Fermentation Status: 5 Brews of Kombucha, Kimchee, Pickled Veggies & 3 loafs of Sourdough Bread

To start with, we have four jars of Kombucha fermenting and waiting to be bottled and put into the fridge.

Next, we have out big monster jar of continuous brew of Kombucha. The jar we purchased at Happy Herbalist, which has tons of supplies for natural healing.

I, personally, like to drink Kombucha this way….natural, room-temperature and right from the scoby.

We are making our own Kimchee and Pickled Veggies. I gave on some Kimchee to Mariana, Grandma and put some in Shon’s lunch. I refrigerated some of the Pickled Vegetables to have as a snack throughout the day and will continue to ferment the rest of them for another day or so.

Now, my latest fermentation, Sourdough Bread. The picture below shows the “sponge” stage of the fermentation process. I still have to add 2 cups of flour, let rise and kneed. The process of making the sourdough “starter” is easy, click here to find out how.

Los and lots of ecosystems are growing in my kitchen!!!

Kombucha – Another Batch + Our New Jar

Yesterday, arrived our new wide-mouth glass jar (with a spout) for a continuous brew of Kombucha.

I am so so so excited!!!

We bought the jar from Happy Herbalist.com which has a smörgåsbord of herbal medicine supplies. We also bought the book Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz which I am currently reading. The book explains Kombucha well, but also dives into all kinds of Fermentation with tea, grains, vegetables, fruit, cheese, ect. I have started my second batch of Kimchi and my first batch of cilantro-garlic pickled vegetables (which will be posted soon).

Back to our continuous brew of Kombucha!!! In the picture below, we have already made the green tea with the sugar. We have not yet put the Scoby in or the “starter” tea (left of Kombucha tea from the previous brew).

We then added the scoby from our last batch. The scoby grew another one underneath while fermenting. With your hands, peel apart the scobies and add one to the next batch and leave the other in the jar it just came from for another brew.

We placed the scoby into the new jar.

Then we poured in the “starter” tea…

We then covered the Jar with the cloth and secured it with a rubber band.

Now, we wait a week or so and then we will have Kombucha from a SPOUT!!!

“Wild Fermentation” by Sandor Katz – I just bought the book

I look forward to diving into this new book that we bought online at Happy Herbalist.

Shon and I brew Kombucha and I just started making our own Kimchi (kimchee), which fermented vegetables. Sandor Katz explains the history of fermentation and examines what is happening scientifically.

The book covers vegetable ferments such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and sour pickles; bean ferments including miso, tempeh, dosas, and idli; dairy ferments including yogurt, kefir, and basic cheese making (as well as vegan alternatives); sourdough bread-making; other grain fermentations from Cherokee, African, Japanese, and Russian traditions; extremely simple wine- and beer-making (as well as cider-, mead-, and champagne-making) techniques; and vinegar-making.

The company that publishes the book is Chelsea Green Publishing Co. You can follow ChelseaGreen.com on Twitter as well. They provide inspirational and practical alternatives that promote sustainable living. Excellent source of information.

I’ll keep you updated on my progress of the book and fermentation projects.

Namaste

Tea of Immortality – XOXOXOX Hugs and Kisses

One of the two batches of Kombucha is ready tonight. Those of you who haven’t read the earlier blogs,

Kombucha is a living health drink made by fermenting tea and sugar with the Kombucha culture ‘scoby‘ which stands for ‘ symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts. The culture is placed in sweetened black or green tea and turns a bowl full of sweet tea into vitamins, minerals, enzymes and health-giving organic acids. Please refer to my first blog about Kombucha to find out more information about the tea.

Here is tonights brew. We’re calling this one XOXOXOXO Kombbuchy (Hugs and Kisses). The taste is a slight champaign taste with a hint of sweat tea. The carbonation, or fizz, is intense. I could tell that the living organism is healthy and strong, producing those acids that are so good for us.

Straight from the jar:

………………………..and now…….

…on the rocks……

……….Cheers!

Kombucha Updated

Remember, a few days ago, I talked about brewing Kombucha and showed how to make it yourself?

Well, I have updated pictures and information to share with you. (Refer the the blog just under this one for definitions)

First off, we bought two different “scobies” from Ebay. We used the same green tea/sugar mixtures for both scobies. The scobies came with starter tea. (Tea that has already had cultures brewing in it)

We have noticed a difference between the two. Here are some pictures and descriptions:

In the 1st jar, the tea has stayed clear, but has produced a lot of yeast cells (AKA- Vitamin B). Also the Mother Culture (the starter scoby) is laying on the bottom of the jar. The next scoby is beginning to form, so everything is looking good.

In the 2nd jar, the tea is quite cloudy and it hasn’t produced much yeast cells yet. The Mother Culture has stayed on top.

The are a lot of factors that effect the tea; Temperature, Light/darkness, how much tea, how much sugar, starter tea, ect… It in NOT an exact science.

We will give it more time to continue to ferment

To Be Continued……

The Tea of Immortality – KOMBUCHA – Brew it Yourself!!!

Kombucha is a living health drink made by fermenting tea and sugar with the Kombucha culture ‘scoby‘ which stands for ‘ symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts. The culture is placed in sweetened black or green tea and turns a bowl full of sweet tea into vitamins, minerals, enzymes and health-giving organic acids which are:

Glucuronic acid
The body’s most important detoxifier. When toxins enter the liver this acid binds them to it and flushes them out through the kidneys. Once bound by glucuronic acid toxins cannot escape. A product of the oxidation process of glucose, glucuronic acid is one of the more significant constituents of Kombucha. As a detoxifying agent it’s one of the few agents that can cope with pollution from the products of the petroleum industry, including all the plastics, herbicides, pesticides and resins. It kidnaps the phenols in the liver, which are then eliminated easily by the kidneys. Kombucha can be very helpful for allergy sufferers. Another by-product of glucuronic acid are the glucosamines, the structures associated with cartilage, collagen and the fluids which lubricate the joints. It is this function that makes Kombucha so effective against arthritis.

