I made kombucha!
I was really nervous about fermenting my first tea, but I did it. And it turned out great!
I got the SCOBY mushrooms from a generous student whose parents make kombucha on a regular basis. I kept them chilled in the fridge in a glass jar for a month or so before I got up the nerve to make my first batch. I read a ton of info online and watched a few dozen YouTube videos before I made the plunge.
To make my kombucha, I started by brewing three black tea and three green tea bags in a gallon of distilled water with one cup of raw sugar. After the water came to a boil, I turned off the heat and let the tea bags sit in the water overnight so the water could come back to room temperature. I also let the SCOBY mushrooms sit out overnight so they could come to room temperature. In the morning, I simply added the mushrooms, the recycled kombucha that came with the SCOBY (If you don’t have any starter liquid, you can add about a quarter cup of distilled vinegar to the mix.), and a little more water to a giant glass container. (I took out the tea bags first.)
Then, I covered the container with a clean kitchen towel and used a rubber band to keep it in place. This helps keep debris and fruit flies out of your fermenting kombucha. I stored the glass jar of fermenting tea on top of the refrigerator because its warm up there, and I let it ferment for seven full days. On the eighth day, I checked the tea, and this is what I found.
I fished out the mushrooms with clean hands and put them in a bowl with a little bit of tea to be used later.
Since my mushrooms thickened nicely like they were supposed to, I was able to take off the funky top layer and still have two thick mushrooms for my next batch of tea.
The flavor of the tea was nice and mild, with a very distinct honey taste. I have no idea where that came from, but it was awesome!
I tried to ferment half of the batch for a second fermentation because I wanted some fizziness, but I think it fermented too much because it reacted just like alcohol in my system. Weird.
I sill had the other half of the batch to drink, luckily, and enjoyed it daily with my lunch. I even added some fresh pressed cherry/grape juice one day for a flavor boost. Yum!
I can’t wait to make my next batch of tea. I’m thinking some time this weekend 😉