You don’t need a lot to make a batch of kombucha; all it takes is water, sugar, tea, and a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. What, you don’t have symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast? Don’t worry, we’re going to grow one.
It’s called a SCOBY for short, but can also be known as the Mother or the Mushroom. It is not in anyway a mushroom but a colony of bacteria and yeast that live in harmony together, eating sugar and turning it into the acids, vitamins, and enzymes that make kombucha so tasty and healthy. A scoby looks like a nasty gewy pancake:
You can buy a scoby on the internet, beg one from a booch-brewing friend, or you can grow one at home from a bottle of store-bought kombucha, like me!
It’s like the “I’m gonna leave this at the back of the fridge” science experiment you always wanted to conduct as a kid but your mum would make you throw out just as your results were getting interesting. Oh, did you not attempt gross science experiments as a kid? Okay then, its like a magic trick.
What you need:
- 1 bottle of store bought kombucha with a lot of sediment
(you can drink the top 2/3s)
- organic black tea
- white sugar
- a mason jar, a dish cloth, a rubber band
- a belief in magic or science (preferably both)
What you do:
- bring 1 cup of water to boil, remove from heat
- add 2 tablespoons of white sugar, stir to dissolve
- add 2 bags of organic black tea
- remove tea bags after about 5 min
- cool completely, pour into a clean glass jar
- add kombucha tea
- cover with a cloth and seal with the rubber band
- wait & watch as your scoby grows until 1/4 inch thick
(between 1 and 2 weeks)
And just like that, I have my very own kombucha Mother! This little scoby is going to make me a whole lot of delicious bubbly healthy goodness. All it will take is a bit more time, tea, and a plethora of microbial fermentation, oxidation, and cellulose synthesis reactions! … I mean *magic*.
TIP: rinse your hands with distilled white vinegar when handling the Mother to keep her clean and healthy. You can rinse your jar with vinegar too.