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Fermentation Friday™ - Kombucha

“In a world full of soda, be a Kombucha.” ~ Unknown


Kombucha

Making Kombucha

Leftover one-gallon glass jars are used for various food projects in my house. The art of fermenting tea is one practice that has always piqued my curiosity. Researching the scientific aspects of kombucha begins with using the right product: caffeinated, unflavored natural black or green tea. Understanding the cultural uses of kombucha is just as important to me as learning Japanese tea culture. Fermentation is a ritual, much like a codified set of tea-drinking practices; each step is performed at a particular time in a specific architectural space, and people involved come together to embrace the experience once it is ready to drink. Making kombucha requires balancing black tea, sugars, and yeast cultures.


Kombucha culture

The SCOBY

Kombucha fermenters grew a SCOBY or symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. It looks like a floppy frisbee, brownish in color, a natural cover for sanitation purposes. The SCOBY begins with steeped black tea, cooled, and goes to equal parts of sweetened black tea. Then, pour a 12-ounce bottle of store-bought kombucha into the one-gallon glass jar. Cover the jar with a coffee filter or cheesecloth and let it sit in a 77-degree Fahrenheit dark and still room for 1 to 4 weeks. After four weeks, a biofilm develops over the sugar tea at the surface. Once grown in the tea solution, this SCOBY should last for years if protected.


SCOBY Kombucha

Fermentation: A Two-Step Process

Once the SCOBY is complete, the next step requires drawing 2 cups of solution from the original batch from the original SCOBY solution. In the final fermentation, all SCOBY is drawn off and filtered out; the kombucha is bottled and sealed off to allow for additional fermentation and carbon dioxide development. Once the kombucha is complete, it is ready to drink!



Kombucha bottled


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