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Kombucha

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Has anyone tried this? Kombucha fermented tea. Maybe it's not tea. I don't know. There’s a bunch of wild health claims on the label, but I just drink it for the taste and the pick-me-up. It’s fizzy and sour – I like the ginger version which tastes like a really sour ginger ale.

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...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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I used to make kombucha but ended up with more of it than I could use back then. I drink GTs probably 3-4 times a week and usually notice an uplifting effect. But whereas a lot of people hate the stuff, I really like the taste. It's effervescent and only faintly sweet, kind of champagney. I'd rather have it than a can of fizzy corn syrup any day.

Pricier than soda by a lot, though.

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You used to make your own? Is it labor-intensive? Is the finished product similar to GT's?

I wish it wasn't so pricey here. 2 bottles for $5 limits me to one per week.


...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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it is very easy to make your own. start with 1 bottle of plain gts. put it in a white mouth jar, cover with a papertowel or piece of cloth and a rubber band and let it sit someplace out of the sun that is warm and clean and undisturbed. avoid places with smoke, incense, mold, etc., because they can mess up the culture.

in 1-2 weeks a nice culture will grow. it is usually a sort of creamy white. when it's 1/4 to 1/2" thick you can start brewing.

make just under 1 gallon of tea. most ppl use green tea, but i love using a mix of decaf green and herb teas, especially hibiscus. strain the tea, add one cup of sugar. i use raw sugar and it works fine. when the tea has cooled to luke warm add the culture and the leftover gts. cover with a papertowel or cloth and set in a warm undisturbed place for 7-14 days. within 24-48 hours there should be little bubbles forming, showing it is fermenting.

i use a sun tea jar so i can check the taste without disturbing the culture. start checking after 7 days to see how it tastes. when the balance of tart and sweet is where you like it take out the culture and 1-2 cups of the tea to start a new batch and put the done batch covered airtight in the icebox.

mine seems to get fizzy after it's been chilled and covered about 24 hours. if it stays flat i add a spoonful of sugar and stir well, and it gets fizzy in a day or 2.

i love making it. i haven't noticed health benefits aside from not getting as cold at night when i drink it, but it tastes wonderful. i love it when it's tart and fizzy and glowing red (from the hibiscus). one of my friends calls it fairy tea.

when your culture gets too thick just peel off a layer and use that. sometimes the old culture will sink and a new one will form. you can pass along your extras to someone who needs one (it will still work fine) or store them in some kombucha in a covered container in the icebox as a backup. (if you use hibiscus in your tea, your cultures will be pink, but they work just the same.)

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Wow, I hadn't thought about making it from just a bottle of GTs. I had ordered a starter kit online. Now I'm tempted to do this again.

The only thing I can stress is you can't be too cautious about hygiene. Read up on making it before attempting.

It's more like $3 a bottle here, which seems prohibitive until I realize I routinely pay that or more for a beer or cocktail at a bar or restaurant.

The book Nourishing Traditions talks a lot about kombucha and it's where I first learned about it. Anyone taking the time to learn about kombucha would probably appreciate the other naturally cultured recipes in that book, like lacto-fermented pickles, keffir milk and such.

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Making kombucha was a fad here about 7 years ago - everyone had some on the go. I didn't realise it could be purchased.

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home made kambucha can grow staph amongst other disgusting bacteria's


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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ooh... Make-Your-Own Staph Bacteria. Nice.


...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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I have to qualify this buy saying I was doing a micro class when Kambucha first came out and we plated some and it did grow staph aureus as well as a few others ... maybe it was contaminated ...but ..I dont think so ...this was an advanced class and we were very careful!

we thought it was funny folks called it a mushroom ..yeah mushrooms are fungus and visa versa but this was a fungus blob ..grown on a home made medium in an uncontroled kitchen touted to cure all disease...that was also inhabited by other visiters

as a nurse who feels a particular empathy for people puking...

I was kind of glad to see the cure all fad die and now to see it in ice tea bottles is kind of ..amazing to me


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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just a warning out there, don't get kombucha confused with kombucha (seaweed tea) like I did. I was very confused when I read this thread :/


BEARS, BEETS, BATTLESTAR GALACTICA

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does that tea have the fungus or the seaweed? I know there is a kombu seaweed now I am confused!


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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I thought the tea had the fungus.


...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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I sell a different brand, and its the liquid that forms with the fungus (Dummy's Guide to that explanation). Then they flavor it with stuff... I find that the people who drink it got tired of making their own a decade ago and are older with more money and now want to buy it. It goes into the bag of numerous other products claiming health benefits (which I won't list for the sake of not taking this off-topic). But like I say to my customers, read up on it with as credible sources as you can find, and if you enjoy it, and are willing to spend the money, by all means I'll sell it you :wink:

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I bet the tea you buy then is safe after all it is processed or something I bet and there are "rules" right??? LOL I am thinking of Odwalla now sorry... ..it is just making it on your own that can be risky! but then we make sourdough ...sausage ...bacon ...ceviche....and do fine so whatever

if that tea claims to give you energy I should go buy some now because I am plummeting fast!!!


Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)

why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Tina Fey was talking about Kombucha last night on Letterman. She pointed out that there is alcohol in the finished drink. Perhaps that's the cause of the peppy feeling? :laugh:

I knew about the alcohol, but from what I understand, it is a very low amount. You don't get carded buying it after all. Just thought it was funny in light of these conversations.


Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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There's a little disclaimer on the label about the alcohol, but it is minimal.

Maybe that's why I like it :laugh:


...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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I was drinking my weekend GT's... and noticed a jelly like substance floating around in it that looked for all the world like my vinegar mother. I assume this was a kombucha "mother"? Or am I being optimistic and it was something less benign?


...wine can of their wits the wise beguile, make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --Alexander Pope

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I was drinking my weekend GT's... and noticed a jelly like substance floating around in it that looked for all the world like my vinegar mother.  I assume this was a kombucha "mother"?  Or am I being optimistic and it was something less benign?

You're right. That's the culture!


Danielle Altshuler Wiley

a.k.a. Foodmomiac

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