Making my homemade Kombucha with fresh blueberries!!!
The blueberries adhere to the scoby. Once I use this scoby I throw it into the garden. I do not re-use it with the blueberries attached. I get a "clean scoby" from my SCOBY hotel.
Makes about 1 gallon, double or triple depending on how much you want.
What You Need:
3 1/2 quarts water
1 Gallon jar
1 cup sugar (regular granulated sugar works best- cane sugar works too, just no honey at this stage)
8 bags black tea
Cup of fresh blueberries
1 cups starter tea from last batch of kombucha
1 scoby per fermentation gallon jar
For second fermentation- to make the fizz/carbonation: 2 to 3 cups apple juice and then added 4-5 blueberries per bottle too
Stainless steel pot, not metal
1-gallon glass jar or two 2-quart glass jars
Tightly woven cloth (like clean napkins or tea towels), coffee filters, or paper towels, to cover the jar, rubber band to hold it on- keep gnats and dust out
Bottles: Six 16-oz glass bottles with plastic lids- great for regular fermentation, 6 swing-top bottle-best for 2nd fermentation/fizzy stage, or clean soda bottles
Make the tea base: Bring the water to a boil-add sugar to dissolve. Add the tea until the water has cooled. Depending on the size of your pot, this will take a few hours. I usually let it sit overnight.
Once the tea is cool, remove the tea bags or strain out the loose tea. Stir in the 1 Cup starter tea. (The starter tea makes the liquid acidic, which prevents unfriendly bacteria from taking up residence in the first few days of fermentation.)
Transfer to jars and add the scoby: Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon glass jar and gently slide the scoby into the jar with clean hands. Cover jar with coffee filters, dishcloth, or paper towels secure it with a rubber band.
Keep the jar at room temperature, a dark place is best, and where it won't be moved around. Ferment for 7 to 10 days, checking the kombucha and the scoby periodically. *NOTE* Since I keep my house around 62 degrees it takes longer. The warmer the temp, the faster it is ready.
It's not unusual for the scoby to move around during fermentation. A new cream-colored layer of scoby should start forming on the surface of the kombucha within a few days. It usually attaches to the old scoby, but it's ok if they separate. You may also see brown stringy bits floating beneath the scoby, sediment collecting at the bottom, and bubbles collecting around the scoby. This is all normal and signs of healthy fermentation.
After 7 days, begin tasting the kombucha daily by pouring a little out of the jar and into a cup. When it reaches a balance of sweetness and tartness that is pleasant to you, the kombucha is ready to bottle.
BOTTLING for carbonation- Remove the scoby. With clean hands, gently lift the scoby out of the kombucha and set aside a cup of tea and put the Scoby in that. As you do, check it over and remove the bottom layer if the scoby is getting very thick. For the fizz or carbonation then you pour the fermented kombucha (straining, if desired) into bottles using the small funnel, along with apple juice ( I don't measure, I just pour a small amount into the bottle) and blueberries. Leave about a half inch of head room in each bottle.
Store the bottled kombucha at room temperature out of direct sunlight and allow 5-7 days for the kombucha to carbonate. Until you get a feel for how quickly your kombucha carbonates, it's helpful to keep it in glass jars with ceramic bottle stoppers. Refrigerate to stop fermentation and carbonation, and then consume your kombucha within a month. Sometimes you may need to burp the bottles, so they do not explode. To do this, on a bout day 3 or 4, unscrew the lids to release some of the pressure that has built up.
Make a fresh batch of kombucha: Clean the jar being used for kombucha fermentation- with hot water and vinegar, not soap!. Combine the starter tea from your last batch of kombucha with the fresh batch of sugary tea, and pour it into the fermentation jar. Slide the scoby on top, cover, and ferment for 7 to 10 days...and so it beings again
you can also get SCOBY on line, I decided to try that way too.... But, I also keep a SCOBY hotel in the house to share with others who want to make kombucha. I always have a scoby on hand.
They say Kombucha has lots of anti-microbial powers and is full antioxidants, it helps sooth ulcers and improves the function of your pancreas. Helps with your digestion and arthritis. It supports your liver. It improves your mood. it helps you loose weight. It helps you detoxify ... This one I can say is true! I have one friend who calls it her "poop juice". I can say I've never been so regular myself!!! It also reduces the risk of heart disease and they say prevents cancer. also lots of nutrition. Helps with your good cholesterol. Boosts immunity. Treats type 2 diabetes too. I can't say that you will have all these changes or experience any of these benefits.... I'm just listing some of the things they say about Kombucha. I can say I love it and drink a lot of it :)
I made my blueberry kombucha with black tea base and then added fresh blueberries to the f1 and then again to the f2 process.
It turned out great and was very fizzy and carbonated. I loved the fresh blueberry taste. If you like to mix flavors, you could due a black base with peach tea and fresh blueberries....use you imagination!!
Fall is coming....I am enjoying my sunflowers and the cooler weather.