We started brewing kombucha on Anarchy Farm.
What is Kombucha?
For those who don’t know, kombucha (pronounced kom-boo-cha) is a sweet tea that is fermented using a SCOBY.
What is a SCOBY?
For those of you who don’t know, a SCOBY is a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. Basically a slimy mushroom populated with microbials. The living bacteria is said to be probiotic and good for gut health.
Actually, Kombucha has many positive health claims and has been consumed for hundred if not thousands of years. Of course, anyone with an ounce of common sense will know real food is medicine but big ag and big pharma can’t survive if we all eat fresh organic produce so no peer reviewed studies have been published on this elixir.
Kombucha is now commercially available but most are processed and pasteurised to make it safe to travel, so the essential ‘live’ element of the drink is lost. This leads to most fans of the ‘booch’ to make their own.
Making Kombucha at Home
Making kombucha at home is a simple process. First you will need a SCOBY and a little starter tea to inoculate your first batch. If you have ever made yogurt at home, it’s a very similar process.
You will need to make a large pot of black tea and let it stew for around 20 minutes.
When the tea has sat for at least 20 minutes pour it into a large bowl (without the tea leaves) and add a cup of organic cane sugar and stir well until all the sugar has dissolved.
Once your sweet tea has cooled pour into a sterilized container (preferably with a tap) and add the SCOBY.
The SCOBY needs to breathe so cover the container with a tea towel of coffee filter. This will prevent any contaminants getting into your brew and spoiling it. Store away from direct sunlight.
Depending on the ambient temperature of your room and the age of your SCOBY, your first fermentation can last from a few days to a week.
After the first fermentation is complete you will notice your SCOBY has grown (it eats all the sugar) and produced a sister SCOBY. After every brew you will get another sister SCOBY, so you may want to save a little bit of the brew and start a SCOBY hotel to keep them in.
Take your SCOBY out of your container and pop it into your SCOBY hotel for safe keeping. Now give your brew a good stir.
By this stage you should have your bottles prepared. This is the fun part where you can flavour your kombucha with fruits and herbs.
As we continually brew on a weekly basis, we use whatever fruit is in season or are currently available. We have made kombucha with mangosteen, rambutan, lychee, longan, lemon and ginger, Barbados cherry, starfruit, pineapple and banana.
Fruit should be cut up into small pieces and inserted into the bottles. We then simply tap off the kombucha to the bottles, cap and label.
We let the bottled fruit kombucha sit for at least a week and then place in the fridge.
When the kombucha is placed in a fridge it stops the fermentation and allows you to pop open a bottle without the kombucha redecorating your ceiling.
The finished drink is lightly effervescent (carbonated) and is a refreshing drink at any time of the day straight out of the fridge or over ice.
Apparently it is slightly alcoholic, but with not enough volume to worry about. In fact It would make a great healthy alternative to cola or soda for kids of all ages.
Do you brew kombucha? Let us know in the comments below.
If you’re in Thailand and you want to start brewing your own kombucha at home, drop us a line if you need a SCOBY and some starter tea to get you up and running. We can send both out for 1000 Baht which includes all P&P. Contact us here.