* Please Note: THE CONTEST HAS ENDED!! A winner has already been chosen.
Like pretty much any other healthy living blogger, I’m a big fan of kombucha. I first discovered the brew back in the fall of 2009- when a student of mine brought me some to try! Her mom had been brewing it at home for years, and she just thought that it “seemed like something I would like.” And she was right- it was love at first sip!
When I went to Rehoboth Beach a few weeks later for a weekend getaway, I noticed that a little health food store sold bottled kombucha, so I bought one. And I don’t really know why, but Greg took a photo of me posing with it. (Thanks to Facebook, I was easily able to dig this up!)
Ahh… my very first bottle.…
Kombucha is said to be a great detoxifier- especially for the liver. Regardless of it’s health benefits- I’ll be honest with you: I just really, really like the taste. Over the last three years, I have certainly spent a small fortune on this stuff. At $3-$4 per bottle, it can certainly add up! So, when I first learned that it was pretty easy to brew kombucha at home, I knew that I had to learn how to do it. And for the last year, I’ve been talking about it… but had yet to actually put any action to those words.
Last month, I was lucky enough to randomly meet the folks from Kombucha Brooklyn and expressed my interest in home brewing. They were generous enough to provide me with my own home brewing kit, so that I could finally take action. A few days later, a package arrived on my doorstep, and this was inside:
To say that I was excited is an understatement. It was pretty much like Christmas morning at my house that day!
The kit includes a large fermentation jar and cover, sugar, tea and a temperature strip.
Oh, and there was also this:
Scoby stands for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast, which is the “mother” and causes fermentation to occur. With all materials in hand, I read over the (very simple) instructions and got to work!
After thoroughly washing out the jar, I started by brewing up some tea.
After about 20 minutes, I removed the tea bag and stirred in the sugar and water. The mixture was then poured into the gigantic jar.
Then, the scoby was added!
The last step was to cover the top with a piece of cloth and a rubber band, and let it sit (and wait for the magic to happen!). After a couple of days, I noticed a new “baby” scoby growing near the top, and it got bigger each day! Here it is on the sixth day:
Greg thought it looked disgusting, but I just kept telling him that I thought it was cute!
Okay, I guess it is kind of gross…
I must say – even at this point (and Greg agrees), it was already starting to taste great.
How long you let your ‘buch sit and ferment is compeltely up to you and your taste preferences. The longer you let it sit, the more “sour” it will get. I like mine to be the perfect balance of sour and sweet (and maybe just a tad leaning more to the “sour” side). I kept tasting it daily, and on day 14- it was perfect!
Check out that HUGE baby scoby!
I pulled out the scobies and placed then in a bag (along with about a cup of the kombucha liquid) to be saved for the next brew. I poured most of the batch into a growler that we had, and the rest into a large mason jar. I placed a few frozen strawberries into the jar (thanks to a tip from Amanda!) so that it would take on that flavor.
I let everything sit overnight, and then tasted both the next day. The plain komucha is good… but the strawberry totally won me over! And check out the color!
It’s funny that a few frozen berries could cause so much flavor to occur! I can’t wait to experiment with other types of fruit in future batches… I think peach will be next.
The folks at Kombucha Brooklyn are really great- and their goal is to help you make your best ‘buch possible. There are video tutorials with step-by-step instructions and an entire forum to ask questions, or just post photos of your batch!
I was so pleased with my Kombucha home-brewing experience, and I want you to try it out too! Kombucha Brooklyn has offered to send one lucky reader their very own home-brew kit!
To enter, do any (or all!) of the following things:
1. “Tweet” about the giveaway, by cutting and pasting the following text: I just entered to win a @KombuchaBK home brew kit here: http://wp.me/p2oUXk-23y – and you should too!
3. Leave a comment below telling me what flavor of Kombucha you’d like to make
Please leave a comment for each entry, so that you have more chances to win!
I will be choosing a winner at 8:00 pm EST on Monday, October 22nd. Be sure to check back on Tuesday morning to see if you’re a winner!