Updated: Nov 22, 2019
I have been making kombucha for several decades. Along with much research along the way, I have also developed some techniques of my own that I share with you in this post.
Click on this link for my illustrated instructions on how I make kombucha.
(I am rather proud of the photos as well as figuring out how to do all this without my son's help!)
Jun Tea Info: Several persons have picked up SCOBYs for Jun tea from me lately. Jun tea is made with the process as kombucha. Simply replace the black tea with green tea and replace the sugar with honey (I use raw honey). And the initial ferment is much quicker: 5-8 days for Jun (for my preferred taste) versus 1-4 weeks for the kombucha initial ferment. But the process is the same.
And read on in this blog post for fascinating information about kombucha- you'll be glad you did!
(At least I hope so).
FIRST QUESTION: WHAT IS A "SCOBY"???
SCOBY is an acronym for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. Because that is what that funny, gelatinous thing floating on top of fermenting kombucha tea actually is.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF KOMBUCHA
There are many stories about the origin of kombucha. The most popular story stretches back over 2000 years to China and it has been the subject of many 100’s of studies over the last century. In countries around the world, including Russia, Germany, Japan, Brazil, Ireland and right here in the United States among many other places, kombucha tea and cultures are used in medical treatments and beauty products.
People are usually very loyal to their daily kombucha consumption, and consider the drink healthy for a number of reasons, such as:
Contains living bacteria and yeast
Substituted for sugary sodas or multiple trips to the coffee pot
Acts as a snack or pre-meal hunger control
Alkalizes like vinegar or lemon juice – balances internal pH
Compounds in the drink may bond to and help excrete toxins from the liver
Happy Liver = Happy Mood
May speed metabolism
Acids present may improve digestion or alleviate constipation
Improved flexibility & fluidity of movement
Smooth energy from low levels of tea
Relieve headaches & migraines
Antioxidants & polyphenols from the tea are partially fermented and so more bioavailable
Kills h.pylori on contact
Certain acids present are considered candida-cides
Keep in mind - benefits vary from person to person.
Simply put, kombucha is an all-natural, healthy beverage. However, kombucha is NOT a panacea – it doesn’t cure ANYTHING! It may help the body bring itself back into balance naturally. That is possibly how it is able to do so much – it’s really just your body working with nutrition, like any other food. Even though some think of it as a medicinal tonic, it’s really just a delicious and healthy beverage choice and one of many fermented food options. I love it because it’s easy to drink at any time of day and takes to flavoring and many other uses so well.
Plus, making kombucha is just fun!
TIPS FOR DRINKING KOMBUCHA
Start out slow, maybe 4 ounces once a day, then twice a day, and build up as comfortable.
Drink plenty of water as it is a natural detoxifier and you want to flush the newly released toxins out.
KOMBUCHA BREWING TIPS
Never store SCOBYs in the refrigerator!
Keep a SCOBY Hotel for backups and extras (see kombuchakamp.com for more details about the SCOBY Hotel).
Sanitize with hot water or vinegar – NO SOAP. It kills the kombucha culture.
Airflow is key – find an open area for brewing your kombucha.
If you see mold, throw everything away. SCOBYs are not salvageable when mold strikes.
Keep all metal away from the kombucha brew and SCOBY (remove rings, use glass containers for brewing, do not use metal spoons to stir)
You can find many recipes for making and using kombucha both online and in books.
My favorite websites for information:
You can find lots of books about kombucha and other fermented beverages. Hannah Crum's, The Big Book of Kombucha, is my favorite.