Making Kombucha

 But it is I who am the ritual, I the sacrifice, the offering to the ancestors, the healing herb, the transcendental chant. I am the butter and the fire and the offering. (Bhagavad Gita 9:16)
I’m recently new to the world of making Kombucha, but being from Britain and a lover of anything tea related, I was an instant fan. My partner brought home a bottle of it from the health food store, which was an interesting taste experience. Several days later a scoby
(a symbiotic culture which ferments the tea and sugar) was given to her by a work colleague and we decided to start making the fermented tea for its amazingly claimed health benefits. I was hesitant at first because the finished kombucha is fermented therefore has an alcohol content. Although very low at less than 0.5% content it is something that those cultivating spiritual life, especially Gaudiya Vaishnavism, should avoid. I did some research and found a nice article by some Iskcon devotees who studied the history, chemistry and health benefits of kombucha. They considered the same problem and concluded that the benefits far outweigh these points and that the finished drink felt very Sattvic (in the mode of goodness). Which in hindsight, and after one month of drinking kombucha, I agree with. I'll put a link to the original article at the bottom of the page. Today we are making a fresh batch, about a gallon. The last one we made was from a quality Japanese twig tea, given to us by a friend. This time we are trying with some ecological green tea, using some of the remaining twig tea kombucha from the last batch as a starter. Here’s my recipe which makes approximately one gallon: 4.5 liters of water 8 teabags or 2 tablespoons of loose tea (can use green, black or any variety) One cup of sugar Scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) One to two cups of kombucha from last batch (alternatively you can use distilled white vinegar, but add it gradually to taste)

Old Japanese twig tea kombucha becomes a starter for the new batch.

...very simple to make once you have acquired the scoby. Just add water, sugar and tea

We boiled the water and then added the sugar and green tea. Next, we waited for the liquid to cool down so we could add the scoby and the starter liquid from the old batch.

Scoby is going in. This is will ferment anywhere between 7 and 20 days.

I made a smaller batch also, so we can start drinking some in three or four days. The longer it is left to ferment the less sweet and more acidic in flavor kombucha becomes.

Once the kombucha is in the fermenting jar we seal the top with a clean cotton cloth and wait for the magic to happen. I will check the taste in a weeks time and decide then whether to ferment more or not. It mostly comes down to personal taste.

I was planning to flavor the kombucha with grapefruit pieces when we come to the bottling process, I’ll add a small piece of fruit to each bottle. You could use any fruit or herbs. Just a little spirit of imagination and experimentation needed and you could do anything.

I feel like the best benefit comes from drinking little everyday. It is refreshing and restorative.

                                                    Ready to check in a weeks time.

There are a number of great websites and blogs dealing with kombucha if you interested in making it yourself. Scoby cultures are also available online.

Here are some of the sites I have used:


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