Brewing your own Kombucha & Kombucha as a Model for Regeneration
Many of us have either heard of kombucha or actively enjoy this effervescent, living beverage. Believed to have originated in China, 221 BC and later in Japan, 415 AD, (Source: www.seedsofhealth.co.uk/fermenting/kombucha.shtml) Kombucha is widely enjoyed by the many- and now being brewed and served here, at Casa Oro! How exciting!!!
Kombucha is created by fermenting black tea, dulce (a pre-refinement version of granulated sugar), purified water and a scoby (more on this later) together initially in a large glass vat (open- air) and proceeding to later bottle this fermented liquid within air-tight containers to produce a delicious carbonated finish.
“Scoby”, also sometimes known as “the mother” for its reproductive qualities, is an acronym for “Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast”. It is the scoby that makes fermentation happen; along with the correct proportions or sugar, tea and water, of course. It is also the symbiotic qualities of this culture that makes it so sought after and purported to offer awesome health benefits to those who drink of it’s tea. The quick explanation of this is that much of our immune system is hosted in our guts. By adding probiotics such as those within a kombucha brew, we strengthen our immune systems and improve our overall well-being. The gut is also being discovered as having more brain cells that the brain itself… So, what was first understood as “the second brain” may be more valuable that just that… There is truth in listening “to one’s gut” and too, reason to treat it well.
So, let us explain here how you too can produce your own amazing kombucha at home!
(So long as you promise to come in for a glass here at Casa Oro! 😉)
What you will need (per gallon/4 liters)
- Purified water (13 cups)
- Sugar (1 cup)
- Black tea bags (8) or Loose leaf (2 tablespoons)
- Vinegar from the “mother jar” or leftover kombucha from the most recent batch (2 cups)
- A big glass jar with the “scoby” in it
- Elastic bands
- Bottles and lids (for secondary fermentation)
Note: Brewing your kombucha will happen in two major steps. If you need to make a scoby from scratch, you can read up on how to do so here: https://www.thekitchn.com/how-to-make-your-own-kombucha-scoby-cooking-lessons-from-the-kitchn-202596
Step 1: Primary Fermentation
- Ensure that the jar containing the scoby is ready for use. Always keep some vinegar in the jar to keep the scoby hydrated. This vinegar will contribute to the total volume of vinegar of kombucha that gets added to the present batch.
- Combine clean, boiling water with the sugar. Use 1 cup of boiling hot water per gallon of tea intended to be produced.
- Steep tea, making a strong extraction. The tea bags must be left in for at least 10 minutes.
- Let the tea cool down and proceed to remove the bags.
- Add the required amount mother jar vinegar AND/OR kombucha from the last jar into the tea ONLY once it has cooled (considering that which is already present in the jar we are using)
- Pour into that jar. Follow up by gently pouring the required amount of water into the jar.
- Cover with a cheesecloth and let set for 4-5 days. Because of the size of our scoby, the tea should be fermented by then.
Step 2: Secondary Fermentation
- Much in the same manner that we achieve carbonation for the ginger beer, we will send the kombucha through a bottling phase with tightly closed lids to create carbonation.
- It is at this stage that the kombucha can be flavoured with any fruit, herb or spice that we want (e.g.: ginger and turmeric, or pineapple & passionfruit). Get creative!
- Follow the same steps that were followed for carbonating the ginger beer, being sure to “burp” (releasing carbonation build up) the bottles every few days to avoid breaking.
- Refrigerate when we wish to cease the carbonation process.
Currently we are serving up ginger, passionfruit, green mango and cinnamon flavours of our kombucha brewed using the above method. How delicious! The possibilities of flavour infusions are virtually unlimited, so get creative!
A fascinating fact about kombucha and scoby cultures is that they serve as an excellent model and example for regeneration; which is exactly what Casa Oro and Rancho Regeneration are all about! The kombucha culture goes beyond sustainability and reproduces itself with every new batch. (If your about to start brewing your own at home, be prepared for a growing mother and many new offspring. If you cannot give your scoby away, you will be happy to know that it makes for an excellent addition to your compost!)
Given the right circumstances, the kombucha culture can reproduce indefinitely. Furthermore, in our brewing trials, we watch one of our monolithic sized mothers reconstruct herself back together. Regeneration at its best and a shining example at that.
We will continue to write some more about fermentation as our ginger beer approaches readiness. We hope you ca n take the instructions above into practice and get around to appreciating your own, virtually endless supply of kombucha, a fantastic example of regeneration that keeps on giving. Be sure to come by Casa Oro and try one of our freshly brewed flavours by the glass!
Thanks for reading!
Fabian & Jade