Kombucha: A Better Home Brewing Technique

Remember when I wrote about kombucha earlier this year and last year?  I’ve continued my home brewing experiments and have had even better success than previously.  One day, just on a whim, I had half a finished bottle of kombucha left and a little bit of the sweet tea left from starting a new batch.  I decided to pour the leftover sweet tea into the kombucha and see what happened.

I completely forgot I did that until a few days later when I opened the bottle to drink it.  It hissed and fizzed and bubbles started rising to the top of the bottle.  Carbonation!  I have been trying to make kombucha that is carbonated like the commercial brands for a very long time.  Finally!

I did it the same way a second time, this time with all my kombuchas that I was bottling.  I got the same results: carbonation!  I have also learned that herbal teas aren’t good for the mother kombucha, so I stopped using herbal teas to make the tea that ferments with the mother. Now,  I use only black or green tea.  Green Jasmine tea is particularly nice.  The sugar tea that gets added with the bottled kombucha can be made with herbal tea.  My favorite is Red Zinger!

The mother mushroom

Home Brewed Kombucha

First Ferment:

Ingredients:

  • kombucha mushroom mother
  • 4 bags black or green tea, your choice
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 large glass jar

M.O.P:

  • Place tea bags, sugar and water into a pot and bring to a boil to dissolve sugar.
  • Let sweet tea mixture cool to room temperature and then remove the tea bags.  Add sweet tea to the kombucha mother in a large glass jar
  • Let tea ferment for 4-10 days.  The length of time really depends on how hot your room is.  The hotter the room, the faster it ferments.  Also, make sure you brew your kombucha in an area away from direct sunlight.  It will kill your mushroom!  I usually just taste mine after about 5 days and when it has a slightly sour taste, I bottle it.  You want it to be slightly sour, but not sour like vinegar.

Second Ferment

Ingredients:

  • 4 glass jars with a tight fitting lid.  Mason jars work well.  I also save and reuse my old glass commercial kombucha containers.
  • 4 tea bags, black or green, your choice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 cups of water

M.O.P

  • Combine tea bags, sugar and water and bring to a boil to dissolve sugar.  Let cool to room temperature.  Remove tea bags.
  • Divide the kombucha amongst the jars.  They should not be full, but about half to a third of the way full.  Depending on the size of your jars, you may need more than 4 jars.
  • Fill the jars the rest of the way up with the sweet tea.  Let the tea sit 3-5 days.  The longer it sits, the more carbonated and less sugary it tastes.  Again, I usually just open one of mine and see if it tastes the way I want it to.

Red Raspberry Zinger kombucha

So there you have it; another post on one of the weirdest drinks ever.  I couldn’t even drink a whole bottle the first time I tried one, and now I’m brewing my own at home!  Kombucha is fun to experiment with, which makes me think I would like home brewing beer.  Perhaps that will be my next fermentation experiment.  Just what we need; a project that requires a ton of space in our tiny-ass apartment.

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2 thoughts on “Kombucha: A Better Home Brewing Technique

  1. Pingback: Kombucha Two Ways: Pomegranate and Ginger | Cook/Write

  2. Pingback: More Fermenting Adventures: Cabbage | Cook/Write

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