I was bottling a batch of kombucha the other day and thought I’d record and share it here. It’s not exactly a tutorial because I am starting with the bottling but I’ll get all the important stuff in by the end:)
Everyone does their fermenting and culturing differently because there are so many right ways. I am doing two gallon batches of kombucha right now so this might not look like your operation or how you want to operate at all.
I ferment my kombucha in these gallon jugs. You need to keep airflow to your SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) so they just get paper towels and rubberbands.
Before I bottle I get a tiny bit of sugar dissolved in water (about a half teaspoon per 16oz bottle) for fizz and this particular batch I also put some fresh apple juice in (a tablespoon or two per bottle) for flavor.
The other stuff I grab includes a funnel and a ladle. The SCOBY floats on top of the kombucha (but don’t worry if your starter SCOBY doesn’t…the new ones that form each batch do float due to carbon dioxide. Mine is getting pretty thick.
Pretty cool/gross, right? Right.
These aren’t quite full gallons because I always end up scooping out a ladle here and there to test or just drink some of it. You want to bottle it when it has NO sweetness left. I add the little bit of sugar water to the bottles because this gives it the pleasant carbonation. I wait 3-7 days after bottling to consume so that there won’t be sugar left. If I feel the need to sweeten it, I use stevia drops.
Basically I press down the SCOBY with the ladle and scoop out the tea until there is just a little left in the jug with the SCOBY.
This is the starter for the next batch. I do wash the jugs between batches because they get sticky.
I use commercial kombucha bottles a friend gave me so I just screw the lids on tight and store on top of the fridge or in a pantry until they’re ready.
Then I brew new batch of tea for my SCOBYs.
My kiddos enjoy hanging out outside and occasionally ‘helping’ me.
The real help is when the boys entertain Ida. hehe
I basically make a gallon batch of tea and add a cup of sugar per gallon. Notice the color difference? The batch I bottled was green tea and the new batch is black.
I then let the sweet tea cool and add it to the starter and SCOBY.
Don’t worry, SCOBYs are actually quite hardy and pouring the tea over them won’t harm them at all.
The whole process starts again.
The benefits of kombucha are many, but also a lot them are anecdotal due to lack of research. The long history of kombucha is a testimony to it’s properties and if you try it yourself you may find it can help your well being. There are, however, a few claims supported by science and those include high probiotic content (each batch is slightly different depending on the tea, sugar quality and time of fermentation, but there are at least ten to twelve strains generally present), the presence of b vitamins (trace) as well as several beneficial detoxifying elements.
Obviously doctors and scientists aren’t much apt to recommend or study this drink because it’s not a money maker, so research has been minimal.
I can only attest to my own results and those of people I know. It has been beneficial for my digestion, I DO feel better when drinking it somewhat consistently and it has most definitely helped when I felt allergies or a cold coming on. I know several people who have used kombucha as a tool for overcoming soda addiction and no matter how you look at that, it’s a good thing! Also, CHEAP. Just the cost of some black or green tea bags and a little bit of sugar.
I don’t eat many animal products and the b vitamins have been proven to be present (in however small amounts) I think that is also beneficial for me personally.
Before I go, there is one more thing I want to mention. When you do secondary fermentation in the bottles you can add any flavoring you want. Adding ingredients that compound the benefits of kombucha, like ginger or lemon can only add to the nutrient content. I highly recommend using ginger kombucha before taking allergy medicine. The cons of medication are not always mentioned and usually involved damaged digestive tract.
I hope this helps you understand kombucha better! If you’re local and want to try, I have SCOBY to share:)