The funny thing is that I have dabbled briefly in drinking alcohol in my late teens, and from the age of 21, my husband and I decided that we would be an alcohol-free couple. First advantage is that it is VERY good for the pocket, and of course, we don’t make bad alchohol-fuelled choices!! Both of us had experienced the negatives of what alcohol abuse had done to our families. The disadvantages of not drinking are that others view you are a little bit of a “freak”, and you get less invites for socialising! So it is a bit funny that I love to brew things!
When a good mate of mine offered me a kombucha scoby, I was like, “Whaaa?” Of course, I checked in with Dr Google and came up with this a heap of information about the amazing health benefits of kombucha! “Yes, please!” That was about a year ago, and I have been making kombucha most every week (a good brew takes -10 days) in the hot water cylinder cupboard! We are hooked! The first couple of times we drank a small dram of home-brewed kombucha, we felt an immediate “alcohol-high!”. Of course, this was all in our head, (‘scuse the pun!) as kombucha has less than 0.5% alcohol, which is considered medicinal (as in homeopathic preparations).
How to make kombucha:
1. Find a friend to gift you a scoby (this is a gelatinous disk of “mother” or colony of bacteria and yeast that multiplies with each brewing)
2. Boil a jug of hot water, pour over 1 cup of sugar and 3-4 black teabags. (I have experimented with Earl Grey tea, or adding a herb tea bag, all with great results)
3. Stir till sugar dissolves. Allow to cool. Pour into your brewing vessel (I use a big glass jar), add filtered cold water to the top (in total, mine holds not-quite 3L). Add the scoby and a little kombucha (about 1 cup) from previous brew.
4. Cover with bug-proof, breathable cloth cover and place in warm, dark place (I use our hot water cylinder cupboard) for 7-10 days.
5. You can test your brew on day 7 by using a straw to taste if it is to your liking. If it is too weak, leave it for another day or three. Kombucha has a lovely set of bubbles in it from the fermentation process.
6. Decant your brew into suitable tight-screw-top lids. I use dark glass jars (recycled from my son’s beer drinking penchant)
Once sealed, kombucha can be kept in a dark cupboard for up to 2 weeks, or stored preferably in the fridge. Each batch can taste different. We drink a quarter to half glass before our evening meal to help with digestion. It is great for gut health and the immune system. There are many other health claims for drinking kombucha, some which I am not so sure about (like reversing grey hair – mine certainly has not shown a reversal, or indeed even a halting!)