Guest Blog: Indie is the new Green by Jessica Gonacha – Make your own kombucha

by guest contributor Jessica Gonacha

jg12image1a.jpg Today we are taking a bit of a different turn, and I am going to teach you how to make your very own kombucha! Some of you may be asking yourselves what the heck kombucha is, and some of you may have jumped on the kombucha bandwagon long ago or just recently. So, for those of you who are not sure what exactly kombucha IS, I will explain. Kombucha is a very healthful, probiotic drink made of tea (black, white, or green), sugar, and a bacterial culture that is fermented for about a week.

It is said to purify and strengthen the body, aid in digestion, and assist in general healing (if you’d like to lean more about kombucha and it’s history, read more at wikipedia). Are you thirsty yet?

I’ve been making my own kombucha for about 2 years now, and I am hooked for life. It is quite simple to make and takes minimal time and attention. And if you’ve ever bought kombucha in a grocery store, you know the price tag is hefty– $3 or so for one bottle. Making your own costs less than 50 cents for a week’s worth!

Below you will find my instructions, handed down to me from a friend. A simple google search yields many results as far as preparation instructions go, so feel free to check those out too.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

-large sun tea jar (glass or plastic) or a large glass bowl (all non-metal)
-wooden spoon
-measuring cup (non-metal)
-large glass pot (make sure it’s non-metal!!
-cloth napkin
-large rubberband
-5 tea bags (black, green, or white, preferably organic)
– 1 cup sugar (plain old white sugar or organic cane sugar will do)
-1/2-1 gallon filtered water
-1 jar of store bought, raw, plain kombucha (to use as a starter)
-something to put the finished kombucha in (pitcher, glass jars, etc.)

kombucha.jpg

DIRECTIONS:

1. Wash all the utensils, the jar, and your hands VERY WELL. Everything needs to be extremely clean so the culture doesn’t get contaminated.

2. Boil the gallon of water for 5 minutes, to purify it. Turn off the heat, add the 5 tea bags. Let sit for 15 minutes or so.

3. Add the cup of sugar and stir well with the wooden spoon.

4. Let the mixture sit until room temperature (important, because if you add the culture while it’s hot, the culture will die.)

5. When it’s at room temp, pour the jar of kombucha into the jar, followed by the sweet tea mixture.

5. Cover with the napkin, secure with a rubberband.

6. Find a dark, cool place to let the kombucha sit.

7. You will need to let it sit for about a week– you can test it periodically to see if it’s ready. When it’s done, it should not be sweet, but instead tangy and slightly effervescent. (the first batch might take a bit longer than a week to fully mature.) It will smell sort-of vinegar-y when it’s ready.

8. When it’s ready and tastes to your liking, pour the finished kombucha into glass bottles, jars, or a pitcher. Put them in the fridge to leave the taste as is (the fridge stops the fermentation process), or leave the bottles of kombucha out– the fermentation will continue in the bottles and change the taste– it’s definitely worth experimenting, to see how it tastes best to you.

9. Leave about an inch or so of kombucha in the sun tea jar with the culture, to serve as a starter for the next batch.

10. When you’re ready for batch #2, pour the sweet tea into the sun tea jar with the inch of kombucha from the first batch, and don’t add another jar of store bought kombucha.

11. When batch #2 is ready, the culture will have grown a second culture (attached to the first) which you can peel off and either get rid of or give to a friend so they can start their own kombucha making!

**If you have any questions at all, feel free to email me, and I’ll get you started!!

Have fun!

GREEN CHALLENGE:
Have a clothing swap! Invite your friends over and tell them to bring any old clothes they don’t want anymore. Trade, trade, trade and get some new goods. It’s free AND good for the earth!!

About the contributor: Jessica Gonacha is an artist from Atlanta, Georgia who is endlessly creating. Her work includes paintings, drawings, illustrations, and paper goods and is vibrant, colorful, and charming. Her work can be found on her site, in her Etsy shop and in the Indie Fixx Shop. You can also read more about Jessica and her work on her blog.

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