How To Make Ginger Kombucha

What is it? A fermented tea drink, sweet and with a kick (though non-alcoholic).

Why make it? Taste’s yummy, and it’s good for you. Here are some of the benefits:

  • full of probiotics: good bacteria and good yeasts
  • the amino acids created by the fermentation process help with liver/body detox
  • reported to prevent cancer in peoples from a polluted area of Russia where it was widely consumed (probably a result of the first 2 benefits)

How To Make Ginger Kombucha

Kombucha is made by fermenting sweet tea for several days or weeks. I have been making it off and on for about 2 years, and our favorite is Ginger Kombucha. My children love it; since it is strong I only give about 1/4 cup to them at a time.

Ingredients

1 Scoby with some starter Kombucha
3 qts. purified water
2 Tbs. organic black tea
1 cup organic sugar
candied ginger
Equipment

large stainless kettle
gallon size glass jar
cloth cover (tea towel or handkerchief)
rubber band
strainer
large knife
funnel
1 qt. glass bottles for bottling

 

Boil about 3 qts of water in the large kettle. Remove from the heat, and add 2 Tbs. black tea* (see note below) and 1 cup sugar.

Stir to