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Hibiscus Kombucha

The kombucha craze is thoroughly upon us. Many people are educating themselves on the numerous benefits of probiotic-filled kombucha. But at anywhere from $4-$5 a bottle, I was amazed to find out how inexpensive and easy it is to make my own. Again, as with any home DIY project meant for ingestion, sterilization and quality ingredients are key! Here's a quick breakdown on how much the materials cost to make a gallon of kombucha:

  • Glass gallon-sized jar from Amazon: $10.98
  • Traditional Medicinals Organic Hibiscus Tea from Amazon, 16 bags (enough for two batches): $3.79
  • Black Tea Kombucha Scoby from Etsy: $7.33 (they're also available on Amazon)
  • Raw Sugar: price varies, I already had some and it doesn't take much for the recipe
  • Optional: Distilled White Vinegar (this will be necessary if you don't have enough Starter Tea to begin your first batch)
Mother SCOBY

Mother SCOBY

So as you can see, for not that much startup cost, you can make your own kombucha for way less than it costs to keep buying it. Now here's the recipe I used.

Ingredients

  • 8 organic hibiscus tea bags
  • 2 cups of starter tea or *distilled white vinegar
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 13-14 cups of water
  • 1 mother SCOBY
Boiling the hibiscus tea... 

Boiling the hibiscus tea... 

Method

  1. Boil water, then add tea bags and sugar. Turn off heat.
  2. Allow to cool to room temperature with the tea bags in it, then add starter tea from previous batch or distilled white vinegar.
  3. Transfer liquid to sterilized gallon-sized jug, put SCOBY in it.
  4. Cover with a clean towel or coffee filter. Secure the towel with a rubber band.
  5. Let sit undisturbed for 7-30 days to ferment. Taste it periodically after the 7 day mark to determine the amount of fermentation flavor you like. 
New SCOBY forming!

New SCOBY forming!

Notes: 

  • Hibiscus is thought to be helpful for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart and nerve disease. It's also high in antioxidants
  • SCOBY stands for Symbiotic Colony (Culture or Combination) of Bacteria and Yeast, it's the alien-like thing that allows the beneficial fermentation process to do it's thing. And just like a weird, alien-like creature, it will multiply and make baby SCOBYs!
  • Do not use cheesecloth to ferment your kombucha, it attracts bugs and if they get in it, you will have to throw out your whole batch---heartbreak!
  • After your kombucha reaches your desired flavor, you can transfer it to the fridge to slow down the fermentation process, otherwise it will keep getting stronger and stronger. Which is not a bad thing, the flavor may just be a little strong for some-I love the strong fizziness though so mine is staying on the counter!
  • Save at least 2 cups of your kombucha to be your starter tea for the next batch
  • Some resources say not to use raw sugar because it's too difficult to be broken down in the process, but I did not have any issues with it
  • After a while, your mother SCOBY will lose potency, but no worries, new SCOBYs form during the process so you can basically have an everlasting supply of kombucha!
  • And again-sterilization of your materials cannot be stressed enough, if anything in your brew looks or smells off, better safe than sorry-throw it out and start again!

*This information is not meant to treat, cure or diagnose any medical conditions. This post is not meant to substitute the advice of a medical professional, always seek professional advice before beginning any program, regimen or recipe*

 

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