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Kombucha is the Western name for sweetened tea that has been fermented using a macroscopic solid mass of microorganisms called a "kombucha colony".
The culture contains a symbiosis of Acetobacter (acetic acid bacteria) and yeast, mostly Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Candida stellata, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Torulaspora delbrueckii and Zygosaccharomyces bailii. The culture itself looks somewhat like a large pancake, and though often called a mushroom, or by the acronym SCOBY (for "Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast").
Preparation of Kombucha brew
In every step of the preparation process, it is important that hands and utensils (anything that is going to come into contact with the culture) are dish soap clean so as not to contaminate the kombucha. Kombucha becomes very acidic (in the neighborhood of pH 3.0 when finished) and so can leach unwanted and potentially toxic material from the container in which it is fermenting. Food-grade glass is very safe and besides glass, acceptable containers include china, stainless steel, and food-grade high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP).
If a mold does grow on the surface of the kombucha pellicle, or "mushroom", it is best to throw out the batch and start afresh.
Kombucha was found out that can cure various diseases and problems like joint inflammation, heart attack, hemorrhage, Cataract. It relieves menopausal symptoms, PMS, lowers obesity and detoxifies organism, reduces gallstones, strengthens kidneys, cures diabetes, insomnia, helps with bowel activation… and with all that it keeps vitality and increases physical and mental capabilities.
It is much appreciated with athletes because it works as a natural stimulant during higher sports strains. During the strains, metabolism of lactic acid is disturbed, acid has a tendency to precipitate in salts lactates in muscles and that can cause fatigue and pain. Kombucha reactivates lactic acid that then can exit from muscles than be activated into pyruvic acid that can be used in acquiring energy from the body. It also has effects on the intestines especially when they are disturbed, which can be than positively seen in the overall health of the body and the skin.
- Kombucha culture
- 100 g of refined white sugar for 1L of water
- 5 teaspoons of black tea for 1L of water (some say that you can use even 2 teaspoons, but from our experience 5 teaspoons per liter of water gives good taste of tea)
Pots and other materials
- Pot for cooking the water
- Glass bottle in which you will put prepared tea and in which you will later add your culture
- Lint for filtration of prepared tea (in case you are using tea in leaves, not in filter bags)
- Bottles in case you would like to decant your brew
- Pour fresh water into the pot and put it on fire. When the water starts to boil, remove it and let it cool for a while. Add sugar into water and stir to dissolve it completely then add tea. Keep in mind the temperature of the water when you add tea. You can use tea in leaves (then it is necessary to filter the tea after certain time) or in filter bags. Let the leaves soak for about 15 minutes. We recommend the use of black tea.
- Filter your tea leaves trough lint or strainer (if you used tea leaves) into the glass bowl in which you will leave it to cool and in which you will add your culture.
- Cool the tea to room temperature of about 25 °C – culture can be destroyed in case the temperature is too high. It is possible to let the tea cool of during the night.
- When the tea is cooled add the culture and the tea in which it was kept (this is in case you are using this culture for the first time). For each new preparation of the brew, keep enough of the prepared tea so you can add approximately 10% to start liquid.
- Cover the opening of the bottle with lint so you can protect the brew from parasite (flies, dust, spores etc.). Fix the lint sp no flies can enter the container.
- Fermentation should last from 8-12 days, depending on the temperature. The higher the temperature, fermentation is faster. We recommend trying the brew after eight days so you can see if the taste is good for you.
- Metal containers, which are not made of stainless steel, are not appropriate for preparation, and they are not recommended for usage. Also avoid materials like polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinyl chloride or polystyrene.
- Culture needs warm and peaceful place and don’t move it a lot; temperature should not fall 20 °C nor raise above 30 °C. Light is not necessary for fermentation and culture can also work in the dark, but exposure to bright sunlight can also damage culture. We recommend using shadowy place to put the prepared tea with culture.
- Sometimes added culture can be seen on the surface, and sometimes it ca sink to the bottom of the prepared tea. In later case, at the surface of the bowl you can notice formation of the new culture (young culture).
- During the fermentation, yeast from the culture disintegrates the sugar and turns it into the gas (carbon dioxide), and the rest of the organic acid and other ingredients. This combination gives this brew characteristic taste. The brew is first sweet, but this sweetness is lost as the sugar is disintegrated more and more. After some time, the brew starts to have acidic taste that is the result of bacterial working. Because of this, we recommended that you taste your brew so you can find out which taste suits you best.
- When you are satisfied with a taste of a brew, take out with clean hands the culture from the tea. Wash the culture in cold or lukewarm water. In case you don’t have prepared new tea for culture, keep 10% of the prepared tea in which you will put your culture for safe keeping until a new use.
- If you want, you can filter the brew trough lint because you will notice residue. This residue is the result of yeast growth that produces the gas that ferments the brew. You can decant the brew into glass bottles I keep them closed for another five days so the brew can mature. Activity of the bacteria is stopped because there is no air, but the yeast continues to work. If the glass bottles are closed well, the gas, which is created, cannot get out and in this way you get bubbles in your brew. It is recommended to keep the bottles in cold space.
Taste of prepared brew is a little bit sour.
Suggested dosage: 3 times a day (glass of 0.1 L)
- 1 glass in the morning on an empty stomach
- 1 glass after the lunch
- 1 glass before going to bed
- Personal experience