In my husband’s family there is an unwritten rule that no one questions what you spend your birthday money on. You can spend it on shiny tools, those amazing boots, or even save up for a Coach purse.
But, not me. No, I spent my money on yeast. And bacteria. In the shape of a dried up pancake.
Yes, I decided to buy a dehydrated SCOBY; that’s a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. As inedible as it sounds, this SCOBY will actually help me create a beautiful, fizzing, probiotic-rich drink called Kombucha.
Doesn’t that word just roll off your tongue. Kombuchaa…
Kombucha is a raw fermented tea (with negligible levels of alcohol) that is detoxifies the body, boosts energy with B vitamins, aids in weight loss and digestion, and helps strengthen the immune system. It was invented around 2,000 years ago in China and was known as the “Immortal health elixir.”
Because the product is nearly $5 retail for a small bottle, I wanted to try my hand at making it! Aspiring future homesteader here ✌
I purchased my scoby from Cultures for Health. (I am not sponsored by them) They sell dehydrated scobys that you need to reactivate. You can also opt for purchasing a live scoby from certain stores or you can obtain one from a friend who makes kombucha. Just be sure that the scoby you use is completely safe from mold and other contaminants.
You will need:
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 2 tea bags (Black tea)
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 2-3 cups distilled water
- Quart-size glass jar
- Coffee Filter
- Rubber Band
First, we must make the tea! Stir together the hot water and sugar in your glass jar until the sugar is dissolved. Add the tea bags for 15 minutes, then remove.
Cool the mixture to 68-85ºF. Add the distilled white vinegar and then the scoby.
Scobys will vary in appearance but this is what mine looked like. Lovely isn’t it?
Take the coffee filter (or cheesecloth) and spray some distilled white vinegar on it. Place it over the jar’s mouth and seal with the rubber band.
I have been spraying my cover with vinegar every day to create a barrier against mold, which is pretty much the only thing that will ruin your kombucha.
Make sure your jar sits out of direct sunlight at 68-85ºF for 30 days.
So far my kombucha has been activating for 10 days! I will post again with progress.
Kombucha scobys can be reused again and again. They also will begin to grow a new scoby at certain times in the brewing process! This is why people who are continually brewing kombucha will end up with extra. So instead of paying $5 a bottle you basically can make kombucha for the cost of tea and a little vinegar!
And you all thought I was crazy…
Do you drink kombucha? Share your thoughts below!