I don’t have a picture of boiling water…I think you know how to do that. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, remove from the stove and add 1 cup Organic sugar (no honey doesn’t work well because it is an anti-bacterial and the SCOBY is…bacteria) and 6 organic black tea bags. Allow to steep for 20 minutes, stir, remove tea bags and squeeze out all the liquid.
Your bottle will look like this…although the SCOBY may fall to the bottom at first, that’s OK.
Put the tea brew into your jar and add cold water almost to the top
Cover the jar with a cheese cloth and secure with a rubber band (real high-tech, right?) Put the jar in a warm dark place…for me it’s the hot water closet. I’m talking with Phil about putting up some shelves in here for my brewery!
There are two fermenting cycles…this is the First Fermenting.
First Fermenting: Allow the “buch” to ferment for 3-4 days
You will know it is ready for the next step if it does not taste like super strong sweet tea but more like a slightly sweet and sour weak tea. I stick a straw under the SCOBY and sip it. No Fender did not try the tea and pass out on the floor…he is just extremely tired from our long walk in the woods, chasing chipmunks and squirrels and swimming in the river at the bottom of our lot.
Now for the FUN Part…when the Buch tastes right, slightly weak sweet and sour tea with a bit of a “bite”, you can add fruit juices to flavor it and make it taste fabulous like Martenillis’ or a sparkling juice. Some people like to put a bit of raw ginger, which is also a great health benefit. My fav is apple and lemon or cranberry. Grape juice will give it kind of a champagne or wine effect. Be creative, look on line for ideas. I bet Pinterest has some good ones.
First strain the Kombucha into a bowl and then pour into your clean glass jars or bottles. The bottle should be 2/3 full of Kombucha. I usually MAKE my own juice with my juicer but you can also buy organic frozen concentrate. I used concentrate for the cranberry kombucha. My sister-in-law, Cyndi used a raspberry apple blend that was really good. Of course, fresh is always best. If you use frozen concentrate you will need to make it according to the package directions first. Add the juice to each bottle (ratio: 1/3 juice to 2/3 kombucha) Seal each bottle with a screw top lid or a locking lid (no corks). Put your sealed bottles back in your dark warm place (mine is on top of the hot water heater) for a few more days.
How to tell when the second fermentation is ready.
One of my jars is plastic. I fill it 2/3 full with the juice/komucha mixture and seal it tight. Set it in the warm dark place (hot water heater) and each day I test it by squeezing the plastic jar. At first it has some give to it. I know the buch is ready when the plastic jar is hard and tight, no give. Now it will be FIZZY! and YUMMY!