Updated: May 28, 2019
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a probiotic, fermented beverage of tea, sugar and a yeast/bacteria culture. The culture is often referred to as the mother or scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) and is combined with the sweet tea to let ferment. This beverage is a hot seller, but is not new to by any means. It dates back 2,000 years to China when it was used as a remedy for a multitude of ailments.
Making the choice to brew at home and how to start can be daunting...
But I promise, once you get the reading done, brewing at home is quite easy. Chances are, you have seen an ever-broadening array of bottles on the grocery store shelf displaying new brands and flavors of kombucha. The evidence-based benefits of kombucha are undeniable, but spending $3-5 per bottle at the store is a little hard on the wallet and hard to justify in my daily life. So I decided to start brewing at home.
There are two kinds of mothers to choose from; a traditional kombucha scoby or a jun scoby. Jun is brewed with green tea and honey while traditional kombucha is brewed with black tea and sugar.
The difference? Jun comes out with a smoother, lighter flavor while a traditional kombucha has a stronger, bolder flavor. I think of jun as the champagne of kombucha.
Jun does best in a room with a temperature between 70-80° F and takes about half the amount of time to brew as kombucha, which does best in a room with a temperature of between 75-85° F.
Below I will discuss the multiple ways to start your kombucha, from using starter kits, buying scobies online, begging your brewing friend to give you a mother or buying an original bottle from the grocery store (make sure it is raw!) and growing from the bottle segments.
Let's take a moment to go through each process.
Starting using a kit
These kits are amazing. They provide the kombucha mother, the brewing jar (some with a space to label and date your kombucha), the starter tea and sugar, ph testing strips and some even have temperature gauges included. They provide a step by step guide to walk you through the process of brewing. If you want the structure when starting out and have anywhere from $30-80 for a good starter kit, I suggest going for this. It makes even the most novice of brewers feel confident.
Starting with a scoby
I suggest finding a local provider to purchase an organic kombucha mother. If you are not able to get in touch with a local source and do not have friends to get a healthy, organic mother from, Amazon is a great place to purchase organic kombucha scobies.
When on Amazon, search for an organic komucha scoby. If you prefer to brew a traditional kombucha, click here for a link to a good scoby.
If you prefer to brew a jun kombucha, click here for a link to a good, organic jun scoby.
Starting using a store bought bottle
This takes the most patience to brew. Make sure the kombucha bottle you buy from the store is a good quality raw, organic kombucha. When I look for a bottle to purchase, I check to see how much sediment is floating in the bottle; the more, the better!
Why is it so healthy? Check it out!
Some health benefits of drinking jun/kombucha:
Both are a rich source of probiotics, so get your healthy gut on!
If brewed with green tea, you get all the benefits that green tea provides! Whohooo!
They contain antioxidants.
It can kill infection-causing bacteria and candida yeast, as well as harmful microorganisms.
They have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease.
It may help manage type 2 diabetes if consumed regularly in healthy doses.
There are lots of studies being done currently in relation to kombucha being used as a preventative measure for cancer and other health risks.
For more specifics, there are lots of research articles to look at. Click here to read one!
Whichever way you choose to go about it, be safe and careful with brewing your kombucha/jun, use good ingredients and have fun! Cheers!
Did you try this yourself? Post a photo and tag @allthingsastred!
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