|Used with permission from The Liberated Kitchen’s Real Food Ryan Gosling page.|
Does brewing kombucha seem overwhelming to you? Do you envision mason jars scattered all over your kitchen? Do you not have time to deal with it all? But do you still want to drink kombucha regularly without having to shell out $3-4 a bottle? I know I say things are simple a lot but this actually really truly is simple. Once you find the pieces, it takes a short time to get set up and running with very little maintenance. Can you boil water? You can make kombucha.
This is how I set up my Continuous Brewing System.
- Glass beverage dispenser, the kind with a plastic spigot at the bottom. You don’t want any metal in contact with the tea as it can damage the SCOBY. It should hold 1-5 gallons. Mine holds 1.5 gallons.
- Tea ball (if using loose leaf tea).
- 1 gallon jug to store sweetened tea.
Ingredients for 1 gallon of tea:
- 1 cup of sugar (1/4 cup per quart of water)
- 8 tea bags* (2 bags per quart of water)
- 4 quarts filtered water divided (or amount needed)
- 2 cups Kombucha starter tea (1/2 cup per quart of water)
- Kombucha mother
This makes enough tea for a 1 gallon container. Adjust the amount as needed to fill your container.
Add 1 quart of water, sugar and tea to a saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Remove from heat and let steep for about 15 min. Remove tea bags. Add remaining 3 quarts of cold filtered water.
Once tea is cooled to room temperature, pour into your system and add starter tea and kombucha mother. Cover with a cloth, secured with a rubber band. Let set in a warm place for about a week. Taste test at this time. If it’s too sweet, let set a little longer. You might need to find a warmer place. I keep mine near my crock pot which is always running making bone broth. Kombucha can culture for up to 6 weeks.
*Black tea is best for the health of the SCOBY. Green tea works well too. If you want to use white tea, red tea or an herbal tea, use it in combination with black tea. My favorite is a 50/50 blend of English Breakfast tea with green tea. Avoid flavored teas (like Earl Grey) since they can damage the SCOBY. Add flavor during the second ferment.
Once Kombucha is to your liking, drain off as much as you would like to drink for a few days and replace with more sweetened tea, prepared with the above ratios. When adding new tea, you don’t need to add more kombucha starter since it’s already in the container. Just make sure to always leave about 20% of the tea in the container.
I remove and replace about a quart at a time. Doing a small switch like this makes the kombucha culture faster. Culturing a ratio of 1 part sweet tea to 4-5 parts kombucha tea, as opposed to 1 gallon to 2 cups, goes faster and is usually done in a matter of just a couple days.
**Time saving tip: I keep a gallon jug of sweetened tea in my fridge so I don’t have to make it every time I drain off kombucha**
You can drink the tea as is or do a second fermentation with juice, fruit and/or spices to add some fizz and yumminess. See my recipe suggestion page: http://www.picklemetoo.com/kombucha.html
That’s all there is to it! Just gently add sweetened tea as you drain off your kombucha. Your SCOBY will grow, covering the entire top of your brewing system. If it gets too large, you can always gently remove it and with plastic utensils, cut off portions to share with friends.