Using The Batch Method to Brew Kombucha

Kombucha is an absolute must have if you’re trying to be health conscious. The fermented tea has numerous health benefits, doing wonders for your digestion as well as your mood, and has many ways to brew and enjoy it. There are a few tried and true methods to brewing your own kombucha, one of them being the batch method.

Check out the following excerpt from Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond which details how to master this method at home, so you can get started! Good luck and enjoy!

Using The Batch Method to Brew Kombucha

Kombucha Method 1: Batch

The batch method is ideal for first-time kombucha brewers, as it allows you to bottle and refresh a new batch of kombucha each week, in moderate proportions (which you can increase and decrease as you see fit). It’s also the best method for experimental kombuchas, such as that  coffee kombucha or rooibos kombucha you’re dying to try, where the brew may not propagate beyond a few generations. Some people prefer the batch method regardless.

YIELD: 1 QUART (1 L)

1 quart (1 L) filtered water
1 tablespoon (5 g) loose-leaf tea,
or 2 tea bags
1⁄4 cup (50 g) sugar
1⁄4 cup (60 ml) mature kombucha liquid
1 healthy kombucha SCOBY

Boil 1 pint (500 ml) of water in a small pot over high heat. Remove from the heat, add the tea, and let steep for at least 5 minutes.

Remove the tea leaves or bags. Add the sugar and stir with a wooden spoon until dissolved. Add the remaining 1 pint (500 ml) of room temperature water.

Once the sweetened tea has cooled to body temperature or below, transfer to a large glass jar with a wide mouth, leaving at least 3 inches (8 cm) of space on top. Add the kombucha liquid and place the SCOBY on top of the liquid (if it sinks, that’s okay). Cover the jar with a clean cloth, kitchen towel, paper towel, or coffee filter and secure it with a rubber band. Write the brewing date on a piece of masking tape and stick it to the outside of the jar.

Let it sit at warm room temperature, between 75°F and 85°F (24°C and 30°C), if practical. How long your kombucha needs to brew depends on ambient temperature. It can take 5 days in warm weather or 2 to 4 weeks when it’s cold. (There are ways to accelerate brewing under colder conditions by keeping your kombucha warm. Generally, they involve using a heater or insulation.

If you have a cold stone countertop, try putting a mat under your brewing vessel.)

During the brewing, a new SCOBY may form on top of the jar, above the old SCOBY. Once a reasonably thick new SCOBY has formed to cover the top part of the liquid, the kombucha is well on its way to being ready. Taste it, using a clean ladle; it should be tart. If it’s still too sweet, wait another day or two and taste it again.

Some people, including many new kombucha enthusiasts, will prefer a sweeter, milder kombucha. Long time kombucha consumers usually ferment it longer for a stronger, more acidic taste. There is a direct inverse relation between sugar content (sweetness) and acid content (sourness/strong flavor) because sugar is transformed into acid by fermentation. The longer the fermentation, the sourer the batch.

Once the kombucha has reached the desired flavor, put the SCOBY aside with a bit of the liquid. Pour the finished kombucha through a strainer and bottle it in glass bottles, Mason jars, or BPA-free plastic bottles. Cap it, optionally leave it out a day or two if you want effervescence, and refrigerate it.

To make a new batch of kombucha, repeat the same process using your SCOBY and reserved liquid as a starter. If you don’t want to start a new batch immediately, don’t strain off and bottle the liquid—just leave it as is. The kombucha will become more and more vinegary. It can be left this way for a couple of months, depending  on temperature and other conditions—just make sure to top it off with sweet tea if the liquid level gets too low.

When you are ready to start a new batch of kombucha, strain off the kombucha vinegar, use it as you would use any  other vinegar, and start from the top. (Using vinegary kombucha as the starter for a new batch is fine.)

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Kombucha, Kefir, and BeyondFermented foods have taken the world by storm, largely due to their health and real food benefits. They help improve digestion, enable us to better assimilate vitamins and minerals, and strengthen the immune system.

Of all fermented foods, drinks are some of the most versatile—and tasty! Think kombucha, kefir, and real ginger ale. Many of these items you can buy in the store, but making them at home is simple, economical, and even better for you. With just a few ingredients and materials, you can start brewing your own delicious beverages for your family. Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond is packed with innovative drink recipes, from healthy homemade sodas to traditional kvass and cider, that you can make in your home kitchen and enjoy all year long!

Inside, you’ll learn:
–Why to ferment your drinks
–The history of fermentation and the value of traditional foods
–The benefits of fermented drinks to your health
–All the basics: the process, the tools, and how to get started
–Five-minute recipes for lassis, fermented lemonade, and more
–How to use starters to make kombucha, kefir, root beer, wine, and others again and again
–Age-old recipes for kvass, switchel, vinegar, and mead
–Everything you need to know about why the recipes work, why they are safe, what to do if they go wrong, and how to modify them to suit your taste

Raise a glass to good health with Kombucha, Kefir, and Beyond.