Monday, May 20, 2013

Kombucha - First try!

Like I promised here is the result of my very first batch of Kombucha. I followed the recipe I had and fermented a total a 12 days, but I was told in my course to taste after 7 days and see if you like the taste, if it need more tea, more tisane or sugar. You can add stuff during the process like that.

Did the first mix on May 5, tasted on May 12, decided not to add anything and leave until May 17 and then filtered and put in 3 glass container like the one in the pic (this is like the milk bottles in the old days, you can get that in a dollar store) closed the lid decided to put maple sirup in two of the  containers and one with vanilla (I had to leave this one one more day to ferment it wouldn't get the right taste - tasted it today and put it in the fridg, I still prefer the ones with maple sirup) and left for another 24 to 48 hours to get more of the tiny fizz factor (known as the 'second' fermentation).

I am amazed at the taste I ended up with!! I just love it. Word of caution about Kombucha, drink a little each day. People who are used to it drink much more but their body are now used to it. Go slow (or you'll end up going a bit more to the bathroom - nothing drastic but why chance it hum)

Ingredients (4 liter container - like a big jar of olives I got mine at the dollar store)

*A word about sugar: use simple sugars like cane sugar (no white sugar obviously), the mother needs to feed from a simple source of sugar. Any kind of sugary taste you want to put in, like maple sirup, can be added in the end.

3 liter filtered water
500 ml boiled water
3 table spoon (8g) black tea (or green)
3 table spoon (8g) of any tisane you like (that is what is going to give it taste - I used Midsummer night's dream sold at David's Tea, that is what I use all summer to make ice tea so I just had to try it)
190ml to 250 ml of sugar*
350 ml of Kombucha starter
1 'mother' Kombucha

INSTRUCTIONS (I would recommend reading the book (pic on the right in my blog) or other sources to better accomplish this. What you are about to read is my own translation of the instruction I was given. For those who are willing,  French version at the end of this post.

  1. Start by preparing a quick infusion of your tea to get rid of the after taste. 
  2. Infuse the tea and tisane with 500 ml of boiled water (I didn't have more information than that so I followed the time on the David's Tea for time). Filter.
  3. Add sugar when your infusion is ready and the water is a bit warm.
  4. Ad 3 liters of old filtered warted (or a bit warm is ok too).
  5. Ad 350 starter, it can be the starter from Crudessence - or any other healthfood store - or from a batch you made before or a friend (see below).
  6. When the mix is at room temperature add the 'mother'.
  7. Do not go over the shoulder of your container (it's going to expand)
  8. Put a clean fabric over that let air pass but not any kind of dust (if you press the fabric over your mouth and can still breath it's ok) fix with a string or rubber band
  9. Put in a dry environment (temp should be more then 18  - best between 23 to 26C). Kombucha should not be in contact with light, a wardrobe would be fine, I decided for my pantry way in the back but my pantry is pretty deep. Wait for 10 to 15 days (like I said before, I was told you can taste after 7 days and decide)
  10. TASTE. this is the best way to get a feel of where it's at. When acidity is adequate (mine smelled alot like vinegar the firs time I smelled so I left it a couple days more), filter, TAKE OUT AND KEEP MOTHER WITH A BIT OF THE LIQUID, bottle and close hermetically and leave at room temperature a couple days more.
  11. TASTE. If effervescence, sugar and acidity level is to your taste... it's ready!
Keep in the fridge. At each step you can decide to add sugar, thea, tisane or water or even more of the starter.  DO NOT trow out the 'mother' Kombucha, it can be used for other batches. 

About the 'mother' and its children:  in the process of making the Kombucha, a white (or slightly yellow or other depending of what you put in) layer is going to form on top (it can become sideways or whatever way it's ok) this is a new 'mother' forming, leave it!  You can keep mother and child in a jar, some people keep the new mother, others keep everything. After a while, you end up with alot of mothers, lols. So that's why people who make Kombucha can easily give you a chunk of their mother for you to start your own fermentation.


*Pour le Kombucha, il faut utiliser un sucre simple! Bien que l'idée du sirop d'érable ou du nectar d'agave est attirante, la maman Kombucha doit avoir un sucre simple à digérer. Utiliser du sucre de canne biologique de préférence. Le sirop d'érable pourra être ajouté à la fin pour donner du goût!


3 litre eau filtrée
500 ml eau bouillante
3 c table (8g) thé noir (ou vert)
3 c. table (8g)  tisane au choix (pour le goût)
190 ml à 250 ml sucre*
350 ml Kombucha, en tant que démarreur
1 'maman' Kombucha

  1. Faire d'abord une première infusion du thé pour enlever l'amertume en utilisant un sac à lait de noix pour le filtrer.
  2. Faire infuser le thé et la tisane dans 500 ml d'eau bouillante. Filtrer.
  3. Ajouter le sucre lorsque votre infusion est complétée et que l'eau est encore tiède.
  4. Ajouter 3 litres d'eau filtrée froide ou légèrement tiède
  5. Ajouter 350 ml de démarreur, soit le kombucha de Crudessence ou votre propre kombucha de votre brassage précédent
  6. Quand le mélange est à température ambiante, ajouter la maman.
  7. Ne pas dépasser l'épaule de votre bouteille (lors de la fermentation, le contenu prend de l'expansion).
  8. Re ouvrir d'un tissu qui laisse passer l'air, mais le moins de poussière possible.
  9. Entreposer dans un endroit sec et propre dont la température est de plus de 18C (optimal entre 23C et 26C). Le kombucha ne devrait pas être exposé à la lumière, vous pouvez le faire fermenter dans un garde-robe. Attendre de 10 à 15 jours.
  10. GOÛTER. il s'agit de votre meilleur repère. Lorsque le niveau d'acidité est satisfaisant, embouteiller, fermer hermétiquement et conserver quelques jours à la température de la pièce
  11. GOÛTER. Si le niveau d'effervescence, de sucre et d'acidité vous convient... c'est prêt!
À conserver au réfrigérateur. Vous pouvez, à chaque étape, décider d'ajouter du sucre, du thé, de la tisane, de l'eau ou du 'démarreur'! Ne jetez pas la maman kombucha, elle peut être réutilisée pour vos prochains brassages!

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