I had heard all about the wonders of Kombucha from many people. Sarah at the Healthy Home Economist even has some great videos (here and here) on how to make it. So, I ventured out (I usually do not like trying new things), and tried a bottle of Kombucha from the grocery store. One word…YUCK!
It was too alcoholic tasting and too carbonated for my liking, and I tried the grape flavor which was supposed to be the one that all the children even loved, and I couldn’t do but a tiny sip, and the rest went down the drain.
But, I had heard that homemade Kombucha tastes much different that the store bought variety. However, in looking for starter cultures I found that most kits were about $25-$30. I was not ready to spend that kind of money on something that I wasn’t even sure I would like at all.
Well, as I try to do as much as I can, I visited and thanked her for visiting and linking up by leaving her a comment. But, in that comment, I also explained that I had wanted to try homemade, but was waiting for someone to take pity on me and give/send me a Kombucha SCOBY so I could try it out.
Lo and behold…not a day later and I get a lovely email from Liberty offering to send me a Kombucha SCOBY! Oh happy day! I really am forever indebted to Liberty for sending the SCOBY to me so I could play around.
Here’s my little baby SCOBY on the day it arrived in the mail:
So, I got to work, and using the recipe on Liberty’s post, I made up a half batch.
Kombucha – Liberty’s Recipe (halved)
6 regular tea bags
1/2 cup sugar
1 dishtowel and 1 rubber band
2 quarts boiling water
1/2 gallon glass jar
Boil water, and steep tea bags for about 10 minutes. Stir in sugar and dissolve. Let cool a bit. Pour into a glass jar, and add your SCOBY. Cover with towel and secure with rubber band. Let sit on counter for 7-10 days. Your SCOBY should grow a second SCOBY which you can either discard, give away, or use to start a double batch with. Pour off your tea, and reuse your SCOBY for another batch.
Here’s what it looked like at the beginning:
And then I waited…
And I waited…
And I waited some more because it turns out that the colder temperatures in the winter cause the fermentation process to take just a bit longer.
But, finally, the day arrived and my mother SCOBY had given birth…to a baby SCOBY! And I had my first batch of Kombucha.
Unfortunately, it still smelled strongly like beer (which I cannot stand, at all) or something, and not exactly as I envisioned it smelling considering that Liberty said it should be like “sparkling apple cider” (which I do like).
But, I bravely took a tiny sip…
It wasn’t so bad!
It’s not my favorite drink of choice…but I hear that it takes time, and it definitely did taste a bit like sparkling apple cider. But, my Kombucha did not look like Liberty’s Kombucha…mine was much darker. This could be because of the colder temperatures messing with the timing, or it could be the fact that I used a few too many tea bags, or it could be just user error (i.e. my fault).
But, it definitely tasted better than I thought it would, and I made another batch, which is fermenting as we speak. The first one was a little too sweet for my taste, and I don’t know if that’s because it didn’t go long enough, or because it went too long (I’ll have to find out the answer in the next few days before the second batch comes due…).
Overall, a successful experiment, and I’m excited to see what the next batch brings. I’m going to play around a bit, because I think it could be something that I would like, and the health benefit of drinking Kombucha is enough to make me keep experimenting…now that I have my very own mama SCOBY…
Thank you Liberty!!!
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