Lactic Acid
Essential for the digestive system. Assist blood circulation, helps prevent bowel decay and constipation. Aids in balancing acids and alkaline in the body and believed to help in the prevention of cancer by helping to regulate blood pH levels.

Acetic Acid
A powerful preservative and it inhibits harmful bacteria.

Usnic Acid
A natural antibiotic that can be effective against many viruses.

Oxalic Acid
An effective preservative and encourages the intercellular production of energy.

Malic acid
Helps detoxify the liver.

Gluconic Acid
Produced by the bacteria, it can break down to caprylic acid is of great benefit to sufferers of candidiasis and other yeast infections such as thrush.

Butyric acid
Produced by the yeast, protects human cellular membranes and combined with Gluconic acid strengthens the walls of the gut to combat yeast infections like candida.

As the Kombucha culture digests the sugar it produces a range of organic acids as well as amino acids, enzymes. And of course there are all the benefits of the probiotic microorganisms themselves.

The yeasts do produce alcohol but the bacteria in the culture turn the alcohol to organic acids. Only minute quantities of alcohol, typically 1% by volume remains in the kombucha brew.

With every brew you make the kombucha forms a new layer or scoby on the surface of the liquid. These can be left to thicken the scoby or can be divided, giving you spare cultures that you can store in some sweet tea in the fridge in case something should happen to your active culture. Or you might want to pass on spare Kombucha cultures to friends or use a new scoby to start another batch of kombucha

There is a lot of experiential evidence from people who have been using kombucha over many years. Many of the benefits reported include improvements in energy levels, metabolic disorders, allergies, cancer, digestive problems, candidiasis, hypertension, HIV, chronic fatigue and arthritis. It ‘s also used externally for skin problems and as a hair wash among other things.

Kombucha requires tea for its fermentation (Camellia Sinensis). That’s real tea not herbal tea. It can be also be sensitive to strong aromatic oils. A tea like Earl Grey that contains Bergamot oil, can sometimes kill or badly affect the culture. There are several different kinds of tea that give different results from lighter tastes to stronger more cider like tastes.

Black Tea
Black tea is made from leaves that have been fully fermented. The leaf is spread out and left to wilt naturally, before being fired, producing a deep, rich flavor and an amber brew.

Oolong Tea
Oolong tea is half way between green tea and black tea. It’s gently rolled after picking and allowed to partially ferment until the edges of the leaves start to turn brown. Oolong combines the taste and colour of black and green tea.

Green Tea
Green tea is withered then steamed or heated to prevent oxidation and then rolled and dried. It is characterized by a delicate taste, light green color. The Japanese tea Sencha makes an especially fine kombucha.

White Tea
White Tea is the rarest and most delicate of tea. Plucked forty-eight hours or less between the time the first buds become fully mature and the time they open. Unlike black and green teas, white tea isn’t rolled or steamed, but simply aired dried in the sun, this preserves more of its antioxidant properties. White tea has about three times as many antioxidant polyphenols as green. White tea represents the least processed form of tea.

We personally use Green Tea.

Here is what you will need to start brewing:

* “Scoby” and starter tea, which I can send you if you are interested.
* Distilled Water
* Organic White Sugar (not brown)
* Tea bags of your choice of the following teas: Black, Green, White & Oolong
* Steal/Glass pot to brew
* Wooden/Plastic spoon (NOT metal)
* Two breathable glass jars (paper towels or coffee filters work great)
* Rubber bands
* Wooden/Plastic Strainer (NOT metal)

Depending on the size of “scoby”, depends on the size of jar:

*Small approx 2 to 2 &1/2 inches across (good to ferment a pint or quart of tea)
*Regular approx 3 to 4 inches across (good to ferment a pint, quart or gallon of tea)
*Med approx 4 & 1/2 inches across (good to ferment a quart or gallon of tea)
*Jumbo approx 5 to 6 inches across (good to ferment a pint, quart or gallon of tea)

I will now explain how to make ONE quart of Kombucha:

  • 1/3 c. sugar (using white sugar produces the most detoxifying tea, the most gluceronic acid)
  • 2-3 tea bags
  • 1/2 c. starter tea
  • 1 quart distilled water
  • kombucha mushroom

Boil a quart of water in a stainless steal pot – no aluminum. Boil for 10 minutes to remove the chlorine if your filter does not remove it.

Add 1/4 – 1/3 cup sugar and mix until dissolved. NO metal utensils. Metal, even rings on hands should NEVER touch the culture. We use a wooden spoon. Add tea bags, steep, and cool to room temp. Remove bags. Place kombucha and starter tea (your culture will be floating in the starter tea) in glass jar – plastic may leach into tea so only use glass.

Pour tea you made into jar but leave about 1-2″ room for tea to “breathe” while brewing.

Cover with the coffee filter or piece of paper towel and secure with rubber band (to keep fruit flies out).

Place in pantry or on counter (just not in direct sun) and do not disturb! Start tasting after 4-5 days (you can use a straw) and let it brew until your preferred taste. The longer you brew, the more acidic it gets. When you see bubbles at the top of the liquid, it should be just right, nice and tart and sparkling. Ours takes about 5-7 days, although it can take up to 10. In the warmer months it does not take as long. Some prefer even longer brewing times. Remove the mushroom and the baby mushroom (new mushroom) which may have attached itself to the first. Bottle or drink. Start all over again!

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