How to Make Babies
Whoa whoa whoa. Don’t worry, this is not about to be a birds n’ the bees talk. ;)
I’m talking about making kombucha, silly!
Defined: Kombucha is a fizzy, effervescent fermented tea made by adding a strain of bacteria and yeast, called the kombucha mother (also called the kombucha mushroom because of it’s appearance) to sweetened black tea. While fermenting the tea into Kombucha, the mother develops a baby mushroom. :)
Now, don’t freak out. We eat fermented things all the time in day to day life. For instance, pickles, yogurt, sauerkraut and miso are all fermented. The process of fermenting tea into kombucha is similar to fermenting beer or wine. So, kombucha has been known to have trace amount of alcohol in it, but not enough to be detectable, or to get you loosey goosey. :)
Kombucha is raved about for its health claims. It in known for things like increased energy, weight loss, detoxification, better skin/complexion, digestion and boost metabolism. So drink up!
**Some claim it helps cure/rid the body of cancer–but this has not been proven yet.
Making My First Baby
So I set out to make my first batch of kombucha using a kombucha mother given to me by my good foodie friend Erin.
Step 1: Brew it up!
Brew your black tea–I boiled 4 cups of water with three tea bags until the tea boiled.
And don’t forget to stir in 1 cup of sugar!
Step 2: Place tea in a glass container and cool overnight
Step 3: Add the Mama!!
The mama looks like a giant squishy pancake!
Step 4: Cover with a cloth and place in a dark, warm place for 7-10 days
I used a wash cloth and rubberbanded the edge to make sure it stayed on, then placed my kombucha in one of my cabinets I don’t use often.
But I could not wait for such a long time, so I checked on my mama on day 3 to make sure her baby was growing. And it was!
You can also see the tea is a bit lighter. By living in a warm place, the mama and baby are able to grow. The sugar in the brewed tea “feeds” the mama and baby, allowing the tea to ferment and become carbonated.
Around day 8, I checked the kombucha to see if it was ready for bottling. Look for a fizzy, lightly sweet taste. If it is overwhelmingly sweet and not too fizzy, give it a few more days.
Step 5: Remove mama and baby.
Store the mama and baby in the fridge, in separate jars with some of the fresh kombucha.
They are ready to be fridged, until you need one for your next batch. And your baby can become a mama!! :D
Step 6: Bottle!
Pour the remaining kombucha into a bottle. I used bottles from store-bought kombucha I had a few weeks ago. You can add 1/4 cup fruit juice to the bottled kombucha for added flavor. I loved this cran-pomegranate blend!
Step 7: Second fermentation
Second fermentation allows the kombucha to be SUPER fizzy. After bottling, place your kombucha back in the warm, dark spot for another 24 hours. Then transfer to the fridge for 48 hours.
After 48 hours in the fridge, you can finally enjoy it!
The kombucha is like drinking sparkling grape juice, or fizzy fruit punch. I love it as an alternative to soda!
What You Need to Make Your Own Kombucha
- Kombucha mother (Erin got her first mother off craig’s list!)
- 4-8 cups of water
- 4 tea bags
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 glass container
- Cotton towel & rubber band
- 2 jars to store mama and baby
- Fruit juice
Follow the step by step directions above. And let me know how you like it!
**The fermenting process is similar to that which makes vinegar, so don’t be afraid if it smells a little like vinegar for a while. Trust me, it doesn’t taste like vinegar!
Have you ever tried kombucha? Or brewing your own bevearge? What do you think about all this baby-mama craziness?! :)