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May 22, 2012

My first batch of probiotic goodness

I’m so excited! I have just made my first brew of Kombucha! AND it’s naturally well carbonated, just like the bought stuff.

Kombucha is an effervescent tea-based drink that is consumed for its anecdotal health benefits. It is fizzy, tangy and not very sweet, a bit like weak ginger beer. Many claim it benefits improved digestion, better skin, stronger immunity and anti-aging effects. I cannot attest to any of that, I just know that probiotic-rich fermented foods and drinks make me feel better. You can buy it from the health food shop but it is very expensive so I thought I would try to make it at home. The internet is full of instructional sites touting how simple it is to make and they are right!!

Kombucha has a colourful and long history with alternate versions of its origin but most believe it hails from Russia with close connections to Japan and China. If you remember back to the early 80’s, mushroom tea was a short-lived fad brewed by hippies in earthenware pots.

You begin by fermenting tea using a visible, solid mass of yeast & bacteria which forms the kombucha culture, often referred to as SCOBY. It looks somewhat like a gelatinous pancake, and though often called a mushroom it is really a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, hence the acronym “SCOBY”.

I bought a scoby online and as I produce more batches of kombucha my scoby multiplies so if you want to join in the fun contact me and I can share some of mine.

After making some sweetened green tea, I added the scoby and waited for the brew to ferment. The longer it ferments the more sugars are taken up by the bacteria and vinegar is formed. The trick is to find a balance that suits your taste, not too sweet and not too acidic. When you are satisfied, you bottle the brew and set it aside to ferment under pressure to form the carbonation. What an interesting science experiment – and I havent even told you about how GOOD it is for you.. I have much more to learn about it and explore so I will finish here but stay tuned for more about KOMBUCHA!

Day 1 of my brew – Stay tuned for the recipe soon



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