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Homebrew Kombucha

I’ve been wanting to get more fermented/probiotic foods in my diet, but I’m not very fond of yogurt. I’ve been plotting various ways to add sauerkraut and maybe kimchi, if I can find some good sources, but in the mean time I’ve fallen in love with kombucha, probably because I can get it at almost any convenience store within a few blocks of my office. (Yeah, I work in San Francisco. Sometimes it’s more obvious then others.) Unfortunately it costs more than $2 per bottle, so it was turning into an expensive habit, despite being one of those things that can be made in bulk at home pretty cheaply.

So this weekend I dragged myself out to a kombucha making class, and dragged myself back home again with a SCOBY and starter tea, as well as a 3″ diameter mesh tea ball and a blend of black and green loose leaf teas. I went out and procured a water filter and a 1.5 gallon glass container, and I was ready to go! Step one, make sweet tea:

boiling water, a task I feel pretty confident with.

That 3″ mesh tea holder is huge, but it was easier to deal with than a whole bunch of tea bags:

And then I waited for forever so it could cool down to room temperature...

Sweet tea in the big glass jar, starter tea and SCOBY in the smaller jar is about to join it:

(The SCOBY is hard to see in this picture, but it's very weird and spongy looking.)

And then it sits for three weeks in the corner of the kitchen:

Rubber band, tea towel... very high tech.

Maybe it’ll make friends with the butternut squash. Or maybe it’ll die a horrible death. Everything I’ve been told is these things are very hard to mess up, but if anyone can find a way, I can! I guess I’ll know in a few weeks. In the mean time I need to procure some bottles for the “second fermentation”…