This healthful beverage made from tea, sugar, and a fungal culture mushroom is relatively easy to prepare. You may obtain a kombucha mushroom culture from a friend or from a health food market.
Time Required: 6-15 days
- Wash all utensils with hot sudsy water and rinse well.
- Boil three quarts of purified water.
- Add 1 cup white sugar to water when a rolling boil is reached. Boil water and sugar for five minutes.
- Turn off heat and add 4-5 tea bags of black or green tea.
- Steep 10-15 minutes and remove tea leaves or bags and let tea cool (it doesn't hurt to steep the tea longer).
- Pour cooled tea into gallon size glass container.
- Add your Kombucha culture placing it so that the smooth shiny surface lies up. Add 1 cup of fermented Kombucha Tea from a previous batch (or substitute 1/4 c. distilled vinegar).
- Place cheesecloth over the opening of the jar and secure with a rubber band. This keeps dust, mold, spores and vinegar flies out of the fermenting tea.
- Allow to sit undisturbed in a well ventilated and darkened place away from direct sunlight (temp. 65-90 degrees F.) for 6 - 15 days.
- To make sure the tea is ready to harvest, pour off a couple of ounces for a taste test.
- Taste Test: A taste test on a batch of Kombucha Tea may taste like this: 4-6 Days - Too sweet, not all sugar converted. 7-9 Days - Tastes like sparkling apple cider. 10+ Days - Vinegar taste becoming prominent.
- When the tea is brewed to your taste, remove the two cultures.
- Gently separate and place the cultures in a glass bowl covered with plastic wrap or a plastic container and refrigerate. They will keep refrigerated for approximately six months, possibly longer.
- Pour the fermented tea through a coffee filter and bottle it into glass or food-grade plastic quart bottles.
- Date and label the bottled tea and put it in the refrigerator.
- 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar can be substituted for the fermented tea starter.
- One of the four tea bags can be substituted with an herbal blend for variety.
- Sometimes the culture floats on the surface, sometimes it sinks to the bottom of the liquid. Either way is okay. When the culture sinks to the bottom a new culture (baby) will begin to grow on the surface of the tea.
What You Need
- four-qt. cooker
- notmetalic spoon
- measuring cup
- one gallon glass jar