KOMBUCHA
DIY

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is fermented tea. With the help of a culture,  the so called scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) tea gets transferred into a low-sugar, refreshing, tangy drink brewed from tea.

What is the difference between Kombucha & other tea drinks?

The quality of tea beverages varies widely and is determined by the choice of tea and sweetener. Sweeteners range from natural juices and spices to chemical flavors and refined sugars.

The fundamental difference with kombucha is that fermentation takes place, during which the sugar and caffeine are converted. That means kombucha contains less sugar, less caffeine and natural carbon dioxide.

How do I use the Kombucha scoby? What is important?

The Kombucha scoby needs three things to thrive: caffeinated tea, sugar, and air.

In addition it benefits from so-called batch liquid, which is an older, very sour kombucha. This helps to lower the pH very quickly, the kombucha becomes more stable and already has a microbial bouquet. This process is known as backslopping.

Depending on the room temperature, it will take about 4-14 days to ferment your kombucha. During this phase, only cover your kombucha with a cloth, not a tight-fitting lid. It is best to place your kombucha in a dark space or cover the glass with a cloth. Like a vampire, he does not appreciate direct sunlight.

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Kombucha Scoby Wien

Workshop Kombucha & Kefir
 

Tips & Tricks

How do I care for my Kombucha tea mushroom?

The best way to do this is to leave it in constant use. But if you need a break or if your scoby has increased in volume, then build a so-called Scoby Hotel.

To do this, just proceed as with a regular kombucha brewing process. You prepare tea, sweeten it and insert your scoby. Cover the jar with a cloth and put it in a cool place, but not in the refrigerator. Your scoby collection can now thrive for a long time.nAfter 4 months you start a new brewing process and move your scobies into fresh, sugared and cooled tea. The liquid from the old hotel is valuable, but pour it in without the yeast sediment that has formed at the bottom of the vessel.

How much scoby do I need for how much tea?

In fermentation - size does not matter! The amount of starter culture is rather insignificant. I once forgot to put in a scoby and still a nice baby scoby grew. It is a quality feature of raw, unpasteurized kombucha that it has the ability to produce its own scoby.  

A palm-sized scoby is enough to brew several liters of kombucha.  

Which tea is ideal?

Only caffeinated tea works for kombucha breweing. That means: black tea or green tea. Oolong, mate, pu-erh, yellow or white tea also contain caffeine.  

Fermenting a kombucha herbal tea approach will work, but the subsequent fermentation should again include caffeinated tea.

Can you ferment coffee with a tea mushroom?

Yes.  

Which sugar is ideal?

Ferments love natural ingredients. The more untreated the sugar, the better your kombucha will be. Refined sugar will work though. Honey can also be used as a source of sugar. Such a Kombucha is known as Jun. It is advisable to have your own Jun scoby.

Do you need the 2nd fermentation phase?

Not necessarily. In the 2nd phase, two things happen - the kombucha is flavored (fruit, spices, etc.) and it is used to develop the natural carbonic acid.  ​

If you don't want a carbonated drink, you can still drink it after the first fermentation. Just make sure not to use a tightly sealing glass when bottling.  

Which glass is ideal for bottling?

Use only high quality glass bottles or plastic bottles (PET). The carbonic acid that is created, especially when more sugar has been used, can lead to strong carbonic acid content, which can sometimes cause the glass to explode. Always put the drink in the refrigerator before consuming it. Treat your kombucha like champagne & only shake it when you want to christen a boat with it.

Help, what is this slimy floating stuff in my bottled kombucha?

Remote diagnosis is always difficult, but if it is brown, stringy and streaky, then your kombucha will form a new  baby scoby. This is a good sign, but not necessarily something you want to drink. I always use a colander when pouring my kombucha into a glass. However, if you want, you can also drink it.

My kombucha scoby always floats on the bottom and not on the top of the glass. Is that OK?

Yes.  

Help, a white skin has formed on my kombucha. Is that OK?

Yes. A new scoby is forming and that is a sign that your fermentation is going well. It would be more worrying if none were formed.  

What do I do with leftover Kombucha scoby

create a Scoby Hotel .

Help, my scoby is moldy?

If furry white, gray or red mold forms, throw everything away, including your scoby.  

Avoid mold by observing the following in fermentation phase I:

- Addition of 10% batch liquid

- no addition of fruit or spices

My Kombucha is not carbonated, what can I do?

Ferments are like pets. They need a period of acclimatization, after which they are loyal and tolerant roommates. If you just bought your new scoby, give it  time.

Please note the following parameters:

  • Use batch liquid in fermentation phase I.

  • Make sure that there is still enough sugar in fermentation phase II, ie fill your kombucha when it is a little sweeter than you would like it to be

  • Use bottles that close very well - preferably flip-top bottles

Does Kombucha contain alcohol?

Mature, sour kombucha can contain up to 1.5% alcohol.

 
 
 

Recipes

RECIPE: Lemon-Ginger Kombucha

Furnishing

  • 3L jar with lid & cloth to cover

  • 6x 0.5 bottles with flip-top / twist-off 

  • Plastic colander

 

ingredients

  • 3L water (preferably not chlorinated)

  • 150g sugar

  • 15g tea (green or black tea; no herbal tea)

  • 1 kombucha scoby (palm-sized)

  • 300ml batch liquid  (old sour kombucha)

Flavoring

  • 1 lemon squeezed

  • 8 slices of finely chopped ginger

  • 3 tbsp sugar

 

Brew tea

Boil 1 liter of water and use it to prepare a strong tea. Pour off the tea and stir in the sugar. Then add 2 liters of cold water. When the liquid has cooled down to below 40degree celsius, insert the scoby and pour in the starting liquid.

Now cover the vessel with a cloth and stretch a rubber ring around it.

Fermentation phase I.

After 5-14 days  - depending on how warm the ambient temperature is - your kombucha is slightly sweet and sour. The taste should contain a little more sugar than you want in the final drink.

Fermentation phase II

Boil the ginger slices with the sugar in little water to a strong concentrate and let it cool. 

Remove the scoby and also take out some of the liquid for future brewing processes (batch liquid).

Now add the ginger concentrate and lemon juice to your kombucha. Stir well.

Then it is bottled. These now stand for 2-5 days at room temperature. Carbonic acid is formed. As soon as it contains enough carbon dioxide, it makes sense to store your kombucha in the refrigerator. If you don't do this, you will get too much carbonation and you may have a mini geyser in your kitchen.

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