Some time ago we decided to start making Kombucha to see how we liked it. An experiment so to speak. I’ve never tried it before this and was a bit afraid because it was my understand that it can be a bit vinegary, and I’m not really a fan of the taste of vinegar. But none-the-less I wanted to give it a try because of the tremendous health benefits of Kombucha. I’m not going to get into all of that in this post. There are so many websites out there specifically to tell you all the wonderful benefits and I would just be duplicating all that information. But I will say that Kombucha’s number one reported health benefit is detoxifying the body and fighting/preventing cancer. It’s a fermented beverage full of enzymes and probiotics, which means it helps digestion. I found this great post which further talks about the health benefits of this amazing beverage.
We started out with a single jar from the local health food store. Put it in a mason jar and covered it with cheese cloth. The first time failed because we didn’t read the jar carefully enough to see that it was pasteurized. So the second time around worked beautifully. I don’t have pics of that first jar, but out of that first jar we got this:
Looks pretty funky, huh?
The first picture is what’s inside the large canister in the 2nd pic. We took some of the liquid out and added it to three smaller jars and this is what they look like when they start to grow:
You see quite a few bubbles and a film starts to form across the top. THAT, my friends, will be your Kombucha “shroom” or “mother”.
We make ours with green tea and regular white sugar (the cheap stuff). Normally I buy really good quality turbinado sugar, but Kombucha seems to like the cheap stuff better. Happy Herbalist is a great website filled with lots of great info on Kombucha and what to do it if yours gets too sour.
Recently we outgrew this set up and now our production looks like this:
The larger two gallon container is working great so far. And we’ve got three mothers or “starters” in the smaller mason jars to the right, that are looking beautiful.
These “starters” have been growing for a few months now and are ready to be separated in several more jars.
We’re considering selling the extra Kombucha we produce as well as starters if anyone is interested. The new set up actually has the potential to produce way more than we can drink and with just one more large container we could produce a few cases each week on top of what we consume.
Now, for someone who doesn’t really enjoy the taste of vinegar much ~ I can assure you that this stuff is delicious! I can’t drink it when it gets too strong from sitting idle for too long. But when that happens I just pour a jar’s worth into a nice relaxing bath. You see it’s also healthy for your skin whether applied from the inside or from the outside.
If you decide to grow your own Kombucha mushroom you’ll need to make sure it gets enough air. Notice that we do not have our sealed shut. We’ve taken the ring part of the mason jar lids and secured cheese cloth for a lid with it. This way no buggers can get in to contaminate it and it gets the air it needs. The bubbles will build up under the mushroom after it gets a little bigger, so make sure you keep it pushed down so it doesn’t dry out. Other than that, keep it out on your counter and watch it grow. We replenish ours about every day or so as we drink it down with fresh sweetened tea.