Kombucha drink has grown its reputation in the world as a beverage. It’s everywhere and popular among various people. Foods made with the natural fermentation process increase probiotic properties in people. Eating these fermented foods bring health benefits like improved digestion. Nutritionists consider kombucha beneficial to gut health due to its probiotic properties, but nutritionists also acknowledge that more research should be done.
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a sweet tea made after fermentation with SCOBY’s help (you will learn about this further in the article). The SCOBY consumes the sugar and transforms it into a fermented beverage, which is slightly sour. The SCOBY looks like a disk-shaped, flat, rubbery, type bacteria, and yeast culture needed to ferment the tea into kombucha.
Kombucha is composed of vitamin-B, antioxidants, and probiotics. Still, the tea’s nutritional content will differ depending on how it is prepared and the brand.
What is a SCOBY?
- The SCOBY is a disk-shaped, flat, symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.
- It facilitates the fermentation process where sweet tea is converted to kombucha and the SCOBY continues to grow.
- The SCOBY will float at the top of the tea in the jar or the container, but it’s still active.
How to Get One?
- For starters, you can always purchase kits from the food stores or online.
- If you already know a person who has prepared the kombucha at home, you can borrow from them too, because the SCOBY can stay alive for a long time.
- If you don’t have a contact, you can buy it online, but note if you see any mold growing on it, then discard the whole SCOBY because this is a sign of decay.
- The last option is to make your own SCOBY at home.
Ingredients for Making a Scoby at Home:
- 7 Cups of Clean Water
- Half Cup of White Sugar
- Four Bags of Black Tea or 1 tbsp of Loose Tea
- 1 Cup of Unflavored Ready-made Kombucha
- A Ceramic Container or Large Glass to Hold at Least Half a Gallon.
- A Cloth (you can also use towels, coffee filters, napkins, cheesecloth)
- Rubber Bands
Instructions for Making a Scoby:
- Boil Water in a Clean Pot
- After Boiling Remove From Heat
- Add the Tea and Sugar and Let the Water Cool to Room Temperature for a Few Hours
- Pour the Tea into the Jar
- Then Pour in Ready-made Kombucha
- Cover the Jar with Tightly Woven Cloth and Tighten With a Rubber Band
- Set the Jar in a Dark Area at Room temperature for 1 to 4 Weeks Until the Scoby has Formed
- Put the Scoby in its First Tea Until You’re Willing to Ferment Your First Batch
The Scoby will live for years if treated right.
Some general instructions to add before we start making kombucha:
- Do not use metal or plastic jars or containers. Metal can react with the kombucha and ruin your SCOBY, and plastic can grow bacterias.
- Keep everything clean as during making kombucha and growing a SCOBY, we don’t want bacterias around to destroy them.
- Growing the SCOBY is a challenging process as it works only about 50% of the time, so if you see any mold on the SCOBY, then throw the whole batch out!
There are two fermentation steps in the making of kombucha: first is making the kombucha and the second step is adding in flavor.
Ingredients for first fermentation process:
- 14 cups of clean water
- 1 cup white sugar
- 8 bags of green or black tea
- 2 Cups of Unflavored Kombucha which you can use from either a previous batch or a ready made one
- The Scoby
- A large ceramic or glass container or jar
- A cloth (you can also use towels, coffee filters, napkins, cheesecloth)
- Rubber Bands
- Boil water in a clean pot.
- After boiling, remove from heat.
- Add the tea and sugar and let the water cool to room temperature for a few hours.
- Gently remove the SCOBY from the tea with your clean hands and place it on a clean plate.
- Pour the tea into the jar.
- Then pour ready made kombucha.
- Gently put SCOBY in the pot.
- Then cover the pot with a cloth tightly and put a band for securing.
- Set the jar in a dark area and at room temperature for 1 to 4 weeks until the SCOBY has formed.
- The taste of the tea should be lightly sweet and vinegary.
You can reserve 2 cups of kombucha as a starter from this batch to your next collection. The rest of the kombucha will be used in the following process.
Ingredients for the second fermentation process:
- Homemade kombucha from the first process
- Sweetener flavors like sugar, fruit, honey, etc
- A large ceramic or glass container, jar, or bottles
- Put kombucha and funnel into bottles.
- Leave space about an inch at the top.
- Add your preferred sweetener and seal the bottle tightly with the lid.
- Set the jar in someplace dark and at room temperature for 3 to 10 days.
Alcohol in kombucha:
- There is always a small amount of alcohol present in all kombucha, even in ready made ones.
- During fermentation, most of the alcohol is transformed into acetic acid and other things that are non-boozy.
- But on average, the kombucha servings contain less than 1% alcohol.
Benefits of kombucha:
- Boost Metabolism
If you’re looking to lose weight, kombucha helps increase metabolism.
- Reduce Inflammation
Kombucha contains antioxidants that help in reducing inflammation. Inflammation is responsible for every health condition like heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, allergies, etc.
- Helping Prevent Cancer
It is said that kombucha may help prevent certain types of cancer, but also more research is needed on this topic. Kombucha produces antioxidant properties, which may help eliminate cancerous cells and other harmful substances.
- Depression Treatment
Depression can cause other problems, like insomnia, low concentration, so kombucha might give some relief by boosting your mood.
- Boost Cardiovascular Health
To promote cardiovascular health following a healthy diet of fruits, green vegetables, whole grains, and proteins.
Although kombucha is so popular nowadays, it isn’t suitable for everyone. If you’re in any medical condition or pregnant, talk to your doctor first to make sure before even taking a sip from kombucha. Kombucha can also act as an alternative drink if you like soda or juices for a beverage with fewer sugar and calories and maintain your weight.