Its has been a couple months now since I have started making Kombucha. I have experimented with the length of time (2 weeks vs 3 weeks) and composition of the tea. I tried various ratios of green tea and black tea, strength of tea (by adding more tea bags, longer steeping times), amount of sugar and different types of sugar (Chinese brown sugar vs refined white sugar). It takes a while to test each combination out but finally I have come up with a recipe that I love. While experimenting with the recipe I have left some things unchanged. I kept the temperature as consistent as I could. The jars have a nice home on the book shelf on the top floor of my house. I cover the jars with a tea towel to avoid any direct sunlight. For the last few batches I have left the scobies in the jars and poured the Kombucha out and new tea in. This way I do not have to touch the scoby and risk contamination. This also makes the process of making a new batch of Kombucha easy.
These are my scoby babies. I leave a couple e scobies in each bottle. Some are pretty thin and they have been clumping up together. They might do that. You can see all the yeasties hanging from the scoby. Also notice the bubbling around the edges. The more bubbles, the fizzier your Kombucha will be.
When I first started brewing Kombucha we were using only black tea. I read online that some people mix different teas together. It was not until Makalove suggested to try a mix of green tea and black tea. Sure enough after a couple of attempts I came up with a recipe that was yummy.
The tricky part about making Kombucha is figuring out how long to let the Kombucha brew. I tend to get eczema when I have too much sugar so I thought leaving the Kombucha to brew for three weeks would let the bacteria eat all of the sugar. This resulted in a tangy brew.
My first trial of mixing green and black tea was ok. I used 10 cups water, 4 black tea bags and 2 green tea bags, and 3/4 cup sugar. It tasted slightly milder than my previous batch. The amount of sugar was kept the same. I felt that I wanted to try to make the tea stronger next time and add more sugar to see how it turns out. The scobies from this batch were very thin.
The next attempt I made stronger tea, and added more sugar: 20 cups water, 8 black tea bags, 7 green tea bags, and 5 Chinese brown sugar sticks (unrefined cane sugar 400 grams = 2 cups sugar). I usually steep the tea for about 7-10 min. I also wanted to try using Chinese brown sugar this time. I don’t know if I really liked it. It gave the tea a weird taste. The scobies seem thicker than my previous batches. I think it was because I increased the amount of sugar. When I added more sugar the scobies floated more than before. Not sure if it was because my scobies had more food or not. This batch of tea turned out bitter but still drinkable. At this time, I also bought a new jar to make more since we usually run out before my next batch is ready.
The only time that I touch the scobies is when there are too many scobies in one jar. I know the scoby looks pretty gross in this picture. There were a couple that grew together. The brown gunk at the bottom of the scoby is the yeast.
On April 20, I made my first batch of yummy tea. This consisted of 7 black tea bags, 6 green tea bags and 2 cups white sugar. At this time I decided to reduce the strength again and go back to regular white sugar. It was more because I ran out of the Chinese brown sugar sticks. This was an awesome batch. It was sweet and bubbly! Almost like pop.
It came time for me to refine my recipe and it was time to upgrade to three bottles of Kombucha. Up until this time I have been fermenting the tea for about three weeks. I decided to try to brew the tea for about two weeks instead. I think the weather played a huge role in this as it has been getting warmer and the Kombucha has been fermenting faster. As of May 2 I have been using this yummy recipe!
- 30 cups water
- 11 black tea bags (Red Rose brand)
- 9 green tea bags (Lipton Green tea)
- 3 cup of white sugar
Boil 30 cups of filtered water. Steep the tea bags for 7 min. Remove tea bags and add sugar. Stir to dissolve. Let the sweetened tea cool over night. The next day pour your fermented Kombucha in sterilized bottles. Leave about 1/4 (about 2 cups) of the tea in each bottle. Fill each bottle with the cooled sweetened tea. Let the tea ferment for 2 weeks. Be patient because the older the Scoby gets, the tastier the Kombucha will be.
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