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How & Why I Make Kombucha (Fermented Tea) (VIDEO)

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KOMBUCHA is not something new to the Western world and has been around for centuries. It has a  tangy and sweet flavor and can be second time fermented with fruit, juice, honey, jam, etc. to make a fizzy beverage that is similar to soft drinks.

3 jars with kombucha

What it is KOMBUCHA?

Kombucha (Lacto-fermented tea) is an old fashioned beverage that has recently grown in popularity in the last years and is now available in many grocery stores and health food stores. Store-bought kombucha costs $4-5 a bottle, so making it at home is a great way to save a lot of money. Never mind to mention that most brands on the supermarket's shelves are pasteurized, do to prevention of exposure on a shelves.


If you’re a fan of this probiotic, mineral, enzyme-rich drink, that can even help with removing heavy metals from our bodies (today we are living in a very toxic world) try brewing it at home for just pennies a glass!

bottles with kombucha, pineapple
bottles, and huge jar with kombucha, me holding a jar

My Personal Story about Kombucha

It is a popular drink, but always has been this way. At age 14-15 years old I do remember a neighbor shared with my mom a jar with an ugly thing swimming inside also a piece of paper with instructions on how to take care of it. This was so magical and interesting how fast "the ugly thing" called SCOBY could grow and how people would use this for some spiritual and not physical beneficial healing. The paper said to make 13 times and then share with a friend. I think after awhile my mom ran out of friends who were willing to take this "pet", and she stopped making it all together. It is funny to think about SCOBY (Symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) this way.

jar with SCOBY and kitchen towel

Many, many years have passed and in 2013 I fell in love with this store - bought magical beverage called kombucha. After drinking for awhile but not every single day, because it was expensive, I realized making my own was the way to go. I was looking around for a SCOBY, and found out that my friend from Massachusetts had it. (We lived out of state), so I asked her and she was so nice to ship me a SCOBY! Well without any knowledge I ruined it. Forgot about SCOBY for a few years and then the year that I was trying to conceive my second child, I found myself making, drinking and being in love with homemade kombucha.

NEVER STOPPED DRINKING KOMBUCHA SINCE THEN, which has been for almost 10 years.

Every day I search to try to find new information and studies about macrobiotics, probiotics and prebiotics. This drink deserves special love from millions of people around the world. Its popularity is growing like mushrooms. As a result, many soda companies are losing their businesses.


Start your summer right with a pool party and serve Two Summer Slushies with Kombucha, & Spirit

two frozen drinks

WHY MAKE KOMBUCHA AT HOME?

3 beer bottles with kombucha

KOMBUCHA IS FANTASTIC SODA ALTERNATIVE

If you have someone who is addicted to soda, this beverage will help to break the addiction.

While the health claims about kombucha have not been confirmed by western medical research, there is no denying that it is a healthier and lower sugar drink than soda. It has natural carbonation and provides some B-vitamins and beneficial enzymes that aren’t present in soda as well.

two jars with kombucha

Kombucha Beverage is Easy to Customize

My favorite part about making kombucha in my own kitchen is how easy it is to customize and make different flavors. I feel like a scientist in a lab, lol.

Add tart cherry juice or apple juice for a slightly flavored version. Add some fresh or frozen fruit for a super carbonated tangy taste. Or even add some dried fruit and a vanilla bean for a taste similar to a leading soda that starts with Dr. and ends with Pepper! The possibilities are endless, my favorite one is a ginger, lemon and honey, a wonderful cold prevention drink.


Save Money and Control the Quality of the Ingredients

Store-bought kombucha is expensive. Homemade is not at all. You can make two gallons at home for less than the cost of a single bottle in stores. Since you control the brew time and flavors, you’ll probably get a more flavorful and more nutrient-dense brew at home too!

You can choose what kind of sugar to use, what kind of tea, etc.


Why do you need to Drink Kombucha Daily?

Today we are living in a sanitized society. Everything is clean. Our bodies are losing their ability to fight against bad bacteria and viruses. All of these begin during the very early stages of life: C-section surgeries, promotion of formula over

breast milk, and the need to over-sterilize and sanitize everything in sight

Unhealthy gut with unbalanced bacteria, weak microbiome, many people experience symptoms of leaking gut, and as a result many health issues such as food allergies, food sensitivities, etc. are rising.

What I want to say is that having an imbalance of bacteria in our bodies is not fun. Everything from our skin, our hormones, our digestive system all depend on our good bacteria.


We all know that kimchi, miso, fermented black beans, fish sauce, fermented red peppers are all staple ingredients in Asian cuisine. Consuming these on a regular basis leads to many benefits, especially when it comes to women’s health. That's why Asian women don't suffer from PMS and MENOPAUSE symptoms as much as western women. Incorporating fermented foods into our diet will help to significantly improve our health.


HERE Is why, consuming daily and not on occasion, will work:

S.Boulardii bacteria are one of the many powerful bacteria in your gut. And can last up to 3 days, so it’s important to remember to consume often and no less than that. Especially during antibiotic treatment.

KOMBUCHA THE ONLY ONE FERMENT that has Bacteria strong enough that can survive during antibiotic treatment.


Uses of Kombucha

Did you know that, even thought kombucha is a DRINK but you can also EAT and WEAR IT!


Top 10 uses of kombucha:

  • Kombucha mayonnaise

  • Use as vinegar when you make salad dressing or any recipe that calls for vinegar.

  • Use to marinade your protein.

  • Use as a vinegar to clean house; best to use over-fermented kombucha.

  • Facial toner (see recipe below)

  • Put into smoothies.

  • Frozen treats like popsicles.

  • Fruit soup – a great summer treat (See recipe below)

  • Kombucha water using over-fermented kombucha. (See recipe below)

  • Make your own fruit vinegar using over-fermented kombucha with apples or berries.


WHAT TO DO WITH EXTRA SCOBY?

There are many ways to use extra SCOBY:

  • You can make jelly (my kids love it!).

  • Use it for milkshakes, smoothies, as salad dressing or add it to your baked goods!

  • You can also add it to your garden.

  • Give to your chickens.

SCOBY is basically soluble fiber, which means it is not absorbed by the body. It is helpful in taking in water and aiding the body to get rid of toxins and harmful bacteria. An here is one added bonus: it’s calorie free!


Kombucha Facial Toner:

What you need:

4 ounce spray bottle

2 tablespoons over fermented kombucha

2 tablespoons witch hazel

2 drops essential oil (love mint)

2 ounces distilled water


What to do:

  • Mix all ingredients together in a small glass bottle (preferably a spray bottle)

  • Keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

  • Use on face 1-2 times a day


Probiotic Fruit-Berry Soup:

What you need:

1-quart strawberries

1quart blackberries

1 cup orange juice freshly squeezed

1/2 cup lime or lemon juice

2 tablespoon of potato starch (remember potato is resistant starch, prefect prebiotic)

1&1/2 cups kombucha plain or flavored (second fermentation)


What to do:

  • Rinse and puree berries. 

  • Combine pureed berries, orange juice, and lemon juice and potato starch in a saucepan. 

  • Cook over low-medium heat until mixture becomes thick, keep stirring.

  • Let cool to room temperature. Then add kombucha and stir.

  • Chill before serving. 

  • Serve in soup bowls with a dollop of kefir cheese for extra probiotic.


Homemade Kombucha Vinegar:

What you need:

2 big apples or 2 cups blueberries (or 2 cups of apple peels)

1/2 cups water

¼ cup kombucha (over fermented can be used)

2 tablespoons raw honey (honey is great prebiotic)

1 small SCOBY (1 inch thick, cut into small pieces)


What to do:

  • Cut apples and add to mason jar.

  • Add honey, kombucha, add water and SCOBY.

  • Cover with cloth and rubber band.

  • Leave in dark place for one month. In the summer leave for 15 days.

  • Strain the liquid into the Mason jar, cover with cloth and rubber band and let ferment for a month. In a summer, 15 days.

  • After bottle your fruit vinegar in a glass jar and you can store in the cabinet

  • for months, just like store bought vinegar. Any berries or apples will work for this recipe. My favorites are apples or blueberries. Apple peels/scraps are fine for this recipe. During apple pie season that's what I do with all apple scraps.

Apple cider vinegar has many health benefits, as does Kombucha. So yeast and bacteria work together to create an acid. Vinegar is naturally more acidic (4-7%), while kombucha is about 1-2%. The presence of acid causes the fermented kombucha to turn naturally into vinegar. You will receive different types of

benefits from kombucha vinegar with one of the most famous being that it lowers your sugar level.


Kombucha salad dressing: My all time favorite!

This dressing is not only easy to make but also has long in your refrigerator due to its fermented components.

The fermentation process helps to preserve food naturally for a longer period of time.


What you need:

1 cup kombucha (overly fermented is fine)

2 tablespoons raw honey

2 teaspoons grated ginger

1 teaspoon Celtic salt

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves grated garlic (I often use fermented garlic)

2-4 tablespoons fresh chopped herbs (I often use fermented herbs)


What to do:

Can last for 2 months. Just like store bought dressing, but without any harmful ingredients in. Store-bought vinaigrette recipes often contain high fructose corn syrup, soy, vegetable oils, and preservatives; lots of them! I prefer to make this fresh version instead and often whip up a batch for a lunch salad.


