Monday, January 14, 2013

Brewin' The 'Bucha

When I realized how much I could potentially spend each week on the bottled kombuchas, I realized we probably wouldn't be saving any extra money or reaching those travel goals. Don't worry, I wasn't actually spending that much on them. I easily could, but haven't. Great thing is, we found an alternative! We have friends that just happened to have those few necessary ingredients laying around the house for us to start brewing our own kombucha. So guess what? We are officially starting our own kombucha line, but don't think for a minute it will be out in stores anytime soon. For now it's an experiment. I might have already screwed it up, but we'll know in 7 days.

Anyway, kombucha is known to have wonderful health benefits. I found these benefits from the kombucha kamp website...some of them made me laugh.  I get it, none of the benefits are truly proven apparently or made official from the FDA but I'm still on the kombucha boat so don't try to rock me off quite yet. Plus, most of the flavors are so good I can't help myself.

This is what kombucha is known to do:
*Provide probiotics (healthy bacteria in our body)
*Increase digestion (not that it's needed per my recent story I shared with you all)
*High in antioxidants
*Detox the liver (for all you weekend drinkers, this could be your cure!)
*Kills h. pylori and aids in healing ulcers
**and lastly, my most favorite...reduce gray hairs! (I wish I came up with the cure for graying, could've been the richest woman around)

The main ingredient was passed to us from Jack and Aubry. It is known as a scoby. A scoby is one of the weirdest and ickiest (that word may be made up) looking things out there, especially knowing I'll soon be drinking what it produced. 

SCOBY=symbiotic colony of bacteria & yeast

1 gallon of water (aka 16 cups)
1 cup sugar
8 tea bags
1 cup kombucha liquid from previous batch
1 large pot
1 gallon sized glass container

Be sure to get just green or black tea. Flavored tea is not advised!

1) Place water into your pot, bring to a boil. Put your sugar into the pot to dissolve it, then add your tea bags. Turn off your stove, allow the liquid to return to room temp.

2) Let it sit throughout the day or leave it over night and finish the directions in the morning. 
From here, place your room temp liquid into your gallon glass container. Add your scoby to the liquid then put 1 cup of the previous kombucha that your scoby was sitting in into your glass jar. Cover the jar with two napkins and a rubberband around the mouth of your jar. This prevents anything from getting into it, but allowing for it to breathe.

3) Once everything is complete, place your jar with the liquid and scoby in a place that is warm and dark. We have great old shelves we can hide anything in. I may even fit on one of them!

Let this sit for 7 days. 

With each batch of kombucha, you will make a new scoby. How cool and kinda gross, right?! You may find that a filmy layer will be on the top as each day progresses. Make sure you place a straw in the liquid on day 7 below the new scoby that has been made. Taste the liquid. If it is no longer sweet and has more of the vinegar taste, you have done it! Be sure to save a cup or two of the new liquid and your scobies in a new glass jar for your next batch.

Feel free to find other recipes online that you can add some flavor to. We may attempt a mint berry-like one. We'll let you know how it goes in about 7 days! If you don't hear about, we probably didn't nail it on our first attempt.

Special thanks to Jack and Aubry for our lovely scoby, the start of another project, and saving us a few bucks here and there on buying kombuchas!

The Stanleys!