to make your own Kombucha Health Drink.
2 litres (3 1/2
- 4 pints) of water.
160 grams (5
1/2 oz) of white granulated sugar.
(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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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