Saturday, April 6, 2013

I'm brewing kombucha!

Don't know what kombucha is? Well I'll tell ya...
Kombucha is a fermented tea which has been consumed for thousands of years, an ancient elixir. Though the benefits of kombucha are completely based individually, some benefits it's known for are improving digestion, clearer thinking, and increased energy.
Here is a list of some other benefits from Kombucha Kamp website:

*Probiotics – healthy bacteria
*Alkalize the body – balances internal pH
*Detoxify the liver – happy liver = happy mood
*Increase metabolism – rev your internal engine
*Improve digestion – keep your system moving
*Rebuild connective tissue – helps with arthritis, gout, asthma, rheumatism
*Cancer prevention
*Alleviate constipation
*Boost energy – helps with chronic fatigue
*Reduce blood pressure
*Relieve headaches & migraines
*Reduce kidney stones
*High in antioxidants – destroy free-radicals that cause cancer
*High in polyphenols
*Improve eyesight
*Heal excema – can be applied topically to soften the skin
*Prevent artheriosclerosis
*Speed healing of ulcers – kills h.pylori on contact
*Help clear up candida & yeast infections
*Aid healthy cell regeneration
*Reduce gray hair
*Lower glucose levels – prevents spiking from eating

I'm not saying it will do any of these things for you, but it might. None of these statements have been approved by the FDA (haha, all the more reason to try it!) and I am not a medical doctor #disclaimer =)

Brewing kombucha is something I've wanted to do for quite awhile. I never started because I couldn't find a bottle of plain flavored kombucha locally, never really thought of ordering a bottle online. Well, I finally ordered a case, and then they sat in the fridge for awhile. FINALLY I did some research and decided to start brewing. I didn't have a SCOBY to start with though. I found instructions on how to grow my own, but apparently that is no longer recommended since the strength of kombucha that's allowed to be sold retail is not able to grow it itself. So I was stuck. No one I know brews is so I couldn't snag one from a friend. Finally I decided to order one from http://www.kombuchakamp.com/ They seemed very reputable and there are tons of articles and how-to's on brewing kombucha. I highly recommend visiting their site if  you have any interest in brewing. I was very excited when it arrived and wanted to start brewing right away! But somehow I failed to notice you need a gallon sized container (How did I miss that???) So I ordered one because I couldn't find one locally. I was itching to start and everytime I tried something was missing!!! FINALLY the jar came and I was able to start brewing. Here's a picture of my brew on the first day:
Today is day 8 and I took my first taste of the brew. You're supposed to take a straw and put it under the SCOBY and take a sip. Yeah, I kind of looked at it for a minute thinking "I really have to drink something with that thing floating on top???" I did it though. It tasted great! I think I'm going to give it a few more days of brewing though since this is my first time. I want to see how it tastes if you go longer. Not sure what my preferred "kombucha taste" is.
Here is a picture of it today:

The SCOBY multiplies every time you brew and a new one is formed. I think this is a really cool process. Next I need to figure out how I'm going to flavor it!!! So exciting! I know...I'm a dork.

And, by the way, I actually tried to grow my own SCOBY even though it was doubtful it would work:
Uh, yeah, a month later and nada. So save yourself the time and buy one! Or if you're local to me, I'd be happy to pass one on. Like I stated above, each time you brew a new SCOBY is formed. Fun stuff!

There is an initial cost to brewing your own kombucha, but over a few batches you'll make it back in what you would have spent if you bought bottled, and you'd have a far superior product. I think I spend $25 on the SCOBY and $10 or so on the gallon size jar. Considering a bottle in the store can range anywhere from $3-5, you'll make back that money quickly.

More later on my adventures with kombucha!

If you've tried brewing kombucha I would LOVE to hear about it!


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