Probiotics are one of the best things you can add to your diet. The benefits are too numerous to list. I tried taking probiotic pills, but never trusted that they were doing their job. Heat greatly affects the integrity of probiotics, so it’s game over if that pill bottle spends any time on a hot shipping truck. I decided to take matters into my own hands by brewing my own Kombucha. If you are lucky enough to have a friend that also brews his or her own, you can steal a Scoby (aka Culture) and some starter Kombucha from them. I’m not so fortunate, so I purchased a Kombucha Brewing Kit from Amazon. It paid for itself after 12 bottles. I also picked up some really chic flip top bottles (bonus: I also use these for homemade almond milk, lemonade, iced tea, etc).
- In a small pot, bring 4 cups of filtered water to a boil.
- Remove from heat and add 3 tablespoons of loose leaf tea (black, green, oolong, etc) in whatever strainer or reusable tea bag you have (you can also substitute 8 or 9 tea bags).
- Let tea steep for 5-6 minutes and remove tea strainer/bags.
- Stir 1 cup granulated sugar into your tea until dissolved.
- Pour your sweet tea into you 1 gallon brewing jar.
- Add 8 cups of cold filtered water (leave about 3-4 inches at the top)
- Make sure that the temperature of the tea mixture is between 68 and 88℉ (you don’t want it to be too hot or it will harm your scoby).
- Add your scoby and 1 cup of plain kombucha from your last brew (or that comes with your scoby)
- Stir once and then cover with cotton cloth and seal with a rubber band.
- Place your brew jar in a warm place, out of direct sunlight, with plenty of airflow, and that is out of the way.
- Wait and do not move it for 7-9 days.
- After 7-9 days have passed, do a taste test to see if the kombucha has reached a flavor that you like. If it is too sweet, put the cloth back on and let brew a few days longer (testing every day until it reaches desired sweetness level). Note – the ideal pH range for finished Kombucha is 2.5 – 3.5, so you can use pH strips to verify.
- Bottle the Kombucha, doing a second fermentation if desired – I use my Grapefruit Kombucha Recipe.
- With clean hands, remove the culture from the jar along with 1 cup of the liquid and clean the 1 gallon brewing jar with hot water and vinegar (no antibacterial soap) and rinse well. Store the scoby and 1 cup of reserved liquid in the 1 gallon jug and seal with cotton cloth and rubber band to be used for your next batch.