Over the shelter-in-place period, Ella and I broke into making soda pop with our first batch of ginger-ale. We soon realized if we added more yeast and let it ferment longer, we’d get more fizz. We started reading a book on soda pop, but I remembered folks in my ‘hood spoke of making kombucha. Reading more about it, kombucha is made from a SCOBY, a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast – how cool! As long as you feed the SCOBY sugared up tea, it will do the job of helping to make a fizzy drink.
The excellent Lindenfelsers’ gave me a perfectly simple recipe: brew 6 cups tea, dissolve 1 cup sugar, and when it cools add your SCOBY to brew for 2-3 weeks. I’m using their basic recipe before I get silly on second fermentations with fruit, but I also wanted to read more about it. For those of you considering breaking into the hobby, here are a few websites I found interesting, with the first one going into some of the science that I gladly appreciate:
I have been brewing kombucha in a large mixing bowl covered with a dish towel and a rubber band around the top. After the first fermenting period is complete, I pour the bowl through a fine-mesh strainer and into another bowl with blended fruit or straight into bottles, always reserving one cup of kombucha from each batch and the SCOBY for your next batch.
For the bottles, I biked to a liquor store and bought a 4-pack of the delicious Grölsch, but you might want to explore other options here:
Also, I’ve only been using black tea for the fermentation period, but after I research whether or not caffeine is needed, I may start branching out with tea flavors as Ellen repeatedly told me. Oh, and I also grew a baby SCOBY on the side for Lurch:
Will report back more later, but our first batch of strawberry rhubarb kombucha was definitely tasty and explosively fizzy 🙂 I’m tracking batches with this spreadsheet.