Kombucha (Part 3) – The Process
How to make a continuous brew (1st and 2nd ferment) Part 3
What you need:
2 ½ gallon glass jugs & 2 ½ Gallon resealable bottles (glass is important, its your friend’s home!)
6 480 ml Glass jars or bottles, if they have a tight seal that’s best so they can get fizzy during 2nd stage.
1 inch chunk of ginger ½ a lemon (this is the flavor I choose, you can really use any fruit)
Fruits, herbs, flavored teas. Endless opportunity to flavor. See more on flavroing here:
Pure cane sugar unaltered and natural (from sprouts or natural grocers, the kind matters) https://www.cancercenter.com/discussions/blog/natural-vs-refined-sugars-whats-the-difference/
Filtered safe water:
According to fox news, water you can trust
Starting from scratch:
You can go on Amazon and buy a scoby for around 7 bucks.
Or find someone who makes it to get a scoby from, each batch makes a new one.
Clean carefully - Apple cider vinegar and hot water only
PH levels? You can test these however I haven’t been.
Don’t cover with anything other than organic cheese cloth. They’ve gotta have a good environment to be the beneficial critters you need. No paper towels! (God only knows what goes into the making of those.)
Get yourself a scoby from a friend who has a mother, or get setup online with a first batch starter kit.
The process of bottling: I found some pop top type bottles at Target and just use those for me 2nd fermentation and put it in the fridge. Really you’re looking for anything airtight. My mom recycles store bought kombucha jars for her brews.
When you’re ready to swap batches:
Ready made Kombucha = The batch you’ve had fermenting for 1 week.
Pitcher = New Batch To Bottle and 2nd Ferment.
Pot = New batch to ferment for a week with your scoby.
Check the top of the scoby and make sure it looks good.
Blue or red fuzz can be a bad sign. Avoid fuzz or crazy colors.
Keeping a continuous brew:
6 -12 hours before you swap out batches:
#1 Brew 16 cups Fresh Green or Black Tea (12 tea bags) for 10 minutes
#2 Add 1 cup natural sugar after you remove from heat.
#3 Let Fresh Tea cool to room temperature. (At least 4-6 hours away from heat.)
#4 Take 6 cups and add to a pitcher
#5 Grate your 1 inch chunk of ginger, squeeze 1 lemon & grate a little peel into the pitcher.
#6 Blend your Pitcher. (bottle this)
#7 in a large empty pot add your fresh tea to 6 cups of ready made Kombucha. (Add your Friends Back In your ½ gallon jars and set aside to ferment)
Flavoring and fizzing:
#1 set friends aside.
#2 Use your fresh brewed tea. Gather 6 cups in a pitcher. (leave the other 10 cups in a pot)
#3 Grate your 1 inch chunk of ginger, squeeze 1 lemon & grate a little peel.
#4 Ad your flavorings in your pitcher of fresh tea and blend your Pitcher. (I use my ninja 16 oz cup and blend that with some of fresh tea, the pitcher blender leaked but this one seals tight.) This is the first fermentation. You can drink at this stage.
#5 Combine pitcher contents with half your ready made kombucha (the stuff from the half gallon jug, leave the rest alone, you'll add fresh unflavored tea to this to start the 1st fermentation stage again) in bottles and leave on counter for 2nd fermentation, this creates carbonations if left out for 2-3 days (you may want to let pressure out daily to make sure your bottles don’t explode) Less fermentation/fizzy put in fridge right away.
#6 You can strain out chunks and put in the fridge after 2-3 days. A whole batch this size should be consumed in 1-2 weeks after fridging.
Restarting 1st fermentation: (Make sure this batch stays unflavored)
#1 Add 6 cups ready made kombucha to your 10 cups of fresh tea in the pot.
#2 In a large empty pot where your 10 cups of fresh tea (what’s left of the unflavored) to 6 cups of ready made Kombucha.
#3 Put your unflavored pot contents back into your ½ gallon jugs and add your friends.
#4 Cover you jar with your scoby and top with cheese cloth, organic. Not paper towels because any particles can fuck with it.
#5 Leave your friends out on the counter in your kitchen away from a place that’ll disturb them for 7-10 days and heat changes will be minimal. Sort of like a funky sea monkey tank but it’s a funky bacteria tank of fermenting tea. (darker may be better)
#6 Wish it well. Give it good healing vibes.
#7 Ferment 7-10 days or it’ll start to taste more vinegar. Longer means higher acid content.
#8 After 7 days, swap batches and bottle new. This is the first fermentation. You can drink at this stage.
If it tastes too vinegary, you let it ferment too long. I let one 1st stage fermentation go 11 days and it ended up super vinegar-ish so I scrapped that batch, used ½ cup of the previous batch at 5 days in stage one and started a whole new batch. For me 7 days is golden. Every Sunday I make my juices and kombucha.
Congratulations! You survived reading about me making kombucha. It’s been a hell of an experience and challenged me to add a new routine. It has created some drink variety for me and I believe after several weeks truly changed my gut health for the better.
Fermented apple out,