How To Make Kombucha
A Step By Step Guide On How To Make Kombucha
Kombucha is a drink that has incredible healing benefits. I add this to my daily routine especially during summer. It’s so easy to make and once you have made it a habit you will never look back.
It’s a sour live food, and it has been around a long time. It certainly doesn’t cure anything but it helps detoxify the body and bring it back into balance so your immune system can heal. The problem is we are surrounded by toxins and our body just can’t handle it anymore. So many people have some form of autoimmune condition, which all have a common problem of a compromised immune system. So by drinking kombucha, you are helping to balance out the body and the benefits of a gradual detoxification are allowing your body to come back into balance naturally.
Kombucha helps improve digestion, helps make you feel good, remove cravings and also helps to clean the liver. Not only that it also helps to improve serotonin levels, which is your happy hormone. The way it does this is serotonin comes from your digestion, and from your liver. When you have congested liver you start to not feel good, you get depressed, brain fog, feel tired and moody. By drinking kombucha it starts to detoxify your liver, your liver is your filter, and it is where toxins are filtered. By drinking kombucha you are helping your body to sort out this congestion and naturally supporting the liver to detoxify naturally and gradually.
Benefits of Kombucha
Kombucha has sneaked up in popularity over the last few years but is, in fact, a very ancient and traditional drink. Many fans claim some pretty amazing benefits from kombucha but there isn’t much scientific data to back these up, just more peoples experiences and success stories. So I’m certainly not going to say it cures cancer and is this wonder drink that can change everything, but there are people who have credited its help with joint pain through to cancer and the reason I got into it was for my skin health which was a sign and symptom of poor gut and liver health. Drink kombucha along with other things certainly helped me improve my wellness and my skin today is the best its ever been.
What we do know about Kombucha is that it does contain a great variety of vitamins and minerals, along with beneficial acids. It is considered a good source of antioxidants, b-vitamins, probiotics and glucaric acid. The fermented tea is loaded with powerful probiotics, and has been promoted as improving everything from better bowel movements to a great immune system.
Possible downsides of Kombucha
Kombucha is made with sugar and tea, so for some, there is a worry that the sugar content is too high. However during the fermentation process the SCOBY and its beneficial colony of bacteria consume most of the sugar, so it has minimal effect on blood sugar. The sugar used in this process is simply food for the SCOBY and the final product results in very little sugar content when made correctly. The sugar in the beginning is simply the food for these beneficial bacteria and the beneficial acids produced, enzymes and probiotics are a result of the fermentation.
One thing to note on this is that due to Kombucha popularity, there are some larger brand companies now producing it and you may find it in supermarkets and specialty stores. Be careful with some of these as often they have very high sugar content because they have in fact added sugar back in at the end of the fermentation. Ideally, you are looking for brands with less than 5grams of sugar per serve. Along with this many have actually pasteurized, killing many of the probiotics and enzymes that are in raw kombucha. So it makes sense to shop wisely or make it yourself.
Whats A SCOBY?
SCOBY’s are weird looking things and the letters stand for the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. They build a cellular structure. If you aren’t familiar with what they look like it can look weird and odd the first time and almost like a human living part. You can buy them online and some health stores and they are continuously growing and reproducing so if you know someone making kombucha asking them for some SCOBY and i’m sure they would love to share.
Don’t be scared of your SCOBY. It grows. It multiplies. It floats. It sinks. It looks weird and you will begin to appreciate it as it works its wonders and this slimy mass of bacteria and yeast turns plain old tea and sugar into a fizzy, fermented, refreshing cups that are loaded with antioxidants, B vitamins, and probiotics.
Kombucha and Candida
Kombucha helps prevent candida also. Some people think kombucha contains yeast, the thing is its a totally different product inside kombucha. It does start with sugar, but by the time it is fermented the majority of the sugar is gone as this is what the fermentation process does. Candida is a type of yeast that lives in our body naturally, we all have candida to a certain extent in our body and it is held in balance with our other bacteria. However, when we consume antibiotics, painkillers, alcohol, fake foods and sugar we will create gut dysbiosis and allow candida to overgrow. When candida overgrows you crave sugar, so you eat sugar and you continue to crave sugar, and you continue to feed candida. It’s a nasty cycle.
Through the fermentation of kombucha you start with sugar, then the fermentation process helps create all these beneficial acids that help with candida. They suppress candida and shut it down and the kombucha will help control the yeast of the candida.
How Does It Work?
As soon as you start the yeast from the SCOBY is starting to ferment the sugar. They start by splitting the sugar with sucrose and they turn it into fructose and glucose. Then the sugar gets fermented by the yeast and creates carbon dioxide and methanol. Now the bacteria come in and consume the methanol and turn it into healthy acids.
Some people are adverse to the sugar content of kombucha, and you can’t make it with stevia or anything else, however its important to know that this sugar is fermented away in the process. So the actual finished product has very little sugar content. You can prove this yourself, when you make it initially, taste it, it will be disgustingly sweet. That sugar is not for you it’s for the SCOBY. Taste it again 4 days in, then again at 7 days, you will notice the taste changing. The longer you brew the more the sugar will be fermented and the sour taste will come. I brew mine for 5-7 days, depending on the weather and how hot it is.
Kombucha Verses Probiotics
When you consume live food, you are getting living probiotics that are in the form your body is designed to absorb. Live food gives your body the fuel it needs to detox properly. There are over 500 different types of bacteria that live in our gut, that’s why you want to get live foods with variety into your diet. This way you are getting bacteria as part of a whole food instead of from a tablet is ensuring variety. Probiotics cannot compete with real live food.
We should all be on a quest to make our bodies function at their best, and part of that journey is ensuring your digestive health is optimal as well as your liver, so if you have been hunting out some pill to take to improve digestion or a potion for your liver, why not try this out first. You will not only save a lot of money, but you may also get some incredible health benefits on the way.
How To Make Kombucha at Home
Kombucha can be expensive if you buy, so try to get into making it. The longer you ferment kombucha the more healthy acids are created in the future. Compare this to wine and beer the older it is generally the better it gets, this is why buying it can be expensive. You may be nervous making it the first time but just give it a go and you will be so happy you did. Be brave and trust me it’s easy once you know how.
For 3L Batch
1 x 3-litre glass container
3 litres water
1 cup organic sugar/1/2 cup honey
4 bags Black tea/green tea or 4 tablespoons looseleaf
1 cup of starter kombucha
1 x SCOBY
1. Bring 500ml of water to boil, turn off the heat and stir in sugar to dissolve. Add tea into the water and allow it to seep until cooled.
2. When water cools, use a wooden spoon to remove the tea bags and add the remaining 2.5 litres of water. Pour into your glass container and add the 1 cup of starter kombucha to the liquid
3. With clean hands add the SCOBY into cold tea brew with the smooth side facing up. Now cover the mix with a paper towel, or cheesecloth and tie some string or place a rubber band around it, to ensure no fruit flies can get in.
4. Place jar at room temperature and out of direct sunlight and leave for 5-7 days. As your kombucha brews, you will find the SCOBY forms a younger layer on top and becomes thicker, this is what you can share with friends. When your kombucha is doing a good fermentation you will see brown stringy floaties beneath the SCOBY and sediment collecting at the bottom.
5. Around the 5 day mark taste your brew, you are looking for a balance between tart and sweet. The longer you leave it the more tart and vinegary it will become. This time is very dependent on the temperature of your house and can change with the seasons.
6. Once you have got the brew to the right taste it is ready to bottle, so remove the SCOBY and 250mls of the liquid for the next batch.
7. Add the brew to sealable glass bottles and leave about 2 cm room at the top. It’s at this stage you can add flavor to your kombucha. I like to add freshly minced ginger with some orange slices. But you can get very creative at this stage and add fruits, herbs, and spices.
My favourite flavours to add in
- Finely grated ginger and orange
- Finely grated ginger and raspberries
- 1/2 lemon sliced and 1/2 tsp grated ginger
- 1/4 cup fresh blueberries
- Mashed mango
8. Now is the second ferment and you leave the kombucha at room temperature for 1-3 days to naturally carbonate. Then refrigerate to stop the fermentation. It will last around 6-8 weeks in the fridge.
9. To make your next batch, simply repeat the process. As your SCOBY begins to grow share the love around with your friends.
10. If you need to stop your fermentation process because you are going away or simply gotten too busy, place the SCOBY into a small jar with the 250mls of liquid and place in the fridge (SCOBY hotel). It can then stay there until you are ready to start your next batch again. When you begin it may just take 1-2 days longer to get started again compared to if you were carrying on the process continuously.