19 Oct Refreshing Kombucha Recipe
Kombucha is a refreshing drink made by fermenting sweet black tea with a living colony of bacteria and yeast. Have a small glass every day in the morning to promote gut health.
To make kombucha, you need a ‘mother’ (can be found on the internet) to build the right colony of yeast and good bacteria to convert the sweet tea into kombucha. The mix needs to be stored in a clay, terracotta or glass vessel. If you use water from the tap, boil it and let it sit for the chemicals to evaporate.
Makes: 5 litres initially but can be topped up indefinitely
5 litres purified water, at room temperature
250g organic black tea
750g raw sugar (basically a 15% mix with the water, keep the ratio the same when topping up)
1 kombucha mother (about 150g)
To store the kombucha, you will need a 5–6 litre terracotta urn with a tap.
Boil 2 litres of purified water and add the tea and sugar. Turn off the heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Strain the tea after 5 minutes (the tea leaves can go in the compost) and mix with the remaining 3 litres of purified water. Ideally, the tea should now be around 37°C, which is the perfect temperature for the bacteria and yeast to populate the tea. Pour the tea into the urn.
Take the mother and add it to the urn along with any liquid that it came with. Stir slowly to incorporate the kombucha from the mother into the tepid tea. Place a cloth over the top of the urn and secure with a rubber band. You will have to wait for a few weeks before the sweet black tea starts to turn and the mother grows until it covers the entire top of the urn. Taste the kombucha, and if it no longer tastes like tea and sugar and is lightly carbonated and acidic, it is ready.
Once you have an established mother, it will only need a few days to turn sweet black tea into kombucha, just keep topping it up with 2–3 litre batches. Pour the new tea straight on top of the mother, just make sure it is at body temperature otherwise it might kill the mother.
Tip: Kombucha is great on its own, but try mixing it with some muddled berries and mint, a nip of ginger juice and plenty of ice.
Recipe from ‘The Blue Ducks’ Real Food’ by Mark LaBrooy and Darren Robertson published by Pan Macmillan.