Learn how to make your own kombucha with our simple instructions! There are so many reasons to love kombucha! Whether it's the probiotic effect, the great colours of kombucha or the complex sweet and sour taste. And those who fall in love want to have their beloved with them as often as possible. With Kombucha, it's easy - make it yourself!
We'll show you how to get started fermenting kombucha with these instructions. A step-by-step guide to your first own kombucha!
What is Kombucha Tea?
Kombucha is magical. It starts as a sugar tea that you ferment with the help of something called a SCOBY. Some people call the SCOBY a tea fungus, but it's not actually a fungus.
SCOBY is an acronym and stands for "symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast".
The bacteria and yeasts use the sugar tea as a nutrient solution. This is how simple sugar tea becomes delicious Kombucha.
6 tips for better kombucha
- How to cover the vessel properly: Do not use too coarse a material. Tea towels are great, as is kitchen roll. Be sure to use a rubber band to hold the cloth or paper in place. Otherwise the fermenting flies will simply crawl into the vessel from below.
- Brew more kombucha: Use larger vessels. However, just keep the ratio as given in the recipe. Also note that larger amounts of kombucha can sometimes take longer.
- Rest for your SCOBY: Are you going on holiday? The SCOBY can keep wonderfully for a few weeks in normal kombucha. You won't like it any more because it will be too vinegary, but your SCOBY will be fine. It is best to close the container properly if you want to stop the fermentation process. Without oxygen, your SCOBY will rest. You can find more information about the SCOBY hotel here.
- Other tea options: You can work with more than just black tea. Even if your tea fungus loves this tea. From real tea, you can also choose green tea, white tea, oolong or pu-erh. But herbal teas like hibiscus also work. It should always be a large part of real tea (i.e. from the tea plant), as the nitrogen contained in it forms the nutrients for your SCOBY. Stay away from teas that are too oily or have artificial flavors. In this article "What is the best tea", we will discuss the different types of tea.
- The right place to store: Make sure you keep your containers out of direct sunlight. So no windowsill - the good bacteria like it dark and warm!
- Be careful with your SCOBY: Avoid contact with metal. Not only does it discolour the taste, it also reacts with your SCOBY and damages it. An exception is stainless steel.
- Read our articles diligently, on our website you will find a lot of information on the subject of "making kombucha yourself" and become a kombucha master brewer.
SCOBY - Is it really a mushroom?
Let's talk about this gooey thing that is in the picture. Strange, isn't it? Rather admirable.
There are many theories about why the bacteria and yeast form this kind of symbiosis. One says that this jellyfish-like shape keeps too much oxygen away from the fermenting tea, for one thing, and creates a special environment inside the glass container that speeds up fermentation. But actually it is just the most convenient way for the bacteria and yeasts to move from container to container, we think.
Is Kombucha dangerous or harmful?
Making kombucha yourself always means less hygiene than in a sterile laboratory. Of course, you don't have an industrial kitchen at home and follow any safety and hygiene protocols. You give dangerous germs a wonderful environment for growth, so to speak. But can that make kombucha harmful to your health?
Here's the good news: Kombucha is a drink with an acidic pH.
In such an environment, bad bacteria and germs have no chance to grow. It is naturally safe from contamination.
Even mould very rarely spreads, we ourselves have not experienced it yet. (More about Kombucha and mould).
Kombucha has been around for over 2,500 years. In that time, it was brewed in much less hygienic environments than today and it was always safe. So we are on the safe side - especially because of the acidic environment.
How much alcohol is in kombucha?
Kombucha can contain up to 1.9% alcohol, but usually less than 1.2%, so it can be declared alcohol-free.
Kombucha contains alcohol - so do fruit juices. This is completely natural and also not harmful.
Alcohol is a by-product of fermentation. Kombucha usually has no more than about 0.5 % alcohol and is naturally limited to about two percent alcohol by volume.
By the way: In Germany, drinks with an alcohol content of less than 0.5 % are considered non-alcoholic. So kombucha is quasi alcohol-free. People with a tendency towards increased alcohol consumption should nevertheless watch out.
Most home-brewed kombucha has a slightly higher alcohol content than the Fairment Kombucha we produce by hand under strict controls. Want to know more about the alcohol in kombucha? We have a separate blog article for you.
Where do you get Kombucha ingredients and equipment?
If you're not getting the ingredients and equipment in our fairment shop (there are Kombucha sets!), you can get the tea in any specialist shop. You can get glassware at Ikea, for example, we recommend 3 litre glasses. You will also need a tea towel, a household rubber and sugar. You probably have these in stock at home.
The only difficulty: Where do you get the SCOBY to make kombucha yourself? You can buy a kombucha mushroom online or ask your friends. In the fairment shop we sell certified organic kombucha mushrooms. Kombucha starter liquid is also available in our shop: either as part of the starter kit or simply by buying delicious fairment Kombucha. It is raw and probiotic. You can simply use it to give your own kombucha a jump-start.
[Link to SCOBY and starting fluid]
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