I make my kombucha in a four litre batches, but I’ve made this recipe for a 2 litre version. This is how you start your own kombucha from scratch without having a scoby (which is the gummy piece that forms on top of the fermenting brew).
First of all buy yourself a bottle of kombucha from the shop (health food shop and some supermarkets have this, in fact I think I saw it in the cosmetic section of Coles, which I thought was a bit weird).
Keep one glass full to add to the following brew once it is cool.
2 litres of boiling water
½ cup of sugar
2 tablespoons of black, green tea (or one of each)
Once it has cooled put into a glass jar, add the kept cup of store bought kombucha or some from a friend who brews it. Cover over with some paper towel and leave it on your shelf, out of direct sunlight for 7-10 days.
Without the gooey scoby lining the first brew will taste like vinegar, but by the end of the waiting period (7-10 days) your brew will have created a scoby on top. This is normal, keep one cup of the liquid, repeat the receipe but this time gently place the scoby goo on top of your next brew. In another 7-10 days you will have a nice kombucha ready to drink.
In my next newsletter I’ll explain how I make my different flavours by doing a second ferment (this also adds fizz), but for now you may like to try adding some flavouring such as a small amount of juice or a flavoured tea to your finished brew before you put it in the fridge. About ½ cup per litre is sufficient.
If your like me and don't like to waste anything, tipping your first precious batch of kombucha down the sink might put you off making it in the first place! Most websites say to tip it down the sink, but we've experimented and found a couple of alternatives.
We sometimes add a small quantity of over brewed kombucha to our animal’s water (changing it regularly), or we use instead of household vinegar.
If you brew over brew any of your kombucha batches (leaving it too long) it will taste like vinegar, just like the first batch when your making the scoby does. We now do this on purpose sometimes and keep it in the cupboard to use instead of normal vinegar. Its great stuff, awesome as a salad dressing with some rock salt and olive oil.
I am an amateur kombucha brewer, but if you’ve got any questions, feel free to email me and I’ll help if I can.
Caution: I’ve never experienced kombucha that is off (only vinegary), but I’d suggest that you always try a small taste first and if it tastes or smells bad is better not to drink it. The scoby should not smell bad either, if it does something is probably not right. I’d also suggest not to drink more than a glass or two a day in case you have any uncomfortable digestive changes.
Good luck, let me know how you go?