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Category: Food Recipes


Yes friends, today I wanted to share with you how to make your own Kombucha – RAW, ORGANIC and HEALTHY FOR YOU…. it’s so yummy!

First what is Kombucha? The simple answer is: It’s fermented Sweet Tea. Green or Black, or if you make it like mine – a combo of the two! So what’s the long answer? I’ll keep that simple too.. and you can find out more about Kombucha at this website: What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is healthy for you, it’s a bit vinegary and sweet at the same time. Actually quite tasty.

You can buy it at the store for around $5.00 for a 16oz bottle. That is what I used to do myself.. but that gets expensive! So I tried to find out how to make it. Well you can find a lot of info on this thing called a S.C.O.B.Y. otherwise known as a “Kombucha Mushroom”…. S.C.O.B.Y. is the more correct term….meaning “Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria & Yeast”, it has both beneficial bacteria and yeast in a delicate balance. The “mushroom” term comes from the way the thing feels, but it’s not a fungus.. so therefore not a mushroom! I prefer to say SCOBY too, cause it’s fun and people look at you like you’re nuts! Ha!

You can find SCOBY’s online for about $10 – $20, or you can find someone who makes Kombucha and get a “baby scoby” from them. The SCOBY’s are designated as Mothers and Babies!

I think that’s cute! Don’t you?

This is because EVERY batch of tea you make will produce a “baby” and you can give away the baby to someone who wants to make their own Kombucha. So far I have no babies!

You can also try to sell them online.. I looked and looked! I found a few people who had SCOBY’s for free but I couldn’t hook up with them in time to get one, usually cause of conflicting schedules. And when I did have the time to get one, the thing had already been scooped up by someone else looking for one!

Yes, they are getting more popular!

So, I decided to try to figure out how to create my own SCOBY. I was thinking if I can make a “Sourdough starter” by letting flour and water stand in the room and attract wild yeast from the air, maybe the SCOBY would appear like magic too! Of course this was not the case, but I ran across a site that just said to use a bottle of RAW, ORGANIC KOMBUCHA from the store… I was more than willing to try that!

Once you go looking for this stuff, you will notice all sorts of flavors that it comes in. You have to get the unflavored kind. (And once I get the hang of it, I plan to flavor a batch or two of my own.) Note.. flavoring happens AFTER the Kombucha is “brewed”, so you still have to make the standard Kombucha recipe first!

So I went to the store and bought my LAST $5.00 bottle of Kombucha.. but it was on sale, so it was around $3.50.. still… ha ha.. that’s the last one I plan to ever buy…

It seemed like a nice experiment to try, cost is low.. just some tea bags, about a gallon of water and a cup of sugar… what did I have to lose?

What I read is that it just takes a bit more time to get the finished Kombucha, because the SCOBY is not already formed, but there are traces of the SCOBY in the RAW drink, YAY!..

That was fine by me and I was stoked to try this, because my SCOBY hunt was getting annoying and taking forever.

I wanted Kombucha now!!!

I had already spent a month trying to get a SCOBY from someone.. and I almost ordered the overpriced one, from the web! Even thought of trying the local brewing supply to see if they had SCOBY’s for sale or not. But I found this other method!

So, I got my ingredients together for the big experiment and here is what I had….

WHAT’S NEEDED:

1 Gallon Sun Tea Jar w/ spikot
6 Tea bags ( 4 black and 2 green – this is my mix, but you can always change it up to whatever you want if that doesn’t turn out the way you like)
1 16oz bottle of RAW, ORGANIC UNFLAVORED KOMBUCHA (from the grocery store)
3 quarts of CLEAN WATER!  (use the purest you can get.. distilled is great)
STAINLESS STEEL SPOON
STAINLESS STEEL 4QT POT with LID!
Rubber band (long enough to fit around top of tea jar)
CHEESE CLOTH

HOW TO DO IT!

  • Put the water on to boil… once it boils, turn it off.
  • Add in the cup of organic sugar.and stir to dissolve.
  • Throw in the tea bags.
  • Set the pot aside with a lid on top to cool off to room temperature…

Perfect to start this at night and by morning you will be ready to start. As you can see in the picture I have my tea steeping in the sugar-water. 15 minutes is what most people do, but I want to get the most out of my tea bags so I let them cool in the water overnight and remove them in the morning. If you have tea bags with tags and strings on them, you should remove the tag, as it will just fall apart in the water. The strings are optionally removable!

