Kombucha starter kit

I think it's great that Food52 is promoting homemade kombucha with the starter kit offerred in the store today, but I just wanted to let people know that most people who make kombucha have tons of kombucha "mothers" that they're dying to give away - for free! Every time you make kombucha, the mother reproduces itself, so people who make it a lot end up throwing a bunch of starters away. If anyone in the Bay Area is interested in making kombucha, I have 2 or 3 extra starters in my fridge right now that I'm happy to give away.

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ATG117
ATG117 July 30, 2012

I was about to post a question about the kombucha product. I have heard about all the reasons people drink it, but I'm totally uneducated about the process. If you're willing to give a brief overview, I'm all ears. Otherwise, any good resources for self edification?

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linzarella
linzarella July 30, 2012

The process is extremely simple: you make a strong black tea, sweetened with white sugar. Let it cool down to body temperature, remove the tea, and transfer to a 4-qt glass/Pyrex bowl, add some already made kombucha and the kombucha mother. Make an "x" over the bowl with masking tape and place a clean towel over (the tape prevents the towel from falling in). Leave in a warm spot in your kitchen for 10-14 days. At this point, you can transfer it to bottles, and if you seal them air-tight and leave them at room temperature for another week or two, they will become fizzy. You can also transfer them straight to the fridge and drink them flat.

The proportions I use are:
12 cups water
4 black tea bags (don't use earl grey - the flavor oils can hinder the fermentation process)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup already made kombucha

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ATG117
ATG117 July 31, 2012

Thanks! I am going to do some research on the kombucha mother. Also wondering what you personally, or others in the chain, find the benefits of drinking Kombucha to be.

Nozlee Samadzadeh
Nozlee Samadzadeh July 31, 2012

Kombucha is high in B vitamins, which can be difficult to get from other food sources, and its active cultures are beneficial for digestion. But mostly I think it tastes fantastic, which is the best reason to drink anything!

HalfPint
HalfPint July 30, 2012

linzarella, I would love a kombucha mother AND I'm in the Bay Area. Should I contact you via your blog for the 411?

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linzarella
linzarella July 30, 2012

HalfPint, you can email me at [email protected]

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Nozlee Samadzadeh
Nozlee Samadzadeh July 30, 2012

I'm also happy to give SCOBYs to anyone in the NYC area! I brew mine in a half-gallon mason jar covered with cheesecloth.

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BoulderGalinTokyo
BoulderGalinTokyo July 31, 2012

Thank you, I learn something new from food52 everyday!

I couldn't understand what sugar was doing in kombucha-- I use in Japanese pickles for umami-- which is somewhat salty and there isn't any 'mother' like cider vinegar.

That's when I realized there is another meaning to this name kombucha.

from Wikipedia-
"Kombucha ???, "seaweed tea", is a beverage brewed from dried and powdered kombu. This is sometimes confused with the unrelated English word kombucha, an incorrect yet accepted neologism for the fermented and sweetened tea from Russia, which is called k?cha kinoko (?????) in Japan."

Looking up "kombucha" is quite interesting

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