Success, how sweet it is! Or not, in this case. To succeed in the process of making Kombucha, the culture feeds on the sugar and produces wonderful stuff from it. (This is a better explanation) The point being, the sugar and caffeine are used up in the culturing process.
You may remember a post I did when I first attempted to grow a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast). I ended up pitching that one, because I couldn’t be certain it didn’t contain mold. Never having seen an actual SCOBY, all I had to compare it to were pictures on the internet. Those all look pretty perfect, in my humble opinion, and pretty mine was not. I did save a couple of bottles of the finished product though, and every once in a while I’d take a drink. I think I was trying to convince myself that it really was Kombucha, even though it had a very vinegar-y taste and burned all the way down (and for several minutes afterward). I think it was more “hooch” than “buch.” I finally figured out what I had done wrong. I was trying to grow a SCOBY and make Kombucha all at the same time. By reading this very helpful post by Kristen at Food Renegade, I was able to successfully grow a SCOBY. I ended up following the directions in Nourishing Traditions to actually make the Kombucha. (Not because I didn’t want to use Kristen’s method, but because the NT book was closer than my computer at the time)
After taste testing it a couple of times since I first made it (10 days ago), I decided today that it was ready to bottle and drink. It has the most wonderful taste that I love! It’s much better than the stuff I’d been buying at the store. It’s like a great tasting tea with a slight lemony (or some faint fruit) taste. This is something I will definitely keep up with. The only problem is, it only filled six (16 oz) bottles, so I’m going to have to find some more large (gallon) bottles to brew it in. This way I can have multiple batches going at once. I was kicking myself when I realized I had failed to take ANY pictures of the process and had already transferred the SCOBY to the new brew before I remembered. (This is what happens when you get lazy about blogging) When I took the bottle back out of it’s hiding place in the cabinet, the SCOBY had sank to the bottom. Hopefully, you can see it anyway.
So that’s my success story for Kombucha. Because I’m ready for bed, not blogging, I’m shamefully going to add this link to another blog, recording their Kombucha success. It’s uncanny how their gallon bottle looks exactly like mine and they reused the same 16 oz. bottles I did. In fact, the main difference between their story and mine is I don’t have umbrellas on my straws and my fridge isn’t quite that clean. 😮
Okay, I’ll say it…their SCOBY is kind of funny looking, like mine. I’m working on pretty though, and I just know one day it will be. One last thing. Hubby likes it too and wants me to name it “Karebucha” (pronounced care-bucha). Get it? Karen, Kombucha; Karebucha? (And THIS is what happens when bloggers stay up past their bedtime!)
I’m going to make like my new batch of Kombucha and go curl up in a nice, dark spot…
This blog post is part of Real Food Wednesdays.