Author Topic: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions  (Read 163933 times)

Offline Gabriel Anast

  • Administrator
  • Master
  • Posts: 1205
Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« on: April 01, 2006, 07:39:35 PM »
Anyone looking for an interesting (and fun) homeschool project that makes a great (in my opinion) energizing drink, try making Kombucha.

Here is a link to the "Mother" site for Kombucha info:

http://www.kombu.de/

My wife hates this stuff, but I love it. It has actually been years since I made any since we have lived in a small house for so long, and it helps to have at least a little spare space... but here is my great "pitch" story:

When I was in college living alone and taking more hours that was rational, I would go to class at about 7am and usually had classes till noon at least three days a week. Then I would have an afternoon class or two. Those afternoon classes were killers.

I would go home to eat a quick burrito or something, and by the time I got back for an afternoon class I was ready to sleep! Then a friend turned me on to Kombucha. I thought it tasted great, and started brewing my own. I would drink a bottle with lunch, and it was amazing... by the time I got back to afternoon classes I was wide awake and ready for class. The first couple of times I just thought I had gotten too much sleep the night before, however I figured it out after the third or fourth day. Wow... that stuff was great.

It is a strong diuretic, however, and I had to remember to drink more water, but that was probably a good thing too.

Unfortunately I don't have any spare starters around, so those of you that want to try it will have to buy or borrow one somewhere else... (like here!)

Disclaimer: Kombucha is slightly alcoholic (usually .5% to 1%. For comparrison: most alcohol based tinctures are usually about 2%, beer is usually 6%, and quality wine ranges between 12% and 18%) however the main healthful product of the ferment is glucuronic acid.

--gabe



Edited 2007 0317

Since this topic was started, it's had such a huge following that many other related topics have been started for specific questions & issues.  Refer to the following links to find answers to your specific questions and needs.

Kombucha SCOBYs & Kefir Grains - Available/Wanted
Kombucha: Alcohol, pH, Caffeine, Sugar & Culture Content
Kombucha:  Health Benefits
Kombucha: Side Effects, Risks & Warnings
Kombucha:  Troubleshooting
Kombucha: Containers, Storage, Shipping & Supplies
Kombucha Variations: Teas & Flavors That Do & Don't Work
Kombucha: Water Sources
Kombucha: Chat, Walkthroughs & Non-Technical Information
Kombucha: Alternate Uses for Brew & SCOBY's
« Last Edit: May 26, 2007, 05:18:01 AM by The Spaminator »

Offline amazonmama2five

  • Adept
  • Posts: 589
    • Amazonmamasadventures
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2006, 11:38:47 AM »
Elbereth,
My kombucha came with instructions, I followed them the first time and then switched to the NT recipe and that is what I am using now.

First Time:

1 Liter of water; bring to a boil.
Add 4 TBSP of white sugar; let boil for about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and add two black teabags and let cool completely.
Add 2 TBSP of vinegar, any vinegar will do (I used apple cider).
Last of all, add the SCOBY (Kombucha mushroom).

Put a lid on your glass jar very loosely, your kombucha needs to breathe.  Let stand one week and try it.  It should taste like slightly fermented apple cider w/o the bubbles.  Store in smaller glass bottles closed tightly and in 4-5 days you will notice gas developing, after this you can store it in the refriderator.

NOW, your second batch you will have the liquid to mix with your tea and you are on your way!
Have a GREAT day!
Lisa
He is no fool that gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.~Jim Elliot
My Intro
Visit our site!

Offline Simply Kristen

  • My weekly podcast that explores all aspects of healthy living.
  • Master
  • Posts: 1851
    • SimplyKristen Blog
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2007, 03:32:21 PM »
What kind do you like best?  

3 qts of water
5 Black Tea bags
1 1/4 Cups of Sugar
6oz of starter (not-strained)
Brew for 14 days.

:-)
« Last Edit: January 18, 2007, 03:50:38 PM by KristenA »

Offline screasy

  • Adept
  • Posts: 424
  • Trying my best....
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2007, 05:46:11 PM »
OK, got my first scoby (Thanks, Sarah!)

We live in the SOUTH, and make our regular sweet tea as follows:

Bring a medium-sized pot of water to a boil containing
2 Lipton Decaf Family-Size Tea Bags
As soon as it boils remove it from the heat and add a "pinch" (approx. 1/2 tsp. of baking soda.  This makes the color MUCH darker, and takes away any bitter taste.
Add to tea pitcher with 1 1/2 cups sugar and bring water to 1 gallon total.
(This is actually a secret of sorts.  EVERYONE around here raves about our sweet tea...I think it's the baking soda!)

Anyway, would this recipe work for Kombucha?  I don't plan on making the first batch with the baking soda.  I want to get some feedback from the bucha professionals here first!   ;)

My main concerns are about using decaf, and also just regular old Lipton for the tea.  Also, has anyone mixed regular tea and herbal?  What are your favorite combinations?  Thanks in advance!

