SCOBY – Culture for Kombucha
You may be asking yourself, just what is this gelatinous mass of stuff. Well this is what is called SCOBY, an acronym for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. This culture is what is used to make kombucha.
Now your next question may be, what is kombucha? Kombucha is a very refreshing, healthy drink made by fermenting tea.
Kombucha dates back over 2000 years. It is said to have been served back in the TSIN Dynasty and considered the “Elixir of Longevity”. It has gravitated around the globe, and today millions of people enjoy the healthy benefits derived from this beverage.
You may say, but there are many healthy drinks to choose from, so why kombucha. To have sustained itself as a healthy beverage for over 2000 years, is a true testament to its value.
Kombucha is very easy to make. The SCOBY metabolizes the sugar and the caffeine in the tea which results in producing a drink that is filled with billions of probiotics, vitamins such as B, C, amino acids and enzymes. Probiotics are extremely helpful in our systems as they feed the good bacteria in our intestines, break down food, and aid in a healthy digestive system.
Kombucha provides a host of other tremendous benefits as well. This list is provided by Anne’s Kombucha.
Detoxification: The enzymes reduce the pancreatic load and ease the burden of your liver.
Healthy Joints: The glucosamines within the SCOBY found in Kombucha can be used to prevent arthritis. With a natural relief that can be comparable to NSAIDs the use of Hyaluronic acids help with lubrication of connective tissues.
Digestion health: The probiotics offered within the SCOBY helps fight harmful yeast, promotes healthy bacteria within your stomach lining and other digestive tracts, as well as aides in mental clarity and benefiting your mood. Eating healthy benefits you in more ways than we realize!
Immunity boost: With all the great things this drink offers, this sums it up. With everything wonderful offered in this drink, you will have a better immune system and your body will have an excellent source of amino acids, enzymes and other products, otherwise not attainable without taking a supplement.
One of the delightful things I love about Kombucha is you can change the taste up anytime you like. Simply make the Kombucha as normal with green or black tea, and once it has fermented, add whatever fruits, ginger, or other flavors you would like and there your are! Another refreshing, beverage, that is very tasty, and filled with amazing healthy benefits.
For those of you living on the island and interested in making your own Kombucha, I would be happy to share my SCOBY with you. As I continue to make my Kombucha, my culture grows. It is easily shared so others can partake and enjoy the process of making their own Kombucha as well. Simply call me at 3309-7615, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Once you have a SCOBY you are ready to make your own Kombucha
You should use a glass or plastic container for your Kombucha while it is fermenting.
Boil 1 gallon of water
Add 10 – 12 tea bags. Green & Black teas are best. Teas with fruit may be more difficult to culture as they contain oils not conducive to feeding the SCOBY.
Steep the tea for up to 5 minutes and remove the tea bags. Do not use a wooden spoon. Plastic or metal are fine.
Add 1 cup of sugar and stir until it is dissolved.
Pour your mixture into a brew container and allow the tea to cool to room temperature.
Once the tea has cooled, place your SCOBY in the container. DO NOT ADD THE SCOBY before the tea has cooled as the heat will kill off the culture.
Cover your container. I use a coffee filter, or cloth napkin with a rubber band to hold it in place. The cover is to protect your SCOBY from ants and other pests, but must be breathable so there is a flow of air for the liquid. You do not want this to be a tight cover as the fermenting process will create gas which must be easily released.
Place your container in a warm spot in your house that has good ventilation and allow the process of fermentation to take place. SCOBY grows best in temperatures between 80 – 85 degrees. You can ferment it the way you like it for 7 – 30 days.
Your Kombucha is done brewing when you like the way it tastes. You can taste a sample at 7 days, and taste again every few days until you reach the perfect flavor for you. The longer it brews the more tangy the taste becomes.
Once you have reached your perfect flavor, you can bottle and refrigerate your Kombucha, and use your SCOBY to make a new batch of Kombucha.
If mold forms on your SCOBY, DO NOT USE. You must throw out the entire contents. Keeping your batch of tea at least 80 degrees will decrease the chance of mold. Mold looks distinctly different than the normal SCOBY growth. SCOBY looks slick, wet, or slippery. Mold looks dry, powdery or fuzzy.
You may think by adding sugar to this drink this would be a high calorie beverage. Wrong! The sugar is what the culture needs to ferment. The sugar is broken down and converted into different components of the finished drink. Sucrose is easiest to digest by the yeasts; they consume the sugar and put out carbon dioxide (the sparkly effect) & ethanol (alcohol). The bacteria then consume the alcohol and the end product contains amino acids, trace vitamins, minerals and billions of probiotics we benefit from when consumed.