How to make Kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented beverage consisting of black tea (or green tea) and sugar that’s used as a functional, probiotic food. I have been brewing Kombucha for my family for over a year now and it still is a favourite for all of us.
In Summer it takes less than two weeks to create wonderful, fizzy, probiotic drinks with delicious flavours. Raspberry and strawberry are favourites with the kids. I enjoy apple and ginger flavoured kombucha.
Once you have your SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) you can make Kombucha forever! You simply save a portion from your ready made Kombucha to start your next batch.
How to Make It
Kombucha is easy to make from the comfort of your own home.
This recipe makes about eight cups, but you can also double the recipe to make more — and you still only need one SCOBY disk, which you can find at many health stores or as part of a kombucha starter kit.
Yields: 8 cups
- 1 large glass jar with a wide opening
- 1 large piece of cloth or a dish towel
- 1 SCOBY disk
- 8 cups of filtered or distilled water
- ½ cup organic cane sugar
- 4 organic black tea bags or 1 tbs loose leaf black tea
- 1 cup of pre-made kombucha
- Bring your water to boil in a big pot on the stovetop. Once boiling, remove from heat and add your teabags and sugar, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
- Allow the pot to sit and the tea to steep for about 15 minutes, then remove and discard tea bags.
- Let the mixture cool down to room temperature (which usually takes about one hour). Once it’s cool, add your tea mixture to your big jar. Drop in your SCOBY disk and 1 cup of pre-made kombucha.
- Cover your jar with your cloth or thin kitchen towel and try to keep the cloth in place by using a rubber band. You want the cloth to cover the wide opening of the jar and stay in place but be thin enough to allow air to pass through.
- Allow it to sit for 7–10 days, depending on the flavor you’re looking for. Less time produces a weaker kombucha that tastes less sour, while a longer sitting time makes the drink ferment even longer and develop more taste. Some people report fermenting it for up to a month before bottling with great results, so taste test the batch every couple of days to see if it’s reached the right taste and level of carbonation for you.
- For a really fizzy drink, add 2 tbs of fruit, fruit puree or juice into a 1lt glass bottle. Top up with your ready made kombucha and seal. Let sit for 2 or more days. Check each day for desired carbonation. Be careful as your bottle may explode if too much fruit was added.
Top 8 Benefits by Dr. Josh Axe
1. Aids in Disease Prevention
According to a review published by the University of Latvia, drinking kombucha tea can be beneficial for many infections and diseases “due to four main properties: detoxification, anti-oxidation, energizing potencies and promotion of depressed immunity.”
Kombucha contains an array of powerful antioxidants that can help to detoxify the body and protect against disease.
These antioxidants can help reduce inflammation, which can help protect against many chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and even cancer.
While normal black tea does contain antioxidants, research shows that the fermentation process of kombucha creates antioxidants not naturally found in black tea, including D-saccharic acid, also known as glucaric acid.
2. Supports Gut Health
Naturally, the antioxidant prowess of this ancient tea counteracts free radicals that create mayhem in the digestive system.
However, the greatest reason kombucha supports digestion is because of its high levels of beneficial acid, probiotics, amino acids and enzymes.
Although it does contain bacteria, these are not harmful pathogenic strains of bacteria. Instead, they are a beneficial form of bacteria known as probiotics, which are involved in everything from immune function to mental health and nutrient absorption.
Some animal models have shown that kombucha could help prevent and heal stomach ulcers.
It can also help stop candida from overpopulating within the gut by restoring balance to the digestive system, with live probiotic cultures that help the gut repopulate with good bacteria while crowding out the candida yeast.
3. May Improve Mental Function
In addition to enhancing digestion, kombucha might be able to protect your mind as well.
This is partially due to its content of B vitamins, which are known to increase energy levels and improve overall mental well-being. Its high vitamin B12 content is one reason supplements sometimes contain dry kombucha products.
It’s also rich in probiotics, which are a form of beneficial bacteria that are thought to play an integral role in mental health.
Some studies have shown that probiotics could aid in the treatment of conditions like depression, anxiety, autism spectrum disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
4. Promotes Lung Health
One unexpected benefit of kombucha is its use as a potential treatment method for silicosis, a lung disease caused by repeated exposure to silica particles.
One animal model conducted in China discovered that inhalation of kombucha could be a way to treat silicosis, along with several other diseases of the lungs caused by inhalation of dangerous material.
That being said, it’s still recommended to drink your kombucha rather than inhaling it.
5. Fights Bacteria
Although it may seem counterintuitive, drinking the live cultures in kombucha can actually destroy many strains of bad bacteria that are responsible for infections.
In lab studies, it has been found to have antibacterial effects against staph, E. coli, Sh. sonnei, two strains of salmonella and Campylobacter jejuni.
Many of these strains of bacteria are responsible for food poisoning and foodborne illness around the world.
6. Helps Manage Diabetes
Although some practitioners warn against kombucha for diabetics, it seems that some research suggests just that consuming low-sugar varieties of it could actually be beneficial.
Because of the antioxidants that it contains, it has been shown to help alleviate diabetes symptoms in some animal models, even more effectively than the black tea from which it’s fermented.
It may also help support the function of the liver and kidney, which is generally poor for those with diabetes.
7. Supports Heart Health
Kombucha has been considered to be beneficial to the heart for some time, although research efforts in this area have been scarce.
However, it seems clear that, in animal models, kombucha can help lower triglyceride levels and regulate cholesterol naturally.
8. Maintains Liver Function
The liver works hard to filter and excrete harmful compounds, which is why it’s a vital component in digestion and overall health.
According to some in vitro studies, the antioxidants in kombucha may protect the liver from oxidative stress and damage induced by acetaminophen overdose.