Watch live as Enid Taylor, co-founder of the Taymount Clinic UK, demonstrates how to make Kombucha!
Make sure you tune in to Feel Good Factor on Sky TV (Channel 191) with Janey Lee Grace, on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th December!
Kombucha is becoming hugely popular and almost ubiquitous as supermarkets around the world respond to the latest health craze.
Kombucha was named after the seaweed, Kombu, and a tea brew, -cha, which was originally used to make this drink in Japan.
Now we use tea – any kind, green, white, black, oolong, Darjeeling or a mixture (I use green, black and oolong – all organic).
We use organic golden granulated sugar for the brew.
Roughly 100gms of sugar per litre of brewed tea. Then you place a strange-looking pancake-shaped ‘thing’ into the brewing jug. I use a 5 litre Kilner jar with a brewing tap to hold a 3-litre brew with 300gms sugar. The ‘thing’ is actually a SCOBY – Symbiotic Community of Bacteria and Yeasts.
This living organism will eat up the sugar in the brewed tea and turn it into a probiotic drink, nicely sharp and with a low pH (it tingles the tongue).
The trick with brewing kombucha is to taste it every day and you will detect when the sweet tea begins to turn to the sparkling and slightly acidic drink you seek.
Don’t leave it too long as it is on a journey to become vinegar. If you leave it too long, use this for cooking (but how long will it take to use up 3 litres of vinegar???).
Once it has reached a nice, fresh, tingly stage, you need to bottle it.
This is where it can get dangerous. The tender-hearted, just bottle it and place in the refrigerator. ONLY THE BRAVE…. Read on.
Take empty bottles with sturdy caps – I sterilise mine by 15 minutes in a hot-oven (150 degrees C), not the caps, wash these in hot water and washing up liquid and rinse well.
Then each bottle receives ¼ teaspoon of coconut sugar, 6 freeze-dried strawberry pieces or 2 tablespoons of tiny strips of fresh ginger. Even lemon rind is good. Top with kombucha leaving at least 1” gap at the top.
Then cap tightly and leave in a warm room for up to 2 weeks. I use old kombucha bottles with flat screw caps. I watch for the caps to look slightly domed and then I know that there is pressure building up inside the bottles. That’s when you put them in the fridge.
CAUTION: I have had one explode (!!!) as it was lying on its side in the fridge at work; it had shaken about a bit during the journey and had got a little warm, so the pressure was immense. It blew the fridge door open.
OPEN YOUR BOTTLES OVER THE SINK Strain through a tea-strainer to get the bits out and any baby Scobies that have been conceived in the bottle.
The sugar will have been all used up by the Scoby and the yeasts will have fermented the bubbles in for you. This is a relatively low-calorie, probiotic drink. You will find your mouth watering as you drink this, it is hugely pro-digestive and an ideal drink to accompany the rich foods of the Festive Period.
If you get really skilled at this, it can be almost like fine champagne – it really is that good and good for your body at the same time!