Friday, 17 August 2018

Kombucha–My First Attempt

Recently I decided to try my hand at making kombucha, which is fermented tea, a health-giving probiotic drink. There are lots of helpful videos on Youtube and I found the best to be the one from Brothers Green Eats:

and one from Blake Kirby, which many of his commenters say is the best one on the web.

Here is my jar of kombucha in the airing cupboard, about half way through the week. I think it looks like a kid playing a shepherd in a Nativity play!

Today was the eighth day since I started. The experts say the “sweet spot” is between 7 and 10 days; anything sooner and it will still taste of sweet tea, and anything much longer than 10 days will produce a vinegary flavour.

All you need to make kombucha is sweet tea (black tea is best) and a Scoby – the acronym stands for Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeasts. This thing is a slippery, rubbery thing which is made up of living organisms. It looks quite disgusting but it does the job! In the above photo, you can see the size of the original Scoby that I bought on Ebay, surrounded by new Scoby being formed as the original one grows.

At this point, I dipped in a ladle and scooped out a bit to taste. It tasted delicious, so I knew I’d hit the “sweet spot” and could go ahead.

Here is the Scoby, removed from the kombucha jar and placed in a bowl with some of the kombucha to help it on its way in the next batch. You can see that the new growth has collapsed but it will all unfold and spread when it goes back in the jar and starts growing again.

Straining the kombucha, to remove any solid pieces. There is cloudiness at the bottom of the jar which is an accumulation of yeasts, which need to be stirred in so that nothing is wasted. It is important to avoid metal coming in contact with the Scoby so I am using a plastic sieve.

I didn’t have any suitable pure fruit juice and didn’t want to put whole pieces in the bottles, so I made a puree in my high-speed blender, using first mango and then raspberries, from packs of frozen fruit that I keep for my breakfasts on diet days.

I put a little in the blender and added some water to make more of a thick juice than a puree. This was then funnelled into the bottles.

These are bottles designed for carbonated drinks, and have a swing top which keeps everything secure during second fermentation. Here is the puree in the bottom of each bottle.

Unfortunately I miscalculated and I hadn’t made enough kombucha to fill eight bottles, but only four. I’ve kept the excess fruit puree to make milkshakes etc.

Here are the four bottles, capped and ready to put in the pantry for 3 days to ferment again. There are plenty of bacteria and yeasts in the kombucha despite the Scoby having been removed, and these will act on the fruit sugar and reduce it by fermentation. As the bottles are firmly capped, this will also cause carbonation, with the build-up of carbon dioxide gas which will have nowhere else to go but into the liquid.

My four bottles ready to be stored in a cool dark place for the next three days.

After this, if they are not drunk immediately, they will be stored in the fridge, which will arrest the fermentation, and also prevent the carbon dioxide from escaping too explosively when I open the bottles.

I have revamped my recipe to increase the quantities by half as much again, which will fill six bottles instead of four.

If I like it, I can see myself needing to make double quantity in order to produce a good supply to last while the next batch of kmobucha is being made.

After my attempt to make fermented apples, seen here on the left:

This is the result, served up for supper.

thought they were delicious, but my hubby only awarded 4 stars. Oh well, can’t win ’em all, I suppose. However, this won’t dissuade me from eating the lion’s share myself! Tonight for supper, I cooked up some of last year’s apples from the freezer, adding a small quantity of the brine from the fermented apples, and served it hot with custard. My hubby really liked that! I didn’t tell him it had fermented apple juice in it!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for your comments! They are much appreciated. Spammers, please be aware that I read and moderate ALL comments, and yours will be deleted before publication, so please don't bother!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...