Liz shows you how to make kombucha
I’ve been making my own kombucha (fermented green or black tea) brew for well over twenty years. In fact, one of my first television shows was to introduce the delights of kombucha brewing in my cupboard to the unsuspecting actress Lesley Joseph!
This is still one of my favourite probiotic drinks to make and I always have a ferment on the go. It’s an acquired taste – slightly vinegary, but you’ll find it becomes healthily addictive. When I want to curb my alcohol drinking, I simply pour a glass of chilled kombucha into a wine glass and slowly sip with dinner. Perfect.
If you have kombucha-keen friends, you may be lucky enough to be donated a kombucha starter-culture (or SCOBY). Don’t worry if not as you can buy starter cultures online. We like this one from Freshly Fermented, or you can buy Liz’s Good Gut Box including a SCOBY, kefir starter grains and Liz’s all-time favourite farm ferments, packed with natural probiotics, to help populate your gut with beneficial bacteria.
- 3 green or black teabags (it must have a base of ‘real’ tea)
- 80g granulated sugar (don’t panic – the microbes digest this)
- 900ml boiling water
- Kombucha culture (also called a kombucha ‘scoby’)
- 1.5-litre glass jar
- 1 muslin cloth
- Put the teabags in the glass jar, add the sugar and pour in boiling water almost to the top (make sure your glass jar can tolerate boiling water). Stir, leave it for half an hour, then remove the teabags.
- Now leave it to cool completely, and add your scoby plus any liquid that the scoby comes with. Cover the glass jar with the muslin secured with string and leave it in a spot that’s away from direct sunlight and has a steady temperature.
- Leave the kombucha to ferment; it will take anything between 5 and 18 days. The colour will change slightly and it will become cloudier. Taste, using a small glass – it should taste fruity and tart and maybe a little ‘fizzy’. This means it’s ready. The longer you leave it, the less sweet it will become and it will begin to taste sour. It depends how you like it.
- Pour the kombucha through a nylon sieve into a large glass or jug – this is for drinking – leaving behind about a quarter in the jar with the scoby. This is what you will use to make your next brew.
To flavour the final juice, add freshly squeezed ginger, raspberries, oranges, lemon or lime, or add to your favourite smoothies or vegetable juice.
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