DIY GUIDE - KOMBUCHA
Welcome to Happy Belly Kombucha's online KOMBUCHA DIY GUIDE. If you are here, that means you have purchased a Happy Belly Kombucha starter culture (SCOBY + STARTER LIQUID) and are ready to start brewing. Congratulations on deciding to brew your very own elixir! We are excited for your new adventure! Let’s get started.
Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been made and enjoyed by many cultures all over the world for thousands of years. It is easy to prepare at home and offers immediate and long term benefits to the regular drinker. Having said that, care should be taken anytime food is prepared at home. Follow these instructions carefully and happy brewing!
THIS RECIPE YIELD 4L OF SWEET TEA WHICH WILL BREW INTO 4L OF KOMBUCHA.
*This recipe is totally scalable. So feel free to scale up or down as required.
- A Kettle or A Pot
- Brewing Vessel (at lease 5L capacity)
- Cloth Cover (tight weave 100% cotton cloth is preferred)
- Rubber Band
- Thermometer (optional, but recommended)
- Funnel (not needed until bottling stage)
- 1 Cup Organic Cane Sugar
- 4 – 6 Bags Of Tea (black, green, or a combination)
- 1 Pack of Happy Belly Kombucha Starter Culture
- 4L of Purified Water (free of chlorine)
STEP #1: MAKE SWEET TEA SOLUTION TO FEED YOUR KOMBUCHA CULTURE!
- Boil 4 cups of purified water.
- Add hot water & tea bags to clean and sanitized brewing vessel.
- Steep 5 – 10 minutes, then remove tea bags.
- Add sugar and stir until sugar granules are fully dissolved.
- Top up brewing vessel with 3L of purified cold water to bring down the temperature of the sweet tea you just made so it is ready for the kombucha culture.
*NOTE: If the sweet tea is now below body temperature, proceed to the next step. If it is not, please put it in the fridge to cool it down a bit, or simply wait until it is cooled below body temperature before proceeding to the next step.
STEP #2: ADD THE KOMBUCHA CULTURE (SCOBY + STARTER LIQUID).
- Cut the bag and gently pour the starter liquid and SCOBY into the sweet tea mixture you have prepared.
- Cover with cotton cloth, and secure tightly with rubber band.
- Say a prayer, send good vibes, commune with your culture, or simply set an intention for the brew you are brewing. (Optional but recommend. After all, your brew is now filled with millions of live microbes converting your sweet tea into a tasty elixir we call Kombucha for your enjoyment in a few days!)
- Place your brewing vessel in a warm, airy location that is out of direct sunlight & away from aromatic or greasy food preparation.
- Do NOT disturb for 7 days.
*NOTE: This can be very difficult for a newbie brewer, but wait for the full 7 days before peeking at your brew. This will make the process go more smoothly. Set a reminder on your smart phone to check your brew on the 8th day!
STEP #3: TASTING TIME!
- On day 8th, gently move the SCOBY aside and scoop some liquid out from the top of the vessel to taste. Too tart? Reduce your brewing cycle next time. Too sweet? Taste each day until it reaches the optimum flavour.
- Brewing cycle normally ranges between 7 days – 14 days, varying greatly by temperature.
- A few brewing cycles may be required to discover the exact taste and timing of your brew. Be patient. Keep brewing and keep tasting! You will know when you tasted the perfect balanced taste for you!
- Properly brewed Kombucha offers a perfect balance taste of just a bit of sweetness accompanied by a nice tartness. Keep tasting daily starting Day #8, make a note of the taste profile each day. Soon enough you will become a master Kombucha taster and know exactly when it taste perfect for you to either enjoy directly OR harvest to bottle with flavourings. Not to worry about not knowing how it should taste on your first cycle. After all, you now have your very own Kombucha brewing setup. Keep brewing and tasting! This is the fun part!
STEP #4: BOTTLING & FLAVOURING TIME!
- With clean hands, remove the culture(s) and place in a clean bowl.
- Ladle or pour 2 cups of liquid from the top of the brew into the bowl where you place you culture(s). This will serve as starter liquid for your next batch.
- Cover culture(s) in bowl with cotton cloth or plastic wrap and set aside.
- Find clean, sanitized, suitable bottles with tight fitting lids. Recycle bottles are fine, but avoid metal lids that may corrode. Flip top bottles are preferred.
- If flavouring the Kombucha, place the fruit/juice/flowers/herbs/etc. directly into bottles. A little goes a long way.
- Place bottles in the sink, insert a clean funnel into your first bottle and ladle or pour your Kombucha into the bottle. Make sure to leave about 2” – 3” of air space in your flavouring bottle.
- Repeat for the other bottles, strain out the yeast if you prefer. Screw the lids on and set aside at room temperature (by your brewing vessel) for 1 – 3 days, burping the bottles to release carbonation and prevent explosions daily!
- Move bottles to the fridge as they reach your desired carbonation/flavour. Colder temperature in the fridge will significantly slow down fermentation due to flavouring. Enjoy once chilled!