I let the bottle of store-bought RAW, ORGANIC, UNFLAVORED Kombucha sit on the counter and warm to room temp. It sat out overnight also, right along side the tea. Kombucha needs a temperature of about 75 degrees F to ferment properly. So I wanted any mother material in the kombucha bottle to come out of dormancy. (The SCOBY will go dormant when placed in the fridge.) And caring for it is another topic! I have a way around the constant care that seems to be needed with most Kombucha recipes you will find online and I will explain that later.

Now when everything is cooled to room temp… around 70 to 80 degrees.. you can start the experiment.

  • Take the one gallon tea jar, clean it.  Don’t wash it with anti-bacterial soaps or anything like that, they will kill the SCOBY. Use old-fashioned SOAP and water, then soak it in a sink full of water, with one cup of white vinegar added to it. Soak the jar for 15 minutes. This will sterilize the jar.  then soak in Vinegar for 15 minutes. You should also do this with any and all utensils or pots used in this experiment. We want successful attempts, so using stainless utensils and cookware is key. Remove the tea jar from the soak and let air dry. Don’t use a towel to speed drying you might get lint in your tea jar.
  • Add the store-bought bottle of Kombucha to the tea jar. Make sure it’s ORGANIC, RAW, UNFLAVORED KOMBUCHA.
  • Add sweet tea to the jar until it is almost full. I kept my level at just below the point where the jar starts to curve towards the lid. SCOBY’s need air to work, so the more surface area and oxygen that can get to it the better. Notice the level you see in the picture, this is as high as I think you should fill your jar, give the Kombucha at least 2 inches of space from the top.
  • Place the cheese cloth, folded in half, over the lid area.
  • Place the rubber band around the jar to hold the cloth in place. This keeps out any bugs and allows the SCOBY to breath and ferment the tea. It must have oxygen to work.
  • Place the jar in an area where it is warm, not hot or cold. I used my kitchen cabinet. You want to make sure it’s a place where the tea will not be disturbed.
  • Let it sit for about 2 to 3 weeks.

Drink any leftover sweet tea you have after you fill the jar! It’s great to have on a hot summer day!

If you look closely at this photo you will notice the little white things on top of the tea, this was my SCOBY starting to grow after about a week. I was curious as to what that was, because it was only in a small area of the jar.

Another 10 days and I had a full-blown SCOBY all the way across my tea jar! You can keep an eye on it and when it looks like it’s about a 1/4 inch thick I would say your tea is done… You have to test it to see if you like it, some people ferment it fewer days and some more.. depends on your how you like it…. Fewer days will result in a much sweeter drink, and longer days will result in a more acidic or vinegary drink..

I like it in between.

If you have bought Kombucha at the store and tried it, then you know what taste you are looking for. If you have never bought or tasted Kombucha, I suggest you go try a bottle of RAW, UNFLAVORED, ORGANIC KOMBUCHA for yourself. If you don’t think you can get used to the taste, then don’t waste your time making this. But if you like it, by all means, make your own!

In this picture you can see my SCOBY quite clearly! It is not mold on my tea, it’s a living, breathing colony of beneficial yeast and bacteria! Providing you with all sorts of probiotics and enzymes. So good for your gut flora! Also in this picture you can see that my jar has been drained of most of the tea that was in it. I used the old Kombucha bottles that I had been buying and retaining to fill and put them into the fridge so I have Kombucha to drink when I want. Those little 1/2 quart jars got to be a hassle, so now I just use big 1 qt Mason Jars to store my Kombucha!

Okay, so you have made your Kombucha and bottled it, and it’s all tasting fine… what to do about that remaining tea and that SCOBY?

STORAGE:

Two options:

Option #1:

One batch at a time method.

  • Rinse your hands in vinegar.
  • Remove the SCOBY from the jar and place in a resealable bag.
  • Add tea to the bag to give your SCOBY something to feed on while in storage.
  • Put in the fridge.
  • Take it out when you need to make a new batch.
  • Bring to room temp.
  • Make new batch, creates a baby.. store or give away. I’m also told you can feed them to animals or eat them yourself.. Not sure I want to try that!

Option #2

Continuous Brewing

  • Make new batch of Sweet Tea
  • Replace the Kombucha you harvested with the new tea.
  • Allow a few days for more Kombucha to be made…. repeat!

________________________________________________________________

I decided I did not want to hassle with taking it out and saving it in a plastic bag until my next batch.

No need to get another bottle of Kombucha from the store or try to revive your SCOBY from the cold, you simply add ROOM TEMPERATURE tea back into your jar, make sure to cover it with the cheesecloth again and let it sit a few days. It will not take as long because you already have active ingredients in the jar, so the SCOBY will get to work on that new batch of sweet tea immediately!

