Prevention Not Prescriptions Tuesdays. I'm one of the bloggers, plus today she's featuring a fellow vegan author - Kathy Freston. She's singing one of my songs today, the "Yes, we vegans get plenty of protein" song. It's a great one.
Anyhoo...I just had to check in as I am drinking (drumroll please....) my very first delicious homemade kombucha! It's cranberry-pomegranate (made with green tea). Last night I put several bottles in the fridge after the "fizz stage" (which I've decided is four days for my tastes). Before letting them fizz, I had added a little organic juice to each one, bottled them tightly, and set them aside at room temperature. I'm using my old GT Dave bottles, as they're made to withstand the pressure. I've heard of kombucha exploding, but I've had no such trouble so far.
So, I thought I'd let you know what I've learned so far. Overall I'm pretty psyched, despite several "failures" (over-brewing, under-sugaring, etc.). After all, it's often those failures that teach us what we need to know! I am now finally to the stage where I feel so excited and empowered - I know I can do this! It's easy, it's fun, it's affordable...and it's goooooood.
So here is a glimpse of what I've learned so far:
1. Brewing kombucha is easy. Just get a good scoby (mushroom starter), add it to your sugared tea (once cooled), and let it sit for about 10 days. After that, I've stopped doing the middle brewing. I just go straight from this process to pouring it into my old kombucha bottles (that are very clean), adding about 10% fruit juice, capping tightly, and setting aside for 4 days. After this, it's perfectly carbonated and delicious! And boy does it feel good in my system. There's something about fermented foods that really nourish the system and rejuvenate.
2. Don't worry about messing it up. Worst case scenerio, you'll dump out the tea (like I had to do once) and start over. Your scoby should still be fine in most cases as well.
3. Be sure to add the right amount of sugar. I think I under-sugared the first two batches, which didn't give the scoby enough to "feed on."
4. Experiment with flavors. My usual favorite, grape, somehow hasn't worked so far! Perhaps the type of tea I'm using isn't so great with it. But oddly enough, the cranberry-pomegranate juice I'm using has tasted divine with each batch of tea. So, as a kombucha home-brew newbie, I'm sure it will take a little while before I get the flavors and teas down to an absolute perfect science. In the meantime, I can't believe how much kombucha I have in my fridge - and I didn't have to spend a fortune on it like I used to!!
5. Kombucha is very forgiving. If you mess things up, you'll learn something new. For example, once I completely forgot to add the sugar! Days later, I remembered. The kombucha still seemed fine (it was clean and tasted fresh), so I just diluted the sugar in some hot water, let it cool, then added it to the tea. The batch took a little longer, but was fine.
Thanks so much for stopping by - I can't wait until I can report that my batch of grape kombucha turns out great! That'll be a party day in my little world. XO