Health and Wellness, Recipes, Uncategorized

How to Brew Kombucha at Home

Brewing Kombucha at Home

Makes approx. 1 gallon

You will need…

  • 3 1/2 quarts water
  • 1 cup of sugar (regular white “table” sugar is fine)
  • 8 bags black tea (or 2 tablespoons loose tea)
  • 2 cups of starter tea from last batch of kombucha or from a friend
  • 1 SCOBY for each jar (a SCOBY is NOT a must – the starter tea IS!)
  • Stovetop pot to make the tea
  • 1-gallon glass jar (I use old 1 gallon pickle jars…wash them well and let them air out for about a week before)
  • Tightly woven cloth (like clean cloth napkins or towels), coffee filters, or paper towels to cover the jar (I use a rubber band to keep my coffee filters/paper towels in place)
  • Bottles for the “booch” when it is done brewing – I use wide mouth Mason Jars (for everything!) I normally use (3) one-quart jars (you’ll need to save 2 cups for the next batch)
  • Small funnel (optional, good is you use smaller neck bottles)
  • Large stainless steel strainer (optional – I strain my kombucha when I bottle it and when I pour a glass!)

 

Instructions

*** Avoid contact between #allthingsmetal and your kombucha during and after brewing. It could affect the flavor of your kombucha.


How to make the tea…     

 **(if you are a southerner, you already know how to do this!)

Bring the water to a boil. Take the water off the heat and add the sugar, stir until it dissolves. Drop in the tea (bags or loose) and allow it to steep until the water cools. When the tea has cooled off, remove the tea bags or strain the loose tea from the pot, pour the sweet tea in your gallon jar, and then stir in the starter tea – be sure to use a wooden spoon (plastic will work but I prefer wooden when stirring Kombucha😉 )

booch1Adding the SCOBY: Pick up the SCOBY (use CLEAN hands to avoid any bad bacteria getting in your tea – yeah…it’s slimy too so don’t drop it!) and gently slide it into the jar. Cover the mouth of the jar with a few layers of tightly-woven cloth, coffee filters, or paper towels and secure it with a rubber band. I have found that coffee filters work best – especially when I write the start date of the brew on the filter!

 booch2

 

Fermentation time!

Keep the jar at room temperature (in the winter time you can buy flat heat strips or use a small string of non-LED clear lights – it needs to stay between 70-80 degrees), out of direct sunlight, and where it won’t get bumped.  Let it ferment for 7 to 10 days, checking the taste daily starting about day 6 (you can lift the “lid” and sneak a straw under the SCOBY and pull out a little “booch” in the straw to taste it)

 

booch3

It’s not unusual for the SCOBY to float at the top, bottom, or even sideways during fermentation. A new transparent looking layer of SCOBY should start forming on the surface of the Kombucha in a few days. It usually attaches itself to the old SCOBY, but if it doesn’t it’s ok!!! You may also see brown stringy “tentacles” floating under the SCOBY, or some collecting at the bottom of your jar, and bubbles collecting around the SCOBY. These are all signs that the fermentation is happening and it’s perfectly normal.

 

Bottling Time!

Wash your hands thoroughly and then lift the SCOBY out of the kombucha and put it on a clean plate. If it is getting too thick, you can pull the bottom layer (or two) off.

 

booch4

 

Using a glass measuring cup, pour 2 cups of kombucha into glass bowl or Mason Jar to save for your next batch.  The rest of the “booch” you can strain (you don’t have to if you don’t mind the “sediment”) into glass bottles or jars for storage (again, I use wide mouth mason jars).  **Note:  never use plastic bottles to brew or store your Kombucha!

 

booch5

Putting your Kombucha in the fridge at this point stops any more fermentation.  You should have a little bit of fizz from this 1st fermentation and if you are going to flavor and do a second fermentation, do not refrigerate! Your bottled and refrigerated Kombucha is good for about a month or so in the fridge.

With your reserved starter tea, start the process all over again to you’re your next batch of Kombucha Tea!!!!

booch6

 

And there you have it…Home Brewed Kombucha!  Enjoy !!!

 

Until next time…

Blessings,

~ Heather

 

 

 

 

Health and Wellness

Diets, oh my!!!!

I truly think that diets are the new craze!  There are TONS of diets floating around out there – which one do we choose?  Are any of them the “right” diet?

I don’t think that these “new” diets are really dieting…they are more of an eating habit than a diet, which in itself is a good thing!  We could all probably stand to change our eating habits to a healthier lifestyle!  Check out some of the “eating lifestyles” we have to choose from today…

Image result for list of diets

There is seriously a “Hay Diet”???  And what in the world would you eat on a Prison Loaf diet?  Or do I really want to know?

What do we do with all of this indecisive diet planning – do I eat meat or do I not eat meat?  Do I eat fat, or not eat fat?  Do I eat lots of protein, or just a little protein?  Do I…you get my drift.

So, I have come up with the Oily Homestead Diet!  Our meals “normally” consist of healthier foods – no fried food, minimal salt, good fats, veggies, tuna (hubby doesn’t like fish but I could eat fish daily!), organic/free range chicken, grassfed/organic beef on occasion, and fruits, especially the berry family fruits – although I have been “addicted” to oranges recently!

We have cut back on the amount of gluten and sugar we eat because I do believe that gut health determines your overall physical and emotional wellness!  Gluten and sugar are not “gut friendly” so therefore we (we in this case means more “I” than “we”) try to stay away from both as much as possible.  My dear hubby is diabetic so he already eats a {mostly} sugar free diet.

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Basically, we try to eat healthy foods.  Foods that are low in “bad” fats, low in sugar, minimal gluten, and mostly lean protein.  We don’t drink milk {we just don’t like it} but we do eat yogurt, cottage cheese, and a lot of “real” cheese, so we are obviously not “dairy free”! That’s pretty much our “diet”!  Personally, I honestly believe that we need to take care of the temple God gave us, but being obsessed about what goes IN to our body is, in my opinion, unhealthy.  We need “treats” sometimes, we need to be able to eat that piece of cake at a birthday party and not beat ourselves up about it for days, we should be able to splurge now and then by getting dessert on date night.  We need to actually enjoy life while we are here, while at the same time, eating healthy foods so we can hang out here a little longer than if we didn’t eat those healthy foods!  Does that make sense?

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For a little extra gut boost, we take a really good probiotic, I drink kombucha first thing in the morning before anything else goes in my gut (fermented foods are an excellent natural probiotic !), we stay away from taking any antibiotics unless it’s a life threatening necessity!  We do also eat prebotic foods like onions, garlic, and oatmeal, apples and  bananas.

I’d love to hear about YOUR eating plan!!!  I’m always up for new and better ideas!

Until next time…

~ Blessings

Heather