These week’s Sunday Chef post is a little different! I am trying my hand for the first time at homemade kombucha. I have purchased bottled kombucha from health stores in the past (and they come in a variety of wonderful flavors), but they are pretty pricey for a small amount. A member of Nourishing Ways West MI (a chapter of the Weston A. Price Foundation) gave me a kombucha mushroom or SCOBY- Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast to start my first batch, although they can also be purchased online.
The recipe I used stated to bring 4 cups of distilled or filtered water to boil in a stainless steal pan. I then added 1 1/3 cups white sugar and let it boil for 5 minutes. I then turned off the heat and then added 3 bags of black tea and three of green tea. I covered the pot and let the tea steep for 40 minutes before removing the bags.
While the tea cooled slightly, I added 3 quarts of cold water to a gallon mason jar and then poured in the tea. Once it was about room temperature, I added the kombucha mushroom with clean hands and no rings (darker side down) and then covered it with a cloth and rubberband.
I will let it sit for about 10 days in a dim room while the tea ferments and becomes more sour than sweet. If I were to wait 14 days, all of the sugar would be gone. Also, another mushroom will grow on top of the one I began with. The New Homemaker (where you can find a great deal of information on making kombucha) stated that once the new mushroom is at least 1/8″ thick, the kombucha is done. I”ll report back next week on the final kombucha, the mushroom removal and storage, and of course, the health benefits!