Tag Archives: drinks

Kombucha Experiment! (Part One)

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Kombucha Experiment! (Part One)

Every now and then I get a bright idea and decide to give it a go. This time it was Kombucha. Kombucha is basically a fermented fizzy drink that you brew using a SCOBY, that is drunk to improve digestive and gut health.

I want to make Kombucha but I decided I wanted to grow a SCOBY from scratch, so a bit of googling and I found a tutorial by Cotter Crunch and another by FermUp that explains how to do just that.

What you need:

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar ( I used brown)
  • 1 bag black tea (any will do, as you can see I went for cheap) or 1 tbsp loose-leaf black tea.
  • 1 bottle of store bought Kombucha (preferably organic)
  • a glass container (not pictured)

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What I did differs a little from what is described by Cotter Crunch and FermUp but is essentially the same.

What you do:

  • Brew the kettle and add your T Bag and sugar to your mug.
  • Pour boiling water into your mug and stir in your sugar until it dissolves.
  • Allow it to sit for a few minutes then remove your T bag. Then let the tea cool to room temperature.
  • While it’s cooling get your glass jar and ensure it is thoroughly cleaned. Then sterilized it (ESSENTIAL) by pouring in hot water, letting it sit for a moment and pouring the water back out. This will both rinse any cleaning products out and kill any further bacteria.
  • Once your tea is cool, add it to your sterilized glass container allowing room to add your Kombucha. You will need about half Kombucha, half tea
  • Add your Kombucha ensuring any stringy sediment makes it into your glass container. Depending on the size you may not need the whole bottle. Feel free to drink the rest.
  • Put a cloth over your jar to allow it to breath but keep the nasties out and place it in a dark spot.
  • And now you wait. Try to resist peeking or moving the jar as this will disturb the SCOBY.

Some tutorials say it will take a week to start seeing some growth but I found it was more like two weeks before I noticed anything happening. The photo below was after about a week and a half.

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As you can see there isn’t a lot of action a week or so later I started noticing some lumps forming and these gradually got thicker and bigger, as below.

2014-04-26 12.19.25

 

I’m still waiting for the SCOBY to get thick and big enough to use so there will more more psot in the future. For now, I’m off to go google some recipes. ­čÖé

Here’s an update from today. Definitely developing nicely.
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Today is feeding day!
About 4 weeks after starting the project I remembered that I have to feed the SCOBY in order to keep it growing. Oops! It had kept growing but probably not as nicely. So, today I decided to feed it. Ideally, this is done when you’re SCOBY is abut 2mm thick…
This is mine today.

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To feed it, you basically prepare the tea solution as you did before and let it cool.

Once cool you add the tea, to top up the sugars.

There is a lot of information and misinformation about Kombucha, but I found a great link that goes through several of them by Phoenix Helix that is well worth a read.

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Simple Orange Cordial

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This cordial is pretty easy to make and you can use other fruit or combinations of fruit. I have included both the stove top (provided by a friend of mine) and Thermomix versions.
Stove Top

You will need:

  • Juice of 6-8 oranges
  • Rind of 3
  • 2 liters of water
  • 2 teaspoons of Tartaric Acid
  • 1 Teaspoon of Citric Acid
  • 2 kg of sugar
  • Big pot
  • Clean empty glass bottles (Ikea is great for these) or jars

Dissolve the sugar in water. Add the rind, juice, water, tartaric and citric acids in and boil them together. Bottle while hot.

Thermomix 

You will need:

  • 6 Oranges
  • Rind of approx 4
  • 2 Teaspoons of Tartaric Acid
  • 1 Teaspoon of Citric Acid
  • 500 grams of Sugar
  • 750 grams of Water
  • Kettle
  • Clean empty glass bottles (Ikea is great for these) or jars

Peel oranges (taking care to avoid too much of the orange flesh) and place peel in TM. Juice the oranges into the TM over the strainer (to catch seeds and pulp). Remove the strainer and add sugar and tartaric and citric acids. Set your kettle to boil the water (while its boiling, do yourself a favour and clean up – dishes to the sink, scraps to the compost bin, wipe down your bench). Add the freshly boiled water. Set your TM to Reverse, 90’c, 10 minutes and Speed 2. Bottle immediately and keep refrigerated.