Kombucha is a healthful, tonic drink made from tea, sugar, and symbiotic bacterial culture. Kombucha benefits are plentiful. Kombucha has a reputation for preventing and curing cancer, regulating blood sugar, lowering blood pressure, and improving heart health. It is also used as an aid to weight loss. It increases stamina, and refreshes. But I’m too busy to play with a Kombucha mushroom and its easier to buy Kombucha at the health food store, on the rare occasion that I can find it in stock. Fair enough. But should you decide that you want to fit Kombucha making into your busy lifestyle, here’s 6 tips that might help.
1. Make the tea after dinner.
The homestead kitchen is a busy place during the day. Who wants a glass pitcher of tea sitting on the counter in the way of dinner preparation and cleanup? The hot tea has to cool till its no longer warm to the touch before adding the mushroom or scoby. Its hard to time it just right so that it is cooled and the job can be completed before bedtime.
Solve this problem by making your Kombucha tea after dinner while you are doing the clean up from dinner. The tea can steep while you do the dishes, and will cool while you go through your other evening activities. About an hour before bedtime just transfer the cooled tea into a 2 litre/quart glass jar, add one cup of kombucha tea from the previous batch. Gently place the scoby on top of the liquid in the jar. Don’t worry if it sinks. It will still work. Put a clean handkerchief on top of the jar. Secure with a rubber band. Put away in a cupboard where it won’t be bumped and leave for 4 to 6 days, until it reaches a pH between 4 and 2. It will be slightly fizzy and refreshing tasting.
2. Bottle your finished kombucha so that it will travel well
Bottled kombucha is fizzy and refreshing. You can flavour it with syrup, spices, flavoured herbal teas, juices, or even berries. Use 1 cup of juice to 7 cups of first ferment kombucha, or 1 cup of double strength herbal tea to 7 cups of fermented Kombucha. If you are adding fruit, just drop 1 tbsp of berries into each bottle and fill with fermented kombucha. Then cap and complete caps according to the manufacturers directions. I have some antique pop bottles and beers bottles, so I use tin crimp caps and a bottle capper to bottle my kombucha. Leave it out at room temperature for 24 hours and then refrigerate. Bottled kombucha travels wells. Add a bottle to a bagged lunch — don’t forget to add the bottle opener. You can travel with it in your brief case, or pack some in a suitcase before you leave on a trip. Don’t bring it on the airplane in your carry-on luggage though, as it will exceed the liquid restrictions for domestic travel.
3. Intentionally Over ferment it and use it in salad dressing
Too busy to stop the fermentation and make bottled kombucha? You can ignore it for a few days and allow it to become more acidic. Even if it’s decidedly vinegary you can still use the scoby and one cup of starter for your next batch of Kombucha. It will become less acidic as it is diluted with the new batch of tea and sugar.
Use the remaining Kombucha as a vinegar substitute. One of the components of Kombucha is acetic acid or vinegar. If you leave the Kombucha to ferment for a couple extra days, you can use it in place of vinegar in salad dressings.
Raspberry Kombucha vinegrette Dressing
1 cup of Kombucha (pH of 2 to 1)
1/4 cup of frozen raspberries
1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard or grainy mustard
1/2 cup of virgin olive oil
1 tsp. dried minced onions
1/2 tsp. thyme
Put kombucha and raspberries in a pint jar and allow to sit for an hour, until raspberries thaw and their juice infuses the kombucha. Stir briskly with a whisk or fork to break up raspberries. Pour mixture through a sieve to remove raspberry pulp. Add mustard and olive oil. Beat well with a fork until mixture thickens and becomes slightly opaque. Add minced onions and thyme. Beat well with fork until spices are fully incorporated. Allow to sit for an hour for flavours to meld. You can make this the day before. Serve with a spring green salad.
4. Add Kombucha that is over proofed to Jerky marinade
Kombucha is the perfect vinegar substitute for marinading meat before it is being dried for jerky. The lactic acid and acetic acid in Kombucha add probiotics to the meat that overwhelm harmful bacteria and keep the meat from spoiling. The acid tenderizes the meat. Here is my jerky marinade:
Kombucha Jerky Marinade
4 cups of Kombucha at a pH of 1 or 2
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 whole onion, finely minced or 2 tbsp dried minced onion
1 tsp. each dried sage, thyme, parsley, rosemary, cayenne (optional)
2 tbsp sea salt or Himalayan salt
Put this in a 2 quart/litre pyrex dish and add thinly sliced round steak, flank steak, or loin from beef, lamb, goat, or other red meat. Don’t use pork for this recipe. Cover meat completely with this marinade. Cover dish with saran and place in the fridge for 8 to 12 hours. Drain and without rinsing, place in your dehydrator in a single layer and dry according to manufacturers directions.
5. Stagger your Kombucha ferments
I am currently making 2 gallons of Kombucha every week. This makes 24 10 ounce bottles of 2nd ferment Kombucha. I don’t have room for 24 bottles of Kombucha in my fridge at one time. My Royal Berkey water filter doesn’t hold enough water to be able to make 2 gallons of tea at one time, either. I make 2 – 2 quart/litre wide mouth jars of Kombucha on Friday night and then a second batch of 2 – 2 quart jars on Monday night. This way I stagger my Kombucha batches during the week and never have more than 12 bottles in the fridge at any one time. Each bottled batch takes just 24 hours at room temperature before it is transferred to the fridge
6. Make room for health in your lifestyle
Kombucha is one of God’s good gifts. Sometimes you can be just too busy to take care of yourself, but you know that when that happens, eventually sickness comes and forces you to slow your pace, rest, and take care of YOU. Kombucha is waiting for you to make the decision that your health is important to you. Make room for the ritual of making Kombucha once or twice a week and drinking it daily, and you will reap the benefits of vibrant health and vitality. You deserve it. Make room for it.
Some Resources that will help you:
Articles in this Joybilee Farm series
6 Ways to incorporate Kombucha into your lifestyle – Part 5 (This post)
Shared on the Homestead Bloggers Network.