Kombucha is a fermented drink made out of sweetened black or green tea. This slightly fizzy, sweet, and sour beverage has recently gained popularity for its health benefits. The main step in the kombucha making process is fermentation. Add the symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast known as SCOBY at the base of the sweetened black or green tea to set off this reaction. The rest is up to your creativity. Enhance your kombucha with artificial or natural additives depending on the flavor you want to achieve.
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Ferment your kombucha at room temperature for up to 14 days
The brewing process of Kombucha starts with brewing a big batch of black and green tea in non-chlorinated boiling water. In a brew tank, this tea blend is sweetened with sugar, which will act as the feed of bacteria and yeast. Cool this sweetened tea blend and add SCOBY, a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, for the fermentation process. Then transfer this concoction to sterilized jars with the previous batch of fermented kombucha. This process of including the previous batch is called “backslopping” fermentation process, and this method is often utilized when fermenting kombucha or yogurt. Cover the jars or the containers with a tightly woven yet breathable cloth and rubber bands. This tea blend then undergoes a fermentation process for 10-14 days in a room temperature setting.
After this period, remove SCOBY, strain this fermented kombucha, and contain them in bottles. Then kombucha undergoes the second fermentation process at a lower temperature (4℃) for a few more days. During this process, mix the fermented kombucha with sugar or fruit and vegetable concentrates depending on the flavor of the drinks.
Key to the Kombucha fermentation process - SCOBY
To brew a good kombucha, the drink has to go through two different types of fermentation processes. For the first and the primary fermentation process of brewing kombucha, a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, so-called SCOBY, is considered an essential ingredient. Each of these circular jelly-looking houses of bacteria and yeast has different residents. This means, technically, the microbial elements of SCOBYs are different. Yet, they commonly have osmophilic yeast, which is accommodated in high sugar concentrations, and acetic acid bacteria (Acetobacteraceae) that oxidize sugar or alcohol and create acetic acid. Through this fermentation process, SCOBY allows the kombucha to have a fizzy and sour taste as it breaks the sugar into acids, CO2, and alcohol.
Your kombucha has to burp as well!
Just like little babies, you need to make sure your baby kombucha is burping once in a while. Due to the amount of carbon dioxide generated during the second fermentation process, the kombucha container will be full of gas. To prevent over-carbonation of your kombucha and just to check on your baby once in a while, you should open the jars probably every day during the fermentation process!