What is Kombucha? + Recipe
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Nowadays there are many new products available from all over the world. One of those products is Kombucha. A drink that is supposed to have beneficial effects on health. But what exactly is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented slightly sweet and sour drink that originates from China, Russia, and Germany.
What You Need to Make Kombucha
In the past I have been brewing my own kombucha, and I must say, it is worth the time!
Store bought kombucha is crazy expensive, and when you make it yourself, you basically only have to pay for tea, sugar and maybe some syrup! That will definitely add up in the long run.
The kombucha has to ferment for 1-2 weeks before it’s ready. During that time, it is important to keep the kombucha nice and warm around 20-25 degrees celcius.
Cooler will make the bacteria less active and warmer will basically do the same but will also ‘kill’ them.
In order to do this, you can either put it in a warm spot in your house, or buy a little heating pad for the winter.
Once the sugars have been fermented you can drink the beverage. This contains virtually no sugar anymore. The drink is slightly sparkling, contains 0-3% alcohol (in the store this never exceeds 0.5%), vitamins, minerals, the substances from the tea (e.g. antioxidants) and is rich in probiotic cultures.
Health Benefits of Kombucha
The possible health benefits have increased the popularity of this drink in recent years. However, few studies have researched and proven health benefits. From a historical perspective, and years of use, health benefits have been experienced. The advantages are, for example, an improvement in cholesterol levels, kidney, liver, and intestinal function and a reduced risk of diabetes. But as said, this has not been scientifically proven.
Personally, I am most convinced of the positive effect on gut health by the healthy bacteria in the drink (click here for my article on the relationship between the gut bacteria and gut health), the antioxidants that come from the tea, and the acidity of the drink that can limit/prevent bacterial overgrowth in the intestine.
A Small Note of Warning
When making kombucha essential to use a good SCOBY (either buy one or find someone who has one) and to keep the whole process sterile.
I used food-safe sanitizer to sterilize my kombucha jar and utensils. After I sanitized it, I rinsed it with boiled water to make sure the SCOBY doesn’t get affected by the sanitizer.
If you don’t sanitize well, bad bacteria of funghi can end up in your drink. This could potentially make you sick. So be careful!
The process is not difficult at all, but if it scares you, it’s always a safe bet to buy kombucha pre-made.
Have you ever made or tasted Kombucha? What did you think of it? Let me know!
Recipe by Positive Gut – positivegut.com
- 2 liter jar
- Heating pad (if your house is cold)
- 2 liter boiling pot
- Food safe sanitizer
- Tea cloth or cheese cloth
- Rubber band or hair band
- Bottles to keep the kombucha in
- 2 liters water
- 12 grams tea green or black
- 100 grams sugar use real sugar, no honey
- flavored syrup optional
- Boil 2 liters of water
- Add the tea (preferably green tea) to the hot water. Let it steep for about 8 minutes and take the tea leaves out
- Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Let the tea cool down to about 30 degrees celcius
- Transfer the cooled tea into a clean jar (use food safe sanitizer and rinse with boiled water)
- With clean hands, transfer the bacterial culture (SCOBY) to the tea together with a bit of kombucha (ready-made or from a friend)
- Cover the jar with a tea cloth or cheesecloth and tighten with a rubber band. The kombucha needs to be able to breathe, so don't use any plastic or non-breathable materials.
- Leave kombucha to ferment at room temperature (20-25 degrees celcius).
- Check the pH on day 2-3-4 to see if it has dropped to a pH of 3-4. If not, I would advise to start over. The pH needs to be low in order for it to be safe to drink. Also, if you see fuzzy or green spots starting to form on the SCOBY, throw it out. It has grown funghi and you should start with a fresh SCOBY!
- Is the pH is low enough, leave the kombucha to ferment 7-14 days. In this time it will produce vinegar, alcohol and carbon dioxide.
- Use a clean spoon every now and again to taste the kombucha. Take it out whenever it tastes right for you.
- Once the taste is right, make sure to sanitize a couple of bottles you want to keep the kombucha in.
- Pour the kombucha in the clean bottles and at this point you can add a syrup for flavor if you want.
- Close the bottles airtight and leave at room temperature for about 24 hours. In this time the carbondioxide can build up, and the drink will be more fizzy.
- You can start a new batch of kombucha with the SCOBY (just start again from step one). If the scoby grows too big for the jar you can either split it and make 2 batches at the same time or give it away to a friend.
- After 24 hours, keep the bottles of kombucha in the fridge to stop the fermentation and enjoy!
Hi there, I’m Manon.
In my daily life I work as a registered dietitian in the Netherlands with a special interest in gut health.
During my workday I get loads of questions about healthy food, recipes and lifestyle to make it a little easier to get healthy. On Positive Gut I collect my best recommendations, tips and recipes to make your healthy lifestyle a little easier!