Kombucha

Kombucha

 

What you need:

I bottle of GT’s Synergy Kombucha (I used the ginger aid) or a kombucha baby from a friend
1 gallon size glass jar (with a wide opening, but not wider than you are able to rubber band a coffee filter to cover the opening.)
1 rubber band
1 coffee filter or a piece of cheese cloth
1C of sugar (I use xylitol and if it isn’t growing fast enough I will add 1 T.  raw sugar)
8 tea bags (I use ginger tea for my ginger and chamomile for the citrus one I do. You can use regular or green)

I use fresh grated ginger (it is my favorite and I will add the fresh juice and pulp of half an orange and lemon when I do my citrus batch) and just grate right into jar.
1 wooden stirring spoon.

1. First wash you jar thoroughly with soap and hot water.
2. Bring enough filtered water to fill your jar 80% or so to a full boil.
3. Turn off the heat and add the tea bags and sugar to the water.
4. Let the water cool down to a slightly warn room temperature and make sure the sugar is stirred in fully as it sometimes settle to the bottom and hardens. Remove the tea bags.
5. Pour the tea water in to the glass jar and combine it with the full bottle of the store bought kombucha. Stir with a wooden spoon.
6. Cover the mouth of the jar with the coffee filter and rubber band into place.
7. Store in a warm (if its too cold or really hot the culture will not ferment properly, some people use a heating pad on a low setting), dark place. Your first batch from the store bought culture should take 10-12 to ferment to taste and form a floating culture with stringy floaty protean strands. It should not be too sweet or too vinegary.
8. After you first batch is done you repeat steps 1-7 for your second batch, except instead of adding the store bought drink you will add a cup or so of your first batch to this second batch. Also the fermentation time should be about 7 day for this second batch (and any further batches).
9. For your third and ongoing batches repeat steps 1-8, except now you should be able to easily separate you culture in to two separate “pancakes” each of which can be used to start its own jar. If not too easy to separate keep them together until the next week and then try to separate again. So each week you can double you jars of culture or give some of them away to friends. Supposedly after awhile (months) some cultures lose their potency and should be retired, but this has only happened to me once. Then just retire that jars culture and carry on with the other babies. You can tell by it tasting sort of flat and not anywhere as yummy and usual.

A few more rules and tips:

1. Never let you kombucha come in contact with and metal. You can make the tea in a metal pot, but after that use glass or wood for everything else.
2. For extra tasty kombucha bottle it tightly in canning jar along with some dried fruit or fresh ginger and then place in the refrigerator for three of more days. It can be stored for long periods in this fashion and becomes much more effervescent.  Fresh grated ginger is my favorite and I will add the fresh juice and pulp of half an orange and lemon.
3. If any of you cultures look really strange or moldy/fuzzy and you think it is contaminated throw it out and start over.

8 oz gives you: 35 calories, 7 carbs, 0 fat, 1 sugar, 1 protein