Kombucha Water:

Perfect in hot weather, especially for those who spend a lot of time outside. Kombucha helps maintain minerals in your body. So will hydrate you much better than a plain water.


What you need:

3 quarters spring water

1 lemon sliced

1 sprig of mint

1 tablespoon of raw honey (optional)

½ cup kombucha (over fermented is fine too).


Let's make it...

Begging of of first fermentation:


Ingredients for first fermentation:

3 quarts filtered water, not distilled

1 SCOBY (1- inch thick)

4-5 tea bags black or green plain or 3-4 Tablespoon loose tea

1 cup brewed kombucha tea


Directions for first fermentation:

  • Wash all utensils and rinse well.

  • Bring the water to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat.

  • Add the sugar and stir until it dissolves. Place tea bags or loose tea into the pot.

  • Let the tea steep for 15-30 minutes.

  • Remove tea bags or strain tea if you use loose tea.

  • Cool tea until it reaches the room temperature.

  • Pour the cool tea into the 1-gallon container/jar.

  • Add SCOBY and brewed kombucha.

  • Place the kitchen towel and not a cheese cloth over the opening of the container and secure it with the rubber band. ( This step is super important as it keeps dust, mold, spores, and vinegar flies out of the fermented tea).

  • Keep covered container sitting in a well-ventilated, dark place with the temperature between 65F and 83F for 4-10 days.

  • To find out the kombucha is ready, do a taste every day after 4th day in the summer and after 7 days in the winter. If it’s ready, it should taste like sparkling apple cider. If it has a vinegar taste, it is over fermented. Every day, your healing drink has a different component of yeast and bacteria. You will get benefits from it, no matter what the taste.

  • When the tea is fermented to your taste, pour it into a couple of sturdy glass bottles with clamp-down lids.

This batch will make 3 quarts of kombucha.


That’s all there is to it. Easy, Right?

You can do it, the most difficult part is waiting … but you will save a lot of money!!!

It gives you sense of accomplishment unlike any of the other cultured foods

When you make your own, you will save money and improve your health!


Directions for second fermentation (Flavored Kombucha):

First of all "Why do you need to do a second fermentation?”

The answer is, you don’t. However, the next level of flavored kombucha making is the one taking the beverage market by storm. EVERYONE LOVES IT!

This step is totally optional!!!


For second fermentation we need feed the yeast with extra food (sugar) to do a job. The remaining yeast in the kombucha will consume most of the sugar that we added, leaving us with a better, healthier product, so don't worry about too much sugar.

The yeast releases CO2 (carbon dioxide) into the brewed kombucha, giving it more bubbles. It’s a game changer for soda drinkers and kids will love the sweet and fruity flavors.

During first fermentation process, SCOBY (symbolic cultures of bacteria and yeast) is present. In order to do its job, SCOBY requires oxygen to conduct its magic. This is the reason we cover it with cloth. During the second fermentation, we are SCOBY free!!! That allows us to play around with flavors.


How can I add flavors?

Make sure you have good sturdy bottles with clamp-down lids when making this recipe. You can repurpose beer bottles with these lids or you can buy glass bottles that are specifically designed for brewing. Bottles bought at craft stores aren’t as sturdy and may explode.


Directions for second fermentation:

  • Mix together one recipe of basic (first fermentation) kombucha (3 quarts of kombucha) and 2 cups of 100% fruit juice (any kind is fine, organic preferred).

  • Transfer the mixture into clean glass bottles, leaving about 2 inches of space at the top of each.

  • Let the kombucha sit in a dark place at room at temperature for 12-48 hours depended on a temperature.

  • Check the kombucha and see if it is bubbly enough for you. If not, let it ferment longer.

Once it suits your taste, transfer to the fridge.

To serve: This second fermentation (flavored) kombucha, you may need to strain before pouring into the glass over the ice (optional) through a tea-strainer.

Note on storage: This kombucha will last for several months in your refrigerator but will turn into vinegar over time. It’s still fine to consume, but better to use it as vinegar.


The supplies for making first & second fermentation Kombucha:

  • One glass gallon jar or non-lead based crock.

  • One linen or cloth napkin that will completely cover over top of the jar or crock.

  • One rubber band to go around neck of jar.

  • 1 cup sugar (I prefer raw cane organic).

  • 4-5 tea bags or 3 Tablespoon of loose tea. Black or green works the best.

  • 3 quarts filtered water, not distilled.

  • 1 cup Kombucha starter tea from your previous batch.

  • SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast, when you buying, its usually comes with a Kombucha starter tea).

  • Also you will need: 32 - ounce or 16-ounce bottles (thick bottles made for brewing beer) to store kombucha.



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