How To Make Homemade Kombucha?
Kombucha has been consumed for thousands of years in China, India, Mongolia and Russia. This slightly sparkling drink is the result of the fermentation of tea with sugar and yeast. We explain how to make homemade kombucha.
What is kombucha?
You may have spotted this drink on the shelves of your local organic store or even in the supermarket. If you've never tried it, you should know that kombucha is a fermented drink made from black tea, sugar and natural yeast.
After fermentation, this beverage is low in sugar and naturally fizzy. Its taste is somewhat reminiscent of sweet cider.
Because it contains some alcohol as well as bacteria and yeast, its consumption is not recommended for pregnant women and young children.
What are the benefits of kombucha?
If kombucha has gained more and more followers in the last few years, it is primarily for its organoleptic qualities. This fizzy, thirst-quenching drink offers a much less sweet alternative to sodas and other commercially available flavored drinks.
Its popularity is also due to the many health benefits of this fermented drink. It is known as 'the elixir of long life' or 'the drink of a thousand virtues' because of its digestive system benefits.
In addition to its low sugar, caffeine and alcohol content, this beverage is known for its vitamin B, enzymes, amino acids and trace elements content and for its richness in probiotics.
It is said to have the power to strengthen the intestinal flora and detoxify the digestive system. Kombucha would, among other things, improve transit and digestion. Thanks to the tea it contains, it also has diuretic and antioxidant properties.
To note: the consumption of this beverage must remain reasonable. A small glass a day is enough to enjoy the benefits of this drink.
How to make your own kombucha?
The traditional method for making homemade kombucha is to use a 'kombucha mother' or 'scoby' (for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast).
Both terms refer to the gelatinous film that develops as a protective barrier on the surface of the tea during the fermentation process.
This gelatinous disk is actually composed of a colony of bacteria and yeast that live in symbiosis and can serve as a strain to prepare a new jar of fermented tea.
What is the recipe for homemade kombucha?
To prepare one liter of homemade kombucha, you need :
- a mother of kombucha
- 10 cl of starter liquid, i.e. an old kombucha already fermented
- 1 liter of filtered water (to remove the chlorine and lime sometimes contained in tap water)
- 70 g of light cane sugar
- 5 g of black tea
Start by preparing the tea in the classic way. Heat the water and dilute the sugar before adding the tea. Brew the tea for 10 minutes and then let it cool to room temperature.
Pour the cooled sweet tea into a glass jar and add the starter liquid. Place the mother on top of the mixture, placing the lighter, smoother side up.
Close the jar with a cotton cloth (definitely not gauze that will let gnats through!) held with a simple rubber band. If you plan to make kombucha throughout the year, it may be handy to purchase a glass container with a spigot so you can collect the drink without touching the mother.
Allow this preparation to ferment in a dark, airy place out of direct sunlight for an average of 5 to 8 days. Fermentation time will vary depending on the ambient temperature. Ideally, this drink should be prepared at a temperature between 18 and 25°C.
After a few days, the strain will rise to the surface due to the production of CO2. You can then taste the drink through a straw by pushing the mother slightly to the side. Your homemade kombucha is ready when it is fizzy, not too sweet and slightly acidic.
When the beverage is to your liking, you can bottle it, making sure to leave 10% of the mixture in the jar with the Scoby.
How to make flavored kombucha?
It is at the time of bottling that you can flavorize your fermented tea by adding chopped fruit, spices like grated fresh ginger or fresh herbs.
Some people also add a tablespoon of sugar per liter to the drink at this stage to enhance its effervescence.
In any case, let the mixture ferment again for a few days, sometimes opening the cap of your bottles to let the gas escape. Then put the bottle of homemade flavored kombucha back in the fridge.
What are the precautions to take?
Making homemade kombucha requires impeccable hygiene as it is an unpasteurized drink.
It is essential to use perfectly clean glass containers to avoid contamination.
This fermented tea drink can be stored in a glass bottle with a screw cap, for about a week in the refrigerator once the bottle is opened.