Allison and I had tried brewing Kombucha a few years back with poor results. Something must’ve changed since then because we’re now making a gallon a week.
Just to clarify, yes, it tastes good too.
I think it was a combination of impatience and apathy that did us in last time. We would rush everything through during the active parts of the process and hardly look at the stuff when it was supposed to just chill out. We’ve mellowed out since, though, and I think we’re reaping the benefits.
The process itself is pretty simple;
Find a mother “Scoby” culture, brew some really sugary tea, let the mother inoculate the tea for about five days, then let the tea sit in the bottles for five days before moving it to the fridge.
If you couldn’t tell by my phrasing, there’s a lot of room for flexibility. We’ve had batches go longer or shorter, introduced the tea warmer at times, we’ve doubled back and added more sugar later, and we apparently had some fruit flies try to move into a batch. Each affected the batch the same way: not at all.
To be sure, there are some risks with being too loosey goosey about the process. If the culture gets too weak for some reason, there are a lot of other strains of bacteria that would love to move in.
That’s what’s so nice about it, though. I started out extremely aware of all the dangers and possible missteps, constantly checking on the batch to make sure tat nothing freaky was happening. As time went on, though, it became more like a roommate than a child or a puppy.
I’m not saying that puppies and children are the same thing.
We’re not talking about my parenting philosophy anyway, thank you.
It got to a point where I trusted it to do it’s thing and knew the parts where I had to intervene to give it a little guidance. The silliest metaphor I can think of is a jockey getting off of his horse and manually lifting up and placing down each hoof, worrying that the horse might make a mistake if he weren’t there to help it out.
It feels good to have this relationship with this stuff. I’m looking for more foods that I can feel this way about. Ideally, directly influencing all of your food somehow and feel this way about everything on your plate, in your bowl, and in your cup. What a life!
Oh, and it tastes good, too.