Saturday, August 15, 2009

Kombucha Scoby

I had never heard of Kombucha before until about 2 years ago when Hubby & I were at the health food store and he decided to try it. He admits that it is something that grows on you after a bit. He has actually acquired a taste for it but I admit I have never ventured to try it. Well...not until now that is.

So what is Kombucha? As noted from Wikipedia: Kombucha is a fermented tea that is quaffed for medicinal purposes. Kombucha is generally fermented using a visible solid mass of microorganisms called a "kombucha culture." The culture contains a symbiosis of Acetobacter (acetic acid bacteria) and yeast, mostly Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Candida stellata, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Torulaspora delbrueckii and Zygosaccharomyces bailii. The culture itself looks somewhat like a large pancake, and though often called a mushroom, a mother of vinegar or by the acronym SCOBY (for "Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.")

Some of the "support benefits" of Kombucha range anywhere from digestion, metabolism, immune system, appetite control, weight control, liver function, body alkalinity, anti-aging, cell integrity to healthy hair and skin. Now these reports have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended as a treatment or prevention or cure for any diseases, but studies have shown to have favorable effects from drinking Kombucha.

With all the information going around about Kombucha, I thought it would be worthwhile to at least try. So I am going to venture into making my own Kombucha. But first we need to start with our SCOBY. This is a fairly simple step into making your own Kombucha, so in a bit I will start my venture and share the journey with you.

Now it's time to start the Kombucha Scoby. There are a few basics that you will need...

1 bottle of Kombucha (found at most health food stores or the specialty department of your local grocer)
1 glass container (it MUST be not use plastic or metal - this ensures that there will be no leaching of matter from the plastic or metal into the product)
cheesecloth or flour sack towel

Pour Kombucha into the clean glass jar.

This is a live raw food, so you will notice immediately after pouring the liquid in that there are some brownish bit type pieces floating in the liquid. This is normal as what you are seeing are yeast strands. (Look at the left side of the photo ~ intermixed with the bubbles you will see the brownish bits.)

Place your cheese cloth or sack cloth atop the container and fasten with a rubber band. What you are trying to accomplish by doing this is to prohibit any foreign matter from entering the liquid, such as pollen or other material that can cause it to mold.

Place the jar in a warm, dark place. (I am using an upper cabinet shelf in our laundry room - this should be plenty warm and dark once the cabinet door is shut.) Leave liquid to sit for about 2 weeks. At that time your Scoby should be formed in the jar. You do not want to move your container around as it will cause your Scoby strands to separate and it will take that much longer to re-attach themselves and form the Scoby pancake. (Remember from my initial post -- the Scoby resembles a pancake in appearance.)

Now we sit back and wait for time to pass. I'll probably take a peek at it every once in awhile and as I do I will share the progress with you as it occurs. Keep in mind though that this is my first time to try making a Scoby, so we will be learning and experimenting together.

Click HERE for printable recipe

So I started my Kombucha Scoby a few weeks ago...well the results were not what I had planned for or had anticipated from seeing others try this and have success. My result was a yeasty smelling liquid that only grew a little bit of funk in it.

So in light of things, I washed out the glass jar really well and now I have a pretty new cookie jar. All is not completely lost so this worked out well in the end.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You needed to feed it.. make some black tea(2cups), add a cup of sugar and allow to cool. Put store product, and sweet tea in container and leave alone for a week or so.

Your description makes it appear as though you starved your Kombucha.... There are proper instructions online if really interseted..