Two weeks ago I shared my first foray brewing Kombucha with a GetKombucha Continuous Brew Kit. For two weeks our Kombucha has been brewing and yesterday we finished it off by bottling it and also flavoring it. Flavoring is entirely optional…the Kombucha tastes incredible on its own, but we like to jazz up some of our batches to create new flavors. Then we drink it throughout the day instead falling back on things like soda or sugary juice. We also take it with us in school and work lunches for a tasty, healthy drink on the go.
Our process is pretty simple. We allow our Kombucha to ferment for about 14-16 days usually, giving it a taste around day ten to see where we are at. When it is brewed to our liking we bottle it in glass jars that used to contain store bought Kombucha. They are the perfect size and we love reusing items when we can instead of tossing them in the recycling bin. We have about 4-5 dozen bottles because we typically brew 2-3 gallons a week . This provides a steady supply of Kombucha for the whole family.
Once the Kombucha is done and we know we will be bottling it we decide if we will flavor it and how. We also add chia seeds most of the time…extra flavor, extra filling, and we love the texture. First we brew up some flavored tea (peach this time around) and we put the chia seeds in it to plump and soak up the tea.
If we put them directly in the bottles we find that they clump together so a pre-soaking works better and they will absorb the flavor of the tea. You can also add juice to this mixture as well for extra flavoring. We added some tart organic cherry juice to ours and it complimented the peach tea very nicely. We like to experiment with a variety of flavored teas and organic juices.
Once the chia seeds have soaked for a bit we use a funnel to put them in our glass bottles. The gloopy, globby mixture settles down at the bottom.
Then it is time for the Kombucha and thanks to this new brew kit we can pour it directly from the spigot. This makes it much easier for us! Fill each bottle, seal them, and put them in the fridge for drinking throughout the week. The photo below is just some of the jars we bottled. A few them just had the peach tea chia seeds and others had the added cherry juice, hence the variation in colors. All were delicious!
Before we even started the bottling process though we brewed some more tea for another batch. Last week we made a gallon in our new kit but this week we filled it up (2 gallons). The scoby is now happily swimming around in a fresh batch of tea and fermenting away until we begin the bottling process again, in two weeks or so. The batch from this week provided us with a baby scoby as well. I typically save them for making extra batches as needed or I sell them locally for $5 a piece. I also compost them along with the loose tea or tea bags (depending on what we used). This is pretty much a waste free process.
Monday, March 31st, 2014