What is a Kombucha SCOBY?
A kombucha SCOBY (also known by some as the kombucha mother or mushroom) is used in the process of brewing kombucha tea. SCOBY is an acronym standing for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.
Kombucha is created by fermenting tea with sugar and the SCOBY. After enough time, you have delicious kombucha tea to enjoy. The longer you leave the kombucha unrefrigerated, the more it can ferment and change in flavour, which you can experiment with to find what suits your tastes. Placing your kombucha in the fridge puts it in a dormant state, where the cold will halt or slow the fermentation process.
This beverage also naturally becomes effervescent (fizzy) over time due to the fermentation process. You can reduce and slow the fizziness and fermentation by placing your brew in the fridge.
Materials & Equipment
- Kombucha culture
- 1 litre water, boiled
- 5 grams (2 tsp) Green or black tea
- 50 grams (1/2 cup) raw sugar per litre of water
- Pot or saucepan (1+L capacity)
- Glass or porcelain jar (1+L capacity) & rubber band that fit its neck
- Linen / cotton fabric or cloth
- Bottles & caps
- Make tea by infusing 4 tsp of tea in pot of freshly boiled water for 15 minutes, add sugar before it has cooled.
- Once sugared tea has cooled to room temperature pour into jar
- Add kombucha culture and liquid to jar
- Cover the opening of jar with breathable cloth affixed with rubber band to keep out dust & etc while allowing culture to breathe.
The kombucha culture needs a warm climate ideally between 22-28 degrees but should not fall below 15 degrees as a minimum.
Average time is 8-14 days depending on ambient temperature the higher the temperature the faster the fermentation.
The kombucha is at first sweet but this sweetness disappears as the sugar is broken down. If a slightly sweeter drink is preferred the fermentation has to be stopped early. For a dry or slightly acidic flavour let it ferment longer. Taste test to find your ideal point.
The kombucha once bottled will keep for months when kept in a cool place such as the fridge.
For unlimited servings repeat steps 1-4.
*Note every few batches you can remove the culture from jar with clean hands and rinse under running cold or lukewarm water… the baby scoby will always form on the top. So to keep the process young & powerful you can compost the parents (big, bottom scoby) and keep using the child. *
Have fun and if you have any questions check out our videos or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Recipes to try out:
Lemon & Kombucha
Lemon and ginger are, individually, two amazing flavors.
Together they are incredibly complementary, imparting a bright spiciness that works so well with the tang of kombucha.
- 1 tsp. roughly chopped ginger
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 tsp. sugar (The added sugar gives the kombucha something to feast on in order to create carbonation; however, you can simply omit it, or use honey or maple syrup in its place.)
- 2 cups kombucha tea
Add the ginger, lemon juice, and sugar to a 500ml bottle.
Fill with kombucha, leaving about 1/2 inch of headspace.
Cap tightly and shake gently to dissolve sugar.
Culture 3-7 days or until kombucha is carbonated to your liking.
Move bottles to the refrigerator.
When you are ready to drink it, open carefully, without shaking, to avoid spilling the bubbly kombucha over the top of the bottle.
Strain kombucha through a small strainer to remove ginger pieces. Serve cold.
Strawberry & Basil
- ½ cup ripe strawberries chopped
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
- ¼ cup fresh basil chopped
- 2 cups of kombucha tea
Add the strawberries, sugar, water and basil to a saucepan and bring to a full boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, mash the strawberries with a fork and allow mixture to cool to room temperature (to speed up this process, pour the mixture in a bowl and refrigerate).
Pour the strawberry-basil kombucha into a flip cap bottles ¾ of the way up. Distribute the strawberry and basil pulp between the bottles.
Repeat for the remaining half of the kombucha and strawberry-basil mixture.
Seal flip cap bottles and leave in a warm, dark place for 2 to 4 days for secondary fermentation. Refrigerate all of the bottles to chill before drinking (refrigeration also slows the fermentation).
When ready to drink, point the bottle away from your face and carefully open, as gasses will have built and the kombucha will be fizzy.
Using a small fine strainer, strain the kombucha into a glass and discard the pulp.
A kombucha a day keeps the doctor away