Kombucha Brewing

‘Booch Brewing FAQs

How to make Kombucha is no secret. If you do a quick google search, you'll come across many recipes. You should see many similarities between them, with some variations. Everyone makes 'booch a little different. That is the beauty of Kombucha!

I receive a lot of questions on Instagram about brewing. I thought I'd share some of the most common questions here. My answers are based on how I brew 'booch. Others may answer the questions differently and that's quite alright!

  1. What kind of tea do you use? When I started brewing, I started with organic green tea. I then tried organic black tea. And then I bought organic Oolong tea. Today, my brews consist mostly of 50% green tea and 50% black tea and I have one Oolong batch (which has the prettiest SCOBYs!). I prefer the 50/50 blend because I found black tea to be a little too strong and green tea to be a little too light.
  2. How long do you ferment your 'booch? When I started, I did the first ferment (sweet tea and SCOBY) for one week and the second ferment (bottled with fruit) for about 3 days. As I added more batches, I was able to extend my fermentation cycles. I currently go 2 weeks for first ferment and about 4-5 days for second ferment.
  3. What kind of bottles do you use? When I started, I collected and reused store bought Kombucha bottles. Some brands resealed better than others. I then found a local beer brewer supply store and ventured into swing top bottles. I like swing tops but I find them hard to wash and sanitize sometimes. I then moved to 1/2 gallon and gallon growlers with poly seal lids. I love the growlers. They seal well for carbonation. They are easy to clean (I use a baby bottle brush to get to hard to reach places) and I find it easier to make larger batches of flavors vs many individual 16 oz bottles.
  4. Do you remove the fruit after second fermentation? Usually, I do not remove the fruit. I think the 'booch flavors continue to marinate in the fridge so I prefer to leave the fruit in. We then filter (a fork works fine!) as we drink the 'booch. Although our 8 year old daughter prefers to eat the fruit after she drinks her 'booch!
  5. Do you use fresh or frozen fruit? I use both, depending on what's fresh and organic at our local grocery store.
  6. Do you defrost the frozen fruit? I only defrost the fruit enough so that I can easily cut it (if necessary). Otherwise, it's still somewhat frozen when it goes in the 'booch. I've been asked if it waters down the 'booch. I honestly have not noticed a difference.
  7. Do you use juice? I have only used juice when I've done grape flavoring. Otherwise I use fresh or frozen fruit. I know many others who use juice. I'd just caution about added sugar and other unnecessary ingredients (of course there's many brands that don't add sugar and other stuff).
  8. How do you get carbonation in your 'booch? When you flavor your 'booch for second fermentation, you have an opportunity to create carbonation as the bottle is sealed and the sugars from your flavorings are converted into CO2. Some of my batches come out super carbonated, others do not. I think it comes down to your flavorings. Some brewers add sugar, raisins, etc. to create carbonation. I do not. I let science do its thing. If it comes out carbonated, great! If it doesn't, that's ok too.
  9. How do you prevent your bottles from exploding? To date, I have not had a bottle explode during second fermentation (knock on wood). In hopes of avoiding an explosion, I carefully burp my bottles at least once a day. By burping, I mean I slowly loosen the lids to relieve built up pressure. I also keep our house at about 80 degrees or below (we live in Phoenix and we have animals in the house all day long). If your home is warmer, it will speed up fermentation.
  10. Is that mold on my SCOBY? I've honestly not personally experienced mold on my SCOBYs so I don't feel like an adequate judge. If you think you might have mold, do a quick google search. Many have posted pictures of mold on SCOBYs. To prevent mold, securely cover your 'booch during the first ferment. I use cloth napkins, secured with rubber bands. Do not use cheese cloth or other loose covers. It's an invite for mold and fruit flies!

I hope you found these FAQs helpful. Happy brewing!

Kombucha Brewing

What exactly is “‘booch”?!

If we are going to have a blog about 'booch, we should probably have a post that explains 'booch. Seems to make sense, right?

As I shared in my first post, when we won our 'booch starter kit, we didn't know much about what we had gotten ourselves into! Earlier in the year, we had started eating fermented veggies,  from the local farmer's market, to help our digestion. So we had a basic understanding of probiotics. Also, when our youngest daughter was a toddler, she was having non-stop earaches to the point we made an appointment for tubes, when my sister-in-law suggested probiotics. We put our daughter on chewable probiotics for kids and we were able to cancel her appointment for tubes! She hasn't had an earache since! So up to this point, we knew that probiotics were good for your tummy and helped replenish the good bacteria that antibiotics kills (from having earaches) and that's about it!

Queue Kombucha entering our lives…. Kombucha is a fermented tea that some say dates back to 221 BCE in China. But you are probably not looking for a history lesson and we aren't going to give one! We'll also skip the science lesson about fermentation and probiotics (for now).

Kombucha is an acquired taste. Raw 'booch tastes like apple cider vinegar (but don't let that scare you away!). Kombucha is loaded with probiotics – the good bacteria you want in your body! Probiotics are key to a healthy gut and there is a belief that a healthy gut is the key to a healthy mind and body. Probiotics are believed to help with digestion, detox your liver, boost your metabolism, create an overall balanced ecosystem in your body, and the list goes on!

Personally speaking, 'booch helps us digest our food and alcohol, especially when we've overindulged. 'Booch has helped reduce heart burn. 'Booch keeps us regular (sorry, you can't talk about probiotics without talking about #2 ;). 'Booch gives us a pick-me-up when we feel drained. And let's not forget, probiotics helped us avoid putting tubes in our baby girl's ears. And gosh darn it, 'booch is just good!

Of course, everyone has a different experience and has different results from probiotics/booch and we are only speaking from personal experience.

With all of the toxins in our lives, we feel like any help we can get to battle or offset the effects is worth a shot. Plus, we love the taste of our 'booch!

 

 

Kombucha Brewing

Welcome to All About The ‘Booch!

My husband and I won a Kombucha starter kit at our girls’ school’s PTO parent mixer last fall (2016). I had heard about Kombucha (or ‘booch) and generally knew that it was good for you. But that was about the extent of my knowledge! Neither of us had even tasted ‘booch before!

Fast forward to summer of 2017… I am brewing about 10 gallons of ‘booch. I have an Instagram account, which hit 400 followers today – yay! I make and sell ‘booch inspired t-shirts (click here to check them out). And, I am toying with the idea of going commercial – eek! But before I get too carried away (although maybe I have passed that point?!), I figured I should start a blog where I can share our adventures in ‘booch making and other fun fermented foods.

I hope you choose to follow us and watch us grow!

Thanks for visiting.