Offline Mama Sita

  • Adept
  • Posts: 744
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2007, 05:13:51 AM »
Hi savedbygrace,
Relax!! Kombucha is very easy and forgiving to work with! We never bottle ours--just strain it and drink it after it's done brewing. As for leftovers, I just put them into another glass jar and throw a cap on it and put it in the fridge. Seems to keep its fizziness that way, too.

Some people even brew theirs in glass bowls--whatever works for you. Personally, I don't like to do this since my glass bowls are scarce, and also, you end up growing a HUGE scoby on the top of your kombucha. I guess you could use it as a frisbee when it gets old :D ;D

Here's our simple recipe for kombucha:
In a stainless steel kettle, boil 3 qts filtered water for 5 min. Add 1 c. sugar into hot water, stirring with a NON-metal spoon. Bring back to boil. Remove from heat and put in 4 Lipton black tea bags. Cover and set on a back burner to cool way down. Should be almost room temp before you add your scoby and a little starter kombucha. Also, remove your teabags at this point.

Put into your glass jar, cover with a cheesecloth or coffee filter secured with a rubber band, put in a dark place (I cover mine with a paper bag "blanket" around the jar so no light can get in), and wait about a week to check your kombucha. In cooler temps, it will take a little longer to brew.

How's that? Clear as mud? It's really not that hard once you get the hang of it. Let us know of any questions!
Happy Brewing,
MS
« Last Edit: April 26, 2007, 05:15:37 AM by Mama Sita »
"No one stands as tall as a Christian on his knees."
Get $5 off your first iHerb.com order: Code ISA141

Offline Mrs. Visionary

  • Adept
  • Posts: 163
    • PureBulk, Inc.
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2007, 06:24:23 PM »
Gabriel,
I was intrigued by your commentary on kombucha. If I could get rid of the afternoon slump phenomena I would be thrilled. But what I was wondering was were you already consuming caffeine when you were introduced to kombucha. Or could it be the caffeine in the tea used to make the kombucha was giving you the pick up for your afternoon classes.
Just wondering.

Offline SarahK

  • Master
  • Posts: 1820
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2007, 01:22:14 AM »
I have had a few questions in the "What Does It Look Like" catagory.  I am going to try to post some pictures to let folks see what I see when I harvest Kombucha.

Here is my jar of Kombucha after 16 days of brewing time.  The mother (original scoby I dropped in) is near the surface and hanging down a bit.  The baby (newly formed scoby) is a thick film covering the surface of the liquid.  The liquid is clear with floating fibers in it.

« Last Edit: July 25, 2007, 01:24:06 AM by SarahK »
I have learned enough to know I still have lots to learn.  Teach me.
My WTM Intro updated 9/2010

Offline SarahK

  • Master
  • Posts: 1820
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2007, 01:30:51 AM »
I take the SCOBYs out first.  The picture is them globbed together just like the were in the jar in my previous post. 
« Last Edit: July 25, 2007, 01:47:38 AM by SarahK »
I have learned enough to know I still have lots to learn.  Teach me.
My WTM Intro updated 9/2010

Offline SarahK

  • Master
  • Posts: 1820
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2007, 01:49:48 AM »
The next picture is after I have torn them apart.  The Mother (older) one is on the left.  It's Darker and has a hole torn in it where it stuck to the new SCOBY.  Theres a wad of SCOBY hanging from it that probably was left over from the previous harvest.  The new one is on the left.  It is more complete except at the dark spot you see.  That's where the new scoby had an air bubble forming under it and got raised up above the surface of the liquid.  It dried out there and is very thin and tough.  My SCOBYs are pink because I brew in herbal tea that is also red to purple in color.
I have learned enough to know I still have lots to learn.  Teach me.
My WTM Intro updated 9/2010

Offline SarahK

  • Master
  • Posts: 1820
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2007, 01:52:29 AM »
Here's an older SCOBY I grew specifically for brewing.  Sometimes I start a jar of black tea and let the SCOBY grow for 30+ days and get HUGE.  Then I harvest the very thick, new SCOBY and wack it apart into chunks.  These chunks seem to brew a bit faster and the new SCOBYs from Kombucha brewed with these chunks are thicker and easier to harvest (not as likely to tear).  When I ship out a SCOBY, it is usually from a batch brewed with one of these chunks.
I have learned enough to know I still have lots to learn.  Teach me.
My WTM Intro updated 9/2010

Offline Mama Sita

  • Adept
  • Posts: 744
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2007, 02:54:19 AM »
I never thought of 'whacking' my scobys apart, but that's a good idea. SarahK, how many chunks do you whack your scobys into? I mean, does 1/8 of a scoby still brew a good batch of tea? 1/4? 1/2? Just curious to see what you use.

