Friday, 3 January 2014

Happy New Kombucha !!!

We're starting a new year, welcome, 2014!

I haven't written resolutions per se but do have several goals in mind for this year of divinity, (add up 2+0+1+4 = 7, the divine number!)  life and family.

Some of my health objectives include:
  • drinking more water;
  • remineralizing my body, I'm trying this product instead of a multivitamin (two pregnancies back to back took their toll on me!);
  • continue to heal my gut and keep it healthy (that's where kombucha comes in with its inexpensive source of probiotics);
  • avoid toxic ingredients including but not limited to sugar, gluten and artificial food;
  • follow a "sadhana" (daily practice i.e. meditation, yoga); and finally,
  • fit exercise into my busy schedule.
I first learned about kombucha online. I posted a few things to Facebook about it and turned out my friend Anne-Louise was already experimenting with a dehydrated SCOBY she had purchased at a local health food store. (La boite √† grains in Hull). She messaged me this article and gifted me a SCOBY baby, at least six months ago, who has since become my mother - haha 

Anne-Louise and I at our first festival, offering kombucha (August 2014)

Here are some fabulous kombucha "how to" sites:

Anne-Louise came back on New Year's Eve, we drank kombucha and she introduced me to mulled wine. It was a fun visit! She said she is impressed with my experimenting. I wanted her to taste the kombucha in its most natural state so it wasn't flavoured.

This picture is of homemade ginger ale, the first jar is flavoured with lemongrass, then raspberry and the third is original ginger. If it were kombucha, it would look pretty much the same. It's just difficult to produce this large quantity of kombucha at one time unless you have a bunch of SCOBYs. Once flavor elements are added, fermentation can continue at room temperature, jars covered, and you might get some carbonation. a day or two later remove the flavourings and refrigerate (you can also use juice).
So, there are a couple of ways to brew kombucha, which in essence, is a fermented sweet tea (the process has similarities to brewing beer and wine as well as homemade ginger ale which is also a probiotic drink easy to make at home). With kombucha, each time a new brew is started, technically, a new SCOBY should form. In my case, that hasn't happened which is why I hadn't written about kombucha here until now. My New Year's brew has formed a SCOBY so I'm excited to share these perhaps disgusting pictures with you.

PS: I'm having a lot of fun writing this.

It takes a month to a month and a half for the kombucha to taste how I really like it. I keep it at the top of the kitchen cupboard for that time, with a coffee filter tied on with an elastic to allow the air to circulate and to prevent dust from entering what use to be a pickle jar.

SCOBY formed at the top of the liquid - mine has a bubble. because of it's appeareance, some refer to kombucha as "mushroom tea" but the SCOBY is a live yeast and bacterial culture, not necessarily a fungus.
there is a yeast deposit which I keep from one fermented batch to the next as I think it accelerates the process. Strings of yeast will form beneath the SCOBY as well.

These are required instruments, I like that I did not need to purchase new equipment. Avoid metal and soap (fuller instructions are found within links mentioned above) I'm only offering general lines.
colled down sweet tea is in the background for starting a fresh batch. What you see on the right is what we drank on December 31st! a good portion of the liquid stays in the jar as I use the continuous brew method.

As it ferments, the sweet tea and SCOBY should be left untouched in a warm airy location, protected from contaminants such as dust. Instructions I read said to use one cup of sugar but since I like the slight vinegary taste, I use 3/4 cup sugar when I start a new batch. I use raw apple cider vinegar and water (we're on a well) to clean the jar but I don't do it each time. Thus far, my kombucha has not been bubbly / carbonated.

My favourite flavourings have been:
  • rose petals,
  • lemongrass,
  • green apple,
  • blueberry, and
  • power kombucha (cocoa nibs, crushed bee pollen and maca)
I didn't enjoy as much as I had anticipated, the following:
  • green grape. or
  • raspberry
What's almost as fun as discovering a new SCOBY is watching my children chug down this probiotic home brew. We almost fight for it.

Here's a toast to your health in 2014 and beyond! Have you some healthy resolutions?


I hope you enjoyed this article, here's where else you can find me:

Nathalie Beaupre
Facebook Raw or Gluten Free Fan Page
Facebook Healthy Active Lifestyle Fan Page
Why Am I Perfect? Facebook Group dedicated to my published book
Canadian Healers Network on Facebook
Connect with me on Twitter @HealthyActiveLi
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