The Art of Kombucha The Art of Kombucha is transforming plain Kombucha into a beverage of nourishment, medicine and rich flavor. Combining Kombucha with fruit, juices, herbs and other liquids will give each batch its own unique taste. What is fermentation?Fermentation is the metabolic process that converts sugars into acid, alcohol and/or gasses. What is Kombucha?Kombucha is a drink that’s 1-2000 years old, likely originating in China. It is a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast (SCOBY) that transforms tea with sugar into a nourishing drink containing glucosamines (joint pain relief), glucaric acid (cancer prevention), theanine (increase serotonin), enzymes and organic acids (detoxify your body), antioxidants, B & C vitamins, priobiotics and more. Kombucha contains many strains of probiotics, including Gluconacetobacter xylinus bacteria, which converts the alcohol (yeast converts sugars into alcohol) into acetic acid. Kombucha: Part 1SuppliesGallon Jar; Cloth cover/rubber band; 3½ quarts water; 3-5 T Green or Black Tea Preferred (no caffeine- rooibos); 1 cup Cane Sugar, Sucanat, Maple Sugar, Honey; ½-1 cup Starter Kombucha; SCOBY (1 for each jar) (SCOBY = Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria & Yeast) 1. Clean and sterilize jars and equipment with vinegar.2. Boil water and dissolve sugar. (If using honey, let it cool first)3. Remove from heat and add tea. Steep for 5 minutes or to taste.4. Strain tea and allow mixture to cool to room temperature. (add honey)5. Pour the cooled tea into the jar. 6. Add the starter kombucha (it’s what the SCOBY is soaking in) and carefully add the SCOBY, right side up please! SCOBY may sink, float or do tricks.7. Cover jar with a cloth and rubber band. Set it away from other ferments in a quiet place. and wait...this is the “first ferment” (1F) Allow it to remain undisturbed for about 7 days.8. When the kombucha begins to smell a bit sour, like mild vinegar, taste it!9. Use a non-metal straw or pour a bit. When it is slightly sweeter than you like it, it’s time to bottle!Kombucha: Part 2SuppliesKombucha, bottles w/ rubber seal lids, pitcher or bowl, filter and funnel (optional)1. Remove SCOBY from Kombucha. (I use my clean hands) Put it in a bowl or jar with ½ cup kombucha. Set aside.2. Filter Kombucha into bowl or pitcher (optional).3. Pour kombucha into bottles (use the funnel).4. Fruit juice, fruit and/or herbs can be added for flavor and to increase fizz.5. Close bottles tightly (not too tight) and store for 3-7 days in a warm place.6. After 2 days strain out any fruit and/or herbs. Close bottles and let sit in warm place another 1+ days to increase fizz.7. Transfer to cold storage and/or enjoy! The second fermentation adds more bubbles. Kombucha can be enjoyed prior to the second fermentation, but it will be flat.Warning: Kombucha can build enough pressure to explode some bottles. Keep this inminding when choosing a place for storage. Bottles can be “burped” to release pressure.
The Ginger BugSupplies:Knife, cutting board, ginger, sugar, water, jar with cloth cover and string 1. Combine 2T Minced Ginger with 2T Sugar (maple or cane; not honey) and 1 C water in a jar. Cover Jar with a cloth and secure w/ string or rubber band.2. Add 1T Ginger and 1T Sugar each day until bubbly. 3. Strain out ginger. You’ve captured the bug in the liquid.
Fizzy JuiceSupplies:Honey or sugar, herbs, fruit, juice, water, jar with secure (rubber-sealing lid), strainer, whey (optional) 1. Combine reserved “Ginger Bug” liquid with a combination of herbs*, sweetener, fruit/juice/whey (1/3 C) and water in a large (1-2 qt) jar. You should use 1T sweetener per qt per day. If I use juice with a good amount of natural sugars (I use up to half juice), I will reduce the amount of honey I feed the bug.2. Cap the jar with a lid that has a rubber seal. Canning jars work great! I prefer wide-mouth jars because I have a mesh strainer that fits inside the wide-mouth.3. Leave on counter for 12-24 hours to carbonate.4. Strain out the liquid and enjoy or let strained liquid carbonate in a sealed container for another 12+ hours and then put into fridge (may need to add sweetener to achieve desired fizziness).SwitchelSwitchel is a drink made with molasses, water, vinegar and ginger. Like Kombucha it is sweet and sour. You can make Switchels with any sweetener (maple, cane, juice, honey) and raw, acidic liquid (Kombucha, vinegar).For a really wonderful switchel, combine Fizzy juice and Kombucha. This drink will be more mild than Kombucha (less acidic), it will cut the caffeine, and introduce more strains of probiotics. Simply mix when you are ready to bottle and do the 2nd Fermentation, bottle and move to cold storage or when you are ready for a drink. If you have a batch of ‘buch that’s gone too far, this is a great way to mellow it out. Suggestions for additions to kombucha, fizzy juice and switchel:I like to use aromatic, calming herbs and Vitamin C-rich herbs. Using Vit C-rich fruits and berries and flowers allows you to retain much more Vit C than making an infused tea or drinking pasteurized juice (heat destroys Vit C).Elderberry, sumac, rose hips, hibiscus flowers, aroniaStar anise, anise hyssop, turmeric, fennel, cinnamon, cardamomLemongrass, Lemon verbena, Lemon balm, rose, tulsi, other flowersFresh, frozen or dried berries, purees or fruit juiceBlueberry, apple, raisins, mango etc…
Wisdom~Cleanliness is godliness. You will get the best results from sterilizing equipment. I sterilize with boiling water (careful with glass) and/or vinegar.~ I encourage you to sample the kombucha and fizzy juice daily in order to become familiar with the changes.~ Kombucha needs Caffeine to flourish. You can make caffeine-free kombucha, but to keep your SCOBY vibrant, you need to use caffeine sometimes (every 3rd or 4th batch).~~You may use Honey with Kombucha, but over time it will alter your SCOBY, as it has its own probiotic cultures. It’s best to alternate honey with sugar.~Adding more sweetener will not necessarily make it fizz more. The carbonation happens over time. The factors are time, temperature and sugar. But it can only break down the sugars so fast.~For a fizzier beverage, add more sugar and let it sit longer. 1T per qt per day is ideal.~Every house has wild yeast. I have made vinegar by just letting fizzy juice sit out on the counter open to air without adding a vinegar culture. But, there is a chance that it will mold, depending on how rich your environment is in yeast.~I recommend enjoying with Kombucha in moderation, complemented by other probiotic foods such as: Yogurt, Fermented Veggies, raw Apple Cider Vinegar, Miso, Kefir, etc. I use Kombucha as medicine. When my body (digestion) if off, I use Kombucha to restore balance, to alkalize my system.
Gift EconomyI am offering this workshop in the Gift Economy. The Gift Economy is an economic system, in which people exchange gifts freely. In this economy there is no sliding scale, or suggested donation. You decide what gifts you offer, based on what kind of gift feels good to you to give. This economy works if there is a continuous, free flow of gifts. The reason I choose to use this economy is because I feel more joy when I give and receive freely. If you chose not to give today and feel moved to express your gratitude at another time, I always welcome contributions to my projects in the form of money, goods and services.http://www.tikkun.org/nextgen/the-gift-economy-a-model-for-collaborative-community My Projects:
Dancing MonardaClasses, plant walks, tea parties, holistic and sacred childbirth support, tea blends, family herbalism, medicine-making parties, fermentation, medicine email@example.com Connect on Facebook Wild Farmacywww.wildfarmacy.teaforthepeople.netWorking to increase access to and information about local herbs and wellness, and to develop the infrastructure for sustainable, local healthcare. Tea for the Peoplewww.teaforthepeople.netProducing hand-crafted, highest-quality herbal tea blends using as many locally grown and wildcrafted ingredients as possible.
Driftless Herbal Exchange Networkhttp://teaforthepeople.net/bulk-herbs/A growing network of regional herb-growers, seeking to increase supply of locally grown and wildcrafted medicinal, culinary and tea herbs.