3/14/2014

How To Make Kombucha

I've had an experiment going in my kitchen for a couple weeks now. I was first introduced to kombucha by my daughter. It's a drink made of fermented tea, and you acquire a taste for it. It has many health benefits. The reason I took interest in making our own was that it costs over $4 for a 10 oz. bottle. Plus, it sounded like an interesting challenge to make it.

Kombucha Health Benefit #1 — Detoxification

Detoxification produces healthy livers and aids cancer prevention. One of kombucha’s greatest health benefits is its ability to detox the body. It is rich in many of the enzymes and bacterial acids your body produces and/or uses to detox your system, thus reducing your pancreatic load and easing the burden on your liver. Kombucha is very high in Glucaric acid, and recent studies have shown that glucaric acid helps prevent cancer. I know two people in my immediate circle of friends who have had cancer (pancreatic and breast) and fought it into remission without any chemo or radiation therapy. Instead, they warded it off by detoxing their lives (going 100% organic, removing chemical cleaners and agents in their home, changing their diet to be at least 80% raw or fermented, etc.) Central to the detoxification process was drinking Kombucha regularly. Even Alexander Solzhenitsyn, the recently deceased Russian author and nobel-prize winner, in his autobiography, claimed that kombucha tea cured his stomach cancer during his internment in soviet labor camps. (And because of this testimony, President Reagan used Kombucha to halt the spread of his cancer in 1987. You'll note, he didn't die until 2004, and that was from old age, NOT cancer.)

Kombucha Health Benefit #2 — Joint Care

Kombucha contains glucosamines, a strong preventive and treatment for all forms of arthritis. Glucosamines increase synovial hyaluronic acid production. Hyaluronic acid functions physiologically to aid preservation of cartilage structure and prevent arthritic pain, with relief comparable to NSAIDs and advantage over glucocorticoids. Hyaluronic acid enables connective tissue to bind moisture thousands of times its weight and maintains tissue structure, moisture, lubrication and flexibility and lessens free radical damage, while associated collagen retards and reduces wrinkles.

Kombucha Health Benefit #3 — Aids Digestion and Gut Health

Because it’s naturally fermented with a living colony of bacteria and yeast, Kombucha is a probiotic beverage. This has myriad benefits, such as improved digestion, fighting candida (harmful yeast) overgrowth, improving mental clarity, and aiding mood stability. As such, it’s noted for reducing or eliminating the symptoms of fibromyalgia, depression, anxiety, etc.

Kombucha Health Benefit #4 — Immune Boosting

Kombucha is extraordinarily anti-oxidant rich, and you all know the benefits of antioxidants for boosting your immune system and energy levels.
Yes, I copied and pasted that info for you;)
I've seen a difference in my own health in this short time since I've been drinking it. For one thing, my indigestion has decreased.
When I started reading different online recipes, I was slightly intimidated. Okay, honestly, I was really scared to make my own brew! I want to give you an easy recipe to follow.
First, I began with a gallon of distilled water (yes, just buy your .88 cent gallon of water to be safe) then I put the water in a six-quart pot and brought the water to boil and turned off the heat.
Next, I steeped three black tea and one green tea bag and in the hot water for 15 minutes then added two cups cane sugar or white sugar. Have used both and both turned out fine. I stir the tea until the sugar is dissolved. Then I let the tea cool to room temperature.
Then you add that to the mother scoby along with two cups of kombucha starter. If you don't have either, you can get kombucha at a natural health food store and grow your own scoby. It will just take longer to brew. The white skin like scoby is what you see in the above picture. Always use glass jars and wooden spoons.
Once tea is room temperature you pour it into the glass jar with the scoby and kombucha starter.

Now you put a thin cloth over the top and fasten it with a rubber band.
It's supposed to be in a dark, warm place to brew, so I set mine down on floor between the fridge and a cabinet and it seemed to brew quickly. It takes a week to 10 days to brew. You just let it go until it's ready. I usually taste it in seven days, and by then, it's ready. That's when it's made with a scoby.

My goal is to raise a big fat scoby like this. The more batches you make, the more scobies you will have to share with others.
I was so excited when my first batch was a success. My daughter said it was the best she has ever had.
I added chia seeds to a couple bottles. I let it set in hot water before I added it to the new drink of choice.
You'll always want to store them in glass containers.
It really isn't that hard to brew. Here are a couple of additional tips: 
If it gets moldy, start over. I haven't had that problem, though. 
Make sure it's exactly at room temperature before adding it to the kombucha. 
Search online if you have questions, and don't be scared by all the details they give you.
 It's okay if your scoby sits in the bottom at first.  It will float to the top or another one will develop on top.

Most of you who follow me know how I don't use measuring cups and just dump ingredients. Well, I thought you'd get a kick out of this one. I accidentally dumped flour in my tea instead of sugar on the second batch I made:(
Just tonight, I decided to make my fourth, fifth, and sixth batches. I was sick of not having enough until the next batch was done.
I will soon have some scobys to share with friends. I'm so excited to share this easy--not intimidating-- recipe with you. But I'm just stating that I'm not responsible for any deaths or sickness that result from this concoction. Ha!
I read a cool story where someone traded a good mother scoby for a ride to Oregon. So, yes, I'm over here trying to raise a scoby that will be a good trade for a week of a beachfront in the South Pacific.
Here is my email if you have questions or are up for the trade.
lena@lenasamishgranola.com


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