When I poured my new tea into my jar, I went as slow as I could, but my SCOBY sorta tilted in the jar, because it covers the entire top so you can’t help but hit it with your tea you are pouring in the jar. I went slow so as not to put a hole in it.. ha, but it’s a little funny looking.. I am told your SCOBY can be on top, sink to the bottom or be on its side and it will still work just fine!

I have made one additional batch with the SCOBY in this position, letting the tea sit only 5 or 6 days, and it worked great. I am ready to make my third batch this weekend!

I only have one quart left, so I better get to it!

Doing the continuous brewing method is actually more beneficial to you and the Kombucha.

There are more beneficial things that are created the longer the tea brews, so continuous brewing your tea will give you these additional benefits.

Kombucha takes a few weeks to create at first, but a new batch can be made quite quickly after that, and you may want to use a bigger size jar for yours, 2 or 3 gallons. Just pump up the recipe with the same proportion of sugar to tea.

All you have to keep on doing is making sweet tea each week and enjoy your healthy Kombucha… Read more about it.. you’ll be really excited of all the benefits it actually provides.

Enjoy!

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Brown rice.

Happy New Year everyone!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season!

I have enjoyed my mini vacation this past month, but now it’s time to get back to work and keep blogging. Today I wanted to just talk about what I am doing today.

I am making Organic Rice Milk from scratch.

Using organic brown rice, clean reverse osmosis water, some powdered kelp, and sea salt. That’s pretty much the ingredients, aside from some flavorings (cinnamon, maple syrup and vanilla). It’s on the stove simmering for the next three hours. I will post the recipe on my recipe section later today. I always like to try out recipes before I actually post them, so if this doesn’t work out I may not post it until I get a good tasting recipe. I wouldn’t want to give you a recipe that doesn’t work, or that I have not tried myself. Sometimes I find a recipe but it needs to be altered, so I work on changing amounts, use a substitute organic ingredient, or add something to it to make it better…. in my opinion of course!

Why rice milk

Main reason is that I need to get off of dairy products because dairy apparently promotes snoring, especially if you drink or eat it right before bed. It promotes mucous creation, so it clogs you up.  I actually have sleep apnea, so I am trying to limit any factors that make me snore.

Rice milk is very inexpensive to make. Why pay three dollars or more per half gallon, when you can make it at home for the cost of a half cup to a cup of rice? What’s that cost? I’d say 30 cents in rice, and depending on where you get your water another 0- 15 cents for a half gallon. Even if you buy organic brown rice, like I do, the cost is still minimal. I feel these companies that are making rice milk are ripping us off. I can see paying a bit more for a nut milk just because nuts are pricey and so are a bit more expensive to make. I am sure you can still produce a nut (almond, flax, coconut, sunflower, brazil nuts… etc.. ) milk cheaper than buying it though. Most of the product is water anyhow, so what are you really paying for in the first place? Flavored water, that’s what!

Oh! Let’s not forget all the special additives that they put in it, to give it the consistency of cows milk (1 or 2%). Soy Lecithin, Xanthan Gum, sweeteners, potassium citrate, carrageenan, calcium carbonate, artificial flavors, artificial colors and maybe a few vitamins. It’s a GMO nightmare. The rice milk I am making only adds cinnamon, maple syrup and vanilla extract to flavor it. You should try to find organic spices, but since there are not any genetically modified spices, normal ones will do if you want to keep the costs down. Vanilla extract being the most expensive item in the list.. not much is needed though.

I still think that making a half gallon for under a buck is better than buying some GMO infested product off the shelf, just for the ease and convienence of having it premade. Hopefully there are some non-GMO brands on the shelves, I have not seen one yet. This is why I chose to make my own. I hope that this experiment will turn out well. Look for the recipe later today to be posted in the recipe section.

Ok aside from cost and GMO’s, rice milk has some health benefits: It is low in cholesterol, can help you in losing weight, it’s naturally sweet – so the maple syrup can be an optional item, boosts your immune system and can be good for your heart. See this article for more info: Benefits of Rice Milk. You can research more on your own.

I’m excited to try this out. Do look for the recipe to be posted later today or tomorrow.

Again, Happy New Year to you all! May you have a great GMO free year!

Remember to sign the petitions to label GMO’s if you live in California. You will see people everywhere trying to get signatures, please sign it! We need this to be a law so that we know what is in our food! I feel we have a right to know!