The Birth of a Brewmaster

While I can’t exactly claim to be a brewmaster yet, I’m starting a journey of kombucha brewing. Maybe we should call me a brewnovice? It’s a labor of love. I do really like the taste of kombucha, but often don’t drink it because of the cost. It’s a special treat for me. However, my husband is fully addicted to the flavored, fermented tea full of healthy probiotics. It takes a solid chunk of our grocery budget each week to keep him supplied with his favorite GT’s brews.

So, why kombucha? The main attraction is the beneficial bacteria in the tea that are thought to promote a healthy gut biome. This begins with the SCOBY, or symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, which is introduced into sweetened green or black tea. My scoby has bacteria from GT’s, but has also likely pulled from my home’s environment to grow. It’s kind of like growing a sourdough starter.

Kombucha starts by simply brewing some black tea with sugar.

Inspired by some of my friends, I decided to give it a go with brewing. I’ve been using instructions from The Kitchn to grow my own scoby and brew my first round of kombucha. I used GT’s original as my starter for both. I’m using a glass party drink dispenser for brewing, which has created quite a large scoby from my original baby! The good news is at this size, I can brew a double batch next go round.

My original scoby grown in a one gallon jar.
My scoby grew to fit its new brewing home!
This is what my scoby looks like now, seen here waiting to be returned to the glass container to brew a second batch.
You can see the smaller scoby attached to the new growth.

This first round, though, I brewed to the letter from the original instructions for the first ferment. I flavored it with pureed pineapple, bottling it in glass with swing tops for its second ferment for carbonation. (Thanks to my friend Amy for the recommendation for the Yeboda bottles off of Amazon; these are really nice!) I’m hoping this turns out well! I guess I’ll know in 3 days…

I pureed some canned pineapple from Aldi to flavor my first batch.

I’ve already got my next batch brewing, which I have doubled from the original recipe, and I’m already thinking of ways to get creative with flavors. I might try using a compote. My favorites are strawberry lemon, followed by blueberry. I’d get both the fresh fruit and a bit of sugar to sweeten the mix and fuel the carbonation in the second ferment.

Kombucha bottled for its second ferment.

Are you a fan of kombucha? Do you brew it at home? I’d love to hear about it! As always, I hop you all are happy and healthy.

Published by annecreates

I am a physical therapist, wife, mom, runner, artist, and vegan. I'm passionate about helping others find wellness, speaking about the human experience, and in fighting for social justice. Assistant Coach for the Sports Backers Marathon Training Team. Current ambassador for: Boco Gear, SaltStick, SPIbelt, Goodr, Noxgear, and Switch4Good.

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