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How to make your own Kombucha Health Drink.


Ingredients.

  • 2 litres (3 1/2 - 4 pints) of water.

  • 160 grams (5 1/2 oz) of white granulated sugar.

  • 2-4 teaspoons (or teabags) tea - black, green, or a mixture. Alternatively, a herbal tea - though not one that contains oil - may be used. Recommended that you start brewing with black and/or green tea. When you are more confident you can experiment with herbs.

  • 1 healthy Kombucha culture.

  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (This is used only with the first brew, if no starter Kombucha tea is available. In subsequent brews, use 200m1 (1A pint) of the brew as a starter and omit vinegar).

 

 

Method.

  • To make a batch of Kombucha, you will need a bowl made of china, porcelain, glass or ceramic that will hold about two and a half litres or six pints.

  • Place the tea in a large pot, pour on boiling water, add sugar and stir until dissolved, and leave to brew for 10 to 15 minutes.

  • Strain brewed tea into the bowl.

  • Add the remainder of the water and allow to cool to room temperature. Then add the cider vinegar (or `starter' brew).

  • Now place the fungus - smooth side up - to float on top of the liquid.

  • The fungus has a smooth side (possibly lighter in colour) and a rougher side. It should be allowed to float smooth-side upwards.

  • A gap of at least one and a half inches should be left between the fungus and the top of the bowl.

  • Cover with muslin (or some other suitable cloth which will allow air through) and anchor this below the lip of the bowl with elastic.

  • The container should then be put in a warm place (ideal fermentation temperature is between 700 and 840F (230 and 280C), depending on the season).

  • The fungus does not require any light but needs warmth and air. Smoke is harmful.

  • After 6-9 days of fermentation (it is faster in summer or in higher temperatures), remove the fungus with clean hands, strain the beverage and pour into bottles leaving sufficient air space. (Alternatively, the bev erage can be poured into one or more lidded jugs).

  • After some experience you will decide the best fermentation time for your conditions.

  • The drink should have a zingy and only slightly sweet taste, not too acid. The bottles should be placed in the fridge, otherwise the fermentation process will continue and the beverage will obtain a sour taste. Once the fungus has been removed from the tea-brew, it can immediately be used to start a new batch.

 

Suitable Containers.

The most suitable containers for brewing are bowls made of glass, porcelain or glazed pottery. Metal containers - including stainless steel - are not used because acids in the brew react with the metal. A comparision can be made with whisky or wine which taste different when fermented in wood. Plastic containers are more and more commonly used, in which case, they should be high quality food grade and acid-resistant. Polyvinyls, poly-propylenes and cheap plastics can cause chemical reactions in the brew due to leaching of plastics. Beer-brewing containers used for home brewing can be used. The containers should have a wide opening, not too tall nor filled up to the top. A wider, more shallow pot enables the Kombucha to ferment quicker and better.

 

The Fungus Reproduces Itself.

With each brew, a new fungus will have grown (by binary fission) on top of the original `pancake' floating on top of the liquid. The pancakes can be gently eased apart by hand. The new fungus can then be used to start another batch or passed on to a friend. If no batches are started on the same day, the fungus can be preserved by placing it into an air-tight container with some Kombucha beverage, leaving an air space between the liquid and the lid and keeping it in the fridge until required. The recommended amount to drink daily is three average-sized wine glasses, one before breakfast and one 20 - 30 minutes after lunch and your evening meal.

Larger amounts can be consumed quite safely for reasonably healthy people.

There are no limitations to the ways in which a Kombucha brewer can experiment with his beverage. The more experienced he gets, the better the resulting drink is likely to be.

 


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