My favorite health foodie trend is the resurgence of Kombucha, the probiotic beverage that is often referred to as the “elixir of life.” As a habitual “Booch” drinker, I can tell you I have noticed a boost in my immune system, reduced inflammation and improved digestion.
I’ve been brewing my own Kombucha since I discovered the fermented refreshment three years ago. The cost for making an entire gallon of homebrew is close to the cost of a single 12 ounce bottle, averaging about $4/bottle at the health food market.
Every time I introduce a friend to Booch Brewing with my homemade starter kit they usually make a contorted face asking “Is this jellyfish or something? It looks alive.” What they are referring to is the workhorse of brewing, the SCOBY.
The SCOBY ferments sweetened caffeinated tea into Kombucha. SCOBY is an acronym for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast,” indeed, it is alive! To break down it chemically, the SCOBY essentially “eats” the sugar, similar to how animals eat glucose for energy. It creates the biproducts of acetic acid (vinegar), carbon dioxide, and alcohol (generally <1%). The brew yields an effervescent drink, containing organic acids, probiotics, Vitamin C and B-vitamins that act as antioxidants.
Kombucha is an ancient brew dating back to 221 BC during the Qin Dynasty in China, not long after the Great Wall of China was built. It was brought to Japan by a physician named Kombu, which he used the tea widely in his practice for its medicinal properties. Kombucha was termed from a combination of this good doctor’s name and the word for tea, “cha.”
I bought my first and only Kombucha starter kit in July 2014, and have used the same SCOBY since then. When I first purchased, the SCOBY was smaller than a stick of gum. Currently it has the same diameter as a volleyball! This is because the culture grows with every batch made in width and diameter, taking on the shape of its container. Throughout its lifespan, my SCOBY has been shared with a dozen friends, and saturated in various teas as I have worked to perfect my Booch recipe, and battled through a few exploding Booch bottles. Don’t worry, I worked out the kinks for you to prevent further kitchen combustions.
I have consistently selected high quality organic teas and cane sugar for brewing. I do not want to jeopardize the health of my SCOBY with a cheap ingredients coated in pesticides. The key to selecting a tea is that it must contain caffeine that drives the fermentation process. Fit Life Tea is a high quality brand that I confidently use, their product is reputable and manufactured in in the USA. The Energy Tea is a blend of USDA certified organic, naturally caffeinated green tea, yerbe mate, ginsing and stevia, giving a sophisticated flavor over other generic green teas.
Below is the instructions for brewing Fit Life Kombucha. You will find brewing your own Kombucha is creating the ultimate local product. It allows you to tailor the Booch to your tastes, select the best ingredients, and reduce waste in packaging and transportation. A win for your body and the Earth!
Brew Happy, my friends! And as always, live global and stay local.
Fit Life Kombucha
An effervescent health drink loaded with probiotics, antioxidants, beneficial organic acids, Vitamins B and C. Brewed using USDA Organic Fit Life Energy Tea.
Handling your SCOBY: Do not allow metal or high heat to come into contact with your SCOBY. Beware of mold growing on your SCOBY, yeast that appears as brown strings is healthy for your Kombucha brew.
- 6 bags of Fit Life Energy Tea
- 1 gallon water
- 1 cup organic sugar
- Kombucha Starter Kit (Can be purchased at health food store or given by a friend): SCOBY + ½ cup starter liquid (distilled vinegar or Kombucha)
- Optional: Juice or Flavored Tea (such as Fit Life TeaTox)
- 2 gallon glass jar
- 2 quart measuring cup
- Non-metal Mesh Strainer
- Cheesecloth or breathable fabric
- Rubberband or twine
- Funnel for bottling
- 6- 16 oz. glass flip top bottles (can be purchased at Marshalls or Home Goods)
First Batch Directions
- Heat water over stove top and dissolve sugar. Remove from heat.
- Steep Fit Life Energy Tea in water for 5-7 minutes, remove tea bags and cool to room temperature.
- Pour Fit Life Tea into jar, add SCOBY and starter liquid.
- Cover the jar with cloth, secured with a rubber band or twine
- Place Jar in warm, dry area to allow fermentation process to occur for 3-4 weeks.
Second Fermentation Directions
- Using a ladle, remove 3 quarts tea and pass through mesh strainer. Discard extra yeast and young SCOBY filtered out of tea.
- Carefully with a funnel, pour tea into glass flip top bottles, leaving ½ inch space from top. (Optional: If you choose to flavor your tea, fill bottle with ½ cup organic juice or flavored tea before adding Kombucha).
- Allow bottles to sit on counter for 3 days, opening tops once daily to release excess carbon dioxide. This prevents glass bottles from exploding.
- Store bottles in refrigerator to stop further fermentation. Serve chilled or over ice.
Continuous Brew Directions
- With remaining 1 quart of tea in jar, add another batch of 1 gallon sweetened Fit Life Energy Tea (ratio of 1 gallon water: 1 cup sugar: 6 bags of tea).
- Allow to ferment for 7 days.
- Repeat steps for second fermentation process, removing a full gallon of tea for bottling.
- Enjoy your continuous supply of Fit Life Kombucha every 7 days.
Special thanks to Fit Life Tea for the collaboration. Click Here to Buy.