In our upcoming FREE Herbal Medics Webinar, a current student of the Herbal Apprentice Program, Anna Wolf, is teaching a live demo of Kombucha Making.
Below is one of Anna's recipes and a little blurb from her about what Kombucha is, and how easy it is to make at home!
How Anna Started Brewing Kombucha...
Anna Wolf has been brewing for almost four years. She got into it because her uncle started brewing, gave her a scoby and lessons, and it took off from there. In Seattle, WA she had to use her space heater in the closet to keep her Kombucha happy, but in the warmer climate of Santa Barbara she just sticks them right in the cupboard. Anna says she loves the habitual aspect of kombucha, checking her batches, feeding her scobys, brewing, bottling, and tasting!
"It just makes me happy to make something that’s living, full of good probiotics, and so tasty!" -Anna, Herbal Apprentice
Kombucha Brewing At Home
by Anna Wolf
Making Kombucha is actually pretty easy, especially when you live in Southern California! Kombucha is made with just three ingredients; tea, sugar and a scoby. Let’s discuss each element individually.
TEA: You can make Kombucha with a wide variety of teas, commonly used are black tea and herbal teas, but I brew green tea, white tea, rooibos, and my own mixed herbal teas. When making a gallon of Kombucha with packaged bagged teas, I use 8 tea bags. My own herbal mixes are a little more precise, depending on the blend, but I generally use about an ounce of herbs/tea leaves per batch.
SUGAR: While you may think any old kind of sugar works for feeding your scoby, in reality sugar that is less processed is ideal. The best option being Unprocessed Raw Organic cane sugar. While it may be a little more expensive, it’s well worth the investment for a long living happy scoby. I use 1 cup of sugar for a gallon of Kombucha.
SCOBY: A scoby is a colony of bacteria & yeast that eats sugar (scoby actually stands for- Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast). It eats sugar and produces carbon dioxide and alcohol. You can purchase scobys from your local co-op, online (links below), or sometimes you can find a person who has already developed several and has some to share. Depending on where you get your scoby, and what kind, sets the precedent for what kind of batch you can brew. Some scobys are very specific to a type of tea, preferring herbals, green, or exclusively black tea.
Places to purchase scobys online:
Anna's Hibiscus Black Tea Kombucha
Now that we have our bases covered, let’s talk about Brewing! Brewing is pretty easy, you just need to gather your supplies and ingredients.
8 Teabags Black Tea
1/2 cup loose leaf Hibiscus
1 cup sugar
big pot filled with 3/4 gallon water
Glass gallon jar*
strainer (optional- needed for loose leaf)
*they must be glass- metal and plastic interfere with Kombucha-i use pickle jars, but you can also order them off amazon or get from your local hardware store.
Boil 3/4 gallon water, when it comes to a boil, turn the water off, remove from the burner and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. This allows the chlorine to boil off, and the tea to not be scorched when added.
Add your tea to the boiled water. Steep between 10-20 minutes depending on your tea. To get the time to steep, take the steeping time on your tea type and quadruple it. So if your tea says steep 3 minutes, steep it for 12 minutes. Strain out tea leaves or remove tea bags. Add one cup of sugar and mix until completely dissolved.
Pour your tea into your very clean (no soap scum!) glass jar. Allow it to cool before adding about a quarter of a gallon of cold filtered water. Make sure you don’t add water above the curve of the jar. (you need that room for scoby and scoby growth)
When your tea is about room temperature, add your scoby with the liquid it comes with.
Cover with a coffee filter and secure with a rubber band.
Place in a dark warm place- like a laundry room, or a cupboard, in a cupboard above a fridge. It must be dark or your kombucha will mold.
Allow to ferment for 2 weeks to a month, depending on how fermented you’d like it to be. Feel free to pull it out and taste (with a clean cup!).
When you’re satisfied with the fermentation you can either bottle and stick in your fridge- or do a second fermentation, by bottling in gasket bottles, adding fresh fruit if desired, and allowing to ferment in a warm dark place for another 1-2 weeks, before placing in the fridge to enjoy!
More About Anna
Anna is a multimedia artist, with a focus in sculpture & photography. She is a new member of our California Herbal Medics Chapter and our in house Videography Intern for Artemisia Academy, helping us put together amazing video demos for our online classes, including Plant Identification in the Herbal Apprentice Program & the Holistic Gardener course.
Anna is looking forward to teaching more people how easy it is to brew Kombucha at home.
"I love teaching people how to make Kombucha and sharing my scobys!" -Anna, Herbal Apprentice
Now with her added knowledge from the Herbal Apprentice Program, she has even more ideas of what herbs to throw in there and new combinations to try.
Ready to Learn More?
Don't forget to sign up online to join Anna for her FREE live class on Kombucha Making 101.