jeudi 7 mars 2013

How to Kombucha !

Here's my translation on Caroline's post on Making of the Kombucha.
Enjoy and leave comments and questions ! 

It's very nice to describe the kombucha, but it would be even nicer to explain in a matter of fact way how to make the beverage !
To begin, you will need a "starter". And to get a "starter", you will need some friends. Yes friends ! Because you will not find the "starter" (the mushroom) in retail (nowadays you more or less can find anything but not this !).
So the first step, the hardest is to find somebody who makes Kombucha. You have to ask politely if he/she would share some of his/her kombucha. That's the easy part because kombucha reproduces itself continuously so the proud parents of a kombucha will be happy to give you the spare parts which are crowding the bench / the fridge (I do exagerate, but only a little).

Once you get a "starter" which is quietly floating in some already fermented beverage, here are the instructions :
Prepare a very strong tea, strong and sweet : 1 Liter of water + 5 grams of green or dark tea + 70 grams of sugar.
Don't stick to the specifics. We have for example a 1.4 Liter jar. I don't really check the tea and I just put 3 tablespoons of sugar. It works for us and keeps our family kombucha happy !

Next, with picture !
In the week, Mathurin is in charge of the Kombucha, and on weekends it's Takaya. OF COURSE someone says that the kombucha is at its best between monday and friday while the other says that on saturdays and sundays it's "plus goûtu, qu'il a plus de retour" *.

On the left : the jar of tea prepared 12 hours prior in order to have a very strongly brewed tea. On the right the kombucha - ready with the floating mushroom. You don't need two jars. Just a pot to brew the sweet tea will be just fine.

the "mushroom" right there, in the plate. Do you see it ?

clean it under the water, rinse it

Pour a little of the ready-kombucha in the sweet tea (about 10%), to initiate the fermentation.

reposition the rinsed mushroom on the surface of the sweet tea (be careful to keep the clean face up)

Close the jar with a small cloth to allow the kombucha to breathe while protecting it. Well, that's all! From this point, the fermentation will go on at room temperature. Depending on the season, heating or air conditioning, the fermentation will be shorter or longer. Here in Tokyo, the drink is ready in 24 hours in summer and 48 in winter. But I know kombucha-friends who leave their drink ferment much longer, sometimes one full week. The taste will be very strong, and the beverage will be rich in nutrients.
See what works for you: taste the drink every day - directly from the jar - to see if it suits you. The only thing to remember: it should not be sweet at all (if it is, the bacteria have not finished their work).

Here's the "mise en bouteille". No need to filter, just pour in bottles which close tightly

At the bottom of the fermentation jar, you'll see some white deposit : do not dismiss it because it's ferment ! Pour it in the bottles - it's part of the beverage.

(these pictures were taken during a week-end ...)

On the left, the new fermentation jar and on the right the invaluable Grand-cru of the week end !

Keep the Kombucha in the fridge if it's hot. Room temperature will be fine otherwise.

Kampai !


* from : les Bronzés font du ski (ouille ouille !)

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