ounces at a time to begin. Maybe just try a little mid morning or afternoon. Sometime during the day where you usually need a little boost.
- Give it time! Drink slowly and allow its natural detox benefits to nourish your body. Try it for a week before knockin’ it!
- And finally, BE GENTLE! Kombucha needs care. It is carbonated do not shake the bottle and open slowly. I’ve had some dangerous explosions, and as much as I like Kombucha, my clothes do not.
Alright, I’m off to go finish my last bottle. Better brew again tomorrow! Feel free to email me with any questions. And thank you, Brittany for letting me blab away about scobys and smelly tea.
Thank you so much, Lindsay [or should I say “booch mama” haha!], for sharing this brewing method. I can’t wait to try it out!
Food for Thought
Are you a kombucha lover too?
What’s your favorite kombucha?
Have you ever tried brewing your own kombucha?