Nice scobys. Looks like a couple of organs sitting there on the plate....bladders, maybe ;D

"No one stands as tall as a Christian on his knees."
Get $5 off your first iHerb.com order: Code ISA141

Offline berthday

  • Adept
  • Posts: 120
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2007, 07:37:11 AM »
Sarah, Thanks so much for posting the photos! Mine look normal!! YEAH!!  This is my first time making 'bucha and it turned out really good and had a nice SCOBY.

Offline SarahK

  • Master
  • Posts: 1820
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2007, 08:41:42 AM »
I never thought of 'whacking' my scobys apart, but that's a good idea. SarahK, how many chunks do you whack your scobys into? I mean, does 1/8 of a scoby still brew a good batch of tea? 1/4? 1/2? Just curious to see what you use.


The one that looks like is was half a square cut corner to corner is probably about a half inch thick.  I also had one going that I was gonna harvest in the first week of June that didn't get harvested until the second week of July.  It was about 2 inches thick.  That one I cut into about 6 pieces.  I kinda shoot for a size that would about twice what I normally get in a new scoby in volume.  Like if I smashed up a new scoby into a wad, doubled that amount and then wacked my Super SCOBY (tm) into chunks about that size.

I'm not really all that detailed on this, can 'ya tell?  If I don't make enough sense - go ahead and try me again.

Sarah K
I have learned enough to know I still have lots to learn.  Teach me.
My WTM Intro updated 9/2010

Offline WithLoveAndJoy

  • Master
  • Posts: 881
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2007, 03:28:19 PM »

Nice scobys. Looks like a couple of organs sitting there on the plate....bladders, maybe ;D



I thought so too, almost grossed me out ;-)  But I just started my first recipe....I hope I like it.. I am just afraid it will be vinegary...
Visit my blog and see my deals for the week :)

http://homemakersresource.blogspot.com/

Offline miff aka Missi

  • Adept
  • Posts: 601
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #14 on: August 27, 2007, 04:49:10 PM »
OK, got my first scoby (Thanks, Sarah!)...

...
My main concerns are about using decaf, and also just regular old Lipton for the tea.  Also, has anyone mixed regular tea and herbal?  What are your favorite combinations?  Thanks in advance!
Screasy,
I got my SCOBY from SarahK also.  It was really great.

Anyway, how has your kombucha been turning out?  I use decaf and I like mine.

Missi

Offline txseawater

  • Adept
  • Posts: 563
  • JESUS PRESENCE~
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #15 on: August 27, 2007, 07:50:27 PM »
O.K. y'all-

We were trying out Kombucha for the first time three months ago and we are still "getting used to it"! My  husband has had chronic stomach burn for 25+ yrs? and does get some relief from 4 oz per day.( If I pour it up and take it to him!) Another friend with acid reflux says she also gets relief.

I use half green tea and half black in organic sugar. I use the least amount of sugar- 1 1/4 cup. It sits 12-15 days on my counter top.

We "enjoy" it cold....and well filtered!  :P   
Sea ~~~_/) ~~~

Offline ktalbott

  • Learning
  • Posts: 10
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #16 on: October 16, 2007, 05:10:00 AM »
I'm not sure where to post this... but after brewing kombucha for 6 months , and enjoying learning more about it, I found this site: http://kombuchakamp.blogspot.com/  It's pretty informative. (She does have some interesting earthy beliefs).  She also has online "how to" videos. 

Also, for those who are interested, there's a Yahoo group that has a wealth of information:  http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/original_kombucha/

~ Katie

Offline girly

  • Adept
  • Posts: 223
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2008, 04:32:47 AM »
There is a great blog with step-by-step instructions on making/brewing kombucha and great photos to boot if anyone would like to check it out.  I suspect many WTM women would enjoy this blog... check it out when you can.

http://myblessedhome.blogspot.com/

YoopreMama

  • Guest
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #18 on: February 27, 2008, 03:07:57 PM »
Does anyone bake w/ kombucha as a liquid substitute?  I just made some GF muffins, using raspberry/wild berry 'bucha instead of milk (1 cup).  THEY ARE FABULOUS!  I think I'll try it in my blender pancakes next...

Offline healyhome

  • Learning
  • Posts: 9
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #19 on: March 02, 2008, 05:02:51 PM »
I was wondering if it is better to start your FIRST :) kombucha with store bought kombucha & let it sit out or to get a SCOBY/mother?  If it's better to start with the SCOBY- I would definitely be interested in getting one from someone. I had read on the forum that you could make the SCOBY by just letting a batch of store bought kombucha sit out for a couple weeks. Is this correct?  Thanks!!!
 

Offline wyomama3

  • Adept
  • Posts: 557
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #20 on: March 02, 2008, 07:12:07 PM »
I was wondering if it is better to start your FIRST :) kombucha with store bought kombucha & let it sit out or to get a SCOBY/mother?  If it's better to start with the SCOBY- I would definitely be interested in getting one from someone. I had read on the forum that you could make the SCOBY by just letting a batch of store bought kombucha sit out for a couple weeks. Is this correct?  Thanks!!!
 
I am sure that this will be moved to the proper thread.
I made my first batch with store bought bucha, and it turned out okay.  Just pick a bottle with a scoby in it, and original flavor.  Dump the whole bottle in with your tea and sugar.  As you make more batches of bucha, your scoby will get thicker.

Offline Kelly the Kitchen Kop

  • Adept
  • Posts: 60
    • Kelly the Kitchen Kop
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #21 on: March 28, 2008, 09:50:14 AM »
This past week I spoke to "THE" Kombucha lady in the U.S. (http://www.laurelfarms.com/) and found out I've been making Kombucha ALL WRONG - there are certain ways you MUST make it in order to have the complete benefits from drinking it.  She's sending me a new mushroom with detailed instructions soon, and within a couple weeks I hope to have more info posted at www.kellythekitchenkop.com.

burlsgirl

  • Guest
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2008, 02:15:00 AM »
Can someone help me, please? I've got my Scoby & I'm ready to make my bucha. I have a question, first, though. The Scoby I got is pretty big (I think, I've never seen one)! I'm wondering how much scoby it takes to make a quart of bucha, and basically, can I cut this one into pieces & make separate quart batches as I don't have any wide mouth container. Clear as mud?

TIA,
Em B.

YoopreMama

  • Guest
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2008, 02:55:11 AM »
Can someone help me, please? I've got my Scoby & I'm ready to make my bucha. I have a question, first, though. The Scoby I got is pretty big (I think, I've never seen one)! I'm wondering how much scoby it takes to make a quart of bucha, and basically, can I cut this one into pieces & make separate quart batches as I don't have any wide mouth container. Clear as mud? TIA, Em B.
I've done that, Em, and believe I got the idea from others here on WTM.  It worked just fine.  Congrats on your "baby"!  :D

burlsgirl

  • Guest
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2008, 02:56:11 AM »
Can someone help me, please? I've got my Scoby & I'm ready to make my bucha. I have a question, first, though. The Scoby I got is pretty big (I think, I've never seen one)! I'm wondering how much scoby it takes to make a quart of bucha, and basically, can I cut this one into pieces & make separate quart batches as I don't have any wide mouth container. Clear as mud? TIA, Em B.
I've done that, Em, and believe I got the idea from others here on WTM.  It worked just fine.  Congrats on your "baby"!  :D

Hey Yooper! So good to "see" you! Thanks! I think I'll try it.

 :-*

Offline Maria/NHM

  • Adept
  • Posts: 684
    • My Blog
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2008, 03:12:00 AM »
If you're using loose black tea how much should you use instead of a tea bag? I was trying to save money by buying it loose but I can't seem to find the correct amount and my bucha is not turning out very good :-\
My Blog
http://naturallyhealthymommy.blogspot.com/
Learning and sharing about nutrition and herbs
My user name used to be Ella :)

Offline jenibee

  • Adept
  • Posts: 194
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2008, 03:34:03 AM »
I use 5-6 tea bags per gallon of KT - that's equivalent to 15 grams of loose tea per gallon.

Offline Maria/NHM

  • Adept
  • Posts: 684
    • My Blog
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2008, 03:41:45 AM »
I use 5-6 tea bags per gallon of KT - that's equivalent to 15 grams of loose tea per gallon.

Thanks. I looked it up and 15 grams would be just over 3 teaspoons. I've been using way too much!
My Blog
http://naturallyhealthymommy.blogspot.com/
Learning and sharing about nutrition and herbs
My user name used to be Ella :)

Offline healthybratt

  • administrator
  • Administrator
  • Guru
  • Posts: 11503
  • administrator
    • wouldn't you like to know?
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2008, 03:57:27 AM »
I use 5-6 tea bags per gallon of KT - that's equivalent to 15 grams of loose tea per gallon.

Thanks. I looked it up and 15 grams would be just over 3 teaspoons. I've been using way too much!
That would be a heaping Tablespoon if that simplifies things for you.
  My favorite herb book!!

Offline lotsaboys

  • Master
  • Posts: 1796
Re: Kombucha: Recipes & General Instructions
« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2008, 06:12:04 AM »
I use 5-6 tea bags per gallon of KT - that's equivalent to 15 grams of loose tea per gallon.

Thanks. I looked it up and 15 grams would be just over 3 teaspoons. I've been using way too much!
That would be a heaping Tablespoon if that simplifies things for you.

Just for the record, that's about (I eyeball it) what I use of loose tea and ours turns out good.