Making the Starter
-1 Kombucha SCOBY
-1⁄4 Cup (minimum) Kombucha starter liquid (from previous batch – FULL STRENGTH!) -1 Cup Sugar (Cane Sugar)
-4 Tea Bags (4 Tablespoons loose) High Tannin Tea: black, green, red rooibos,
white peony, assam, gynostemma, raspberry leaf.
-12 Cups of Water (Fill vessel)
Boil water, make strong brew of tea (30 minute minimum), remove tea bags, let cool slightly and dissolve sugar (warm water helps it dissolv
Place towel or coffee filter over the jar (aerobic bacterial cultures will need oxygen) secured with a rubber band or string.
Store in a warm, dry, dark place to ferment for 8 to 21 days… Until it tastes between vinegar and sweet. If it sits too long, it becomes a vinegar tasting alcohol. The warmer the temperature the faster the fermentation process; the refrigerator is a giant fermentation slowing device… so cold!
After the initial fermentation is complete (tastes between vinegar and sweet and is to your preference), pull out all the SCOBY, use plastic or wood utensils (not metal).
SAVE at least 1⁄4 cup of starter liquid for your next batch! If you’re making 2 batches next time and cutting up or pulling apart your SCOBY, save double the starter liquid. Put that in the fridge to use later or immediately brew tea for another starter batch.
Kombucha SCOBY’s do not have to be covered in starter liquid and can sit on the counter for weeks before it turns to vinegar. SCOBYs will stay dormant in the fridge for months at a time. Cold temperatures allow SCOBYs to ferment at a super-slow rate, Kombucha has a very slow rate of fermentation… the SCOBY is pretty sturdy and will not “die” very easily!
Drink the “first ferment” Kombucha “starter” as is, or try a second ferment recipe (50/50 with juice, tea or fruit slices and water).
Adaptability factors: If a SCOBY is used to being fermented with Black tea and you want to use Rooibos… it may take a few starter batches using half Rooibos and half Black tea before it performs well.
Kombucha Fermentation Performance Features: You want it to be fizzy, SCOBY grows and gives birth to baby SCOBY, thick and waxy lookng, tastes in between vinegar and sweet within 8 days. The longer it sits to ferme), cool completely to add starter liquid. Mix it up and place your Kombucha SCOBY (baby or mother) on the top of the water.ent, the less sweet it will taste = the more medicinal probiotics and healing acids are activated.
Trouble-shooting: SCOBY not forming to the size of the jar & growing another layer, if it’s turning black or moldy/fuzzy on top, not getting fizzy or any bubbly activity and not getting the punchy vinegar taste & too sweet… Reconsider sugar quality & amount used. Is it covered from light? Are there moldy oranges near by? (Oranges in general give off lots of yeast & mold).
Drink the “first ferment” starter Kombucha as is, or try a second ferment-fizzy, flavouring recipe.
Start drinking probiotic beverages slowly at first, build up from 1-2 oz. daily with food. All ferments are meant as appetite stimulants, probiotic supplements, and to enhance digestion.
“Only use white sugar and black tea” We use raw cane sugar and have tried many different tannin rich herbal teas without any black or green tea (listed above: Raspberry, Red Rooibos & Rose Petals is a nice blend)
“My SCOBY died!” This myth we hear a lot… If it started growing mould on top during fermentation, it most likely didn’t have enough sugar or a poor quality of tea was used, or the tea was not high enough in tannins. We strongly suggest to scoop off the mould, get rid of most of the liquid, keeping a 1/4 cup and restarting the recipe, using all high quality ingredients!! You may have to find a full strength starter liquid from someone.. Contact The Herbal Mama!
Consider the temperature: the warmer the environment = the faster the ferment! In the winter months wrap it in a towel or store on the warmest shelf. Keep away from kefir ferments any other ferments are fine.
Send the probiotics love!
Sourcing your Kombucha SCOBY with Herbal Mama guarantees a “Wild Culture”. Some other SCOBY starters may be synthetic and lab derived, they will only last about 7 rounds of making the starter then they are ‘spent’ and actually will die! Wild Cultures will last many lifetimes with proper care.
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SAVE or PRINT this Kombucha recipe JPEG for making your “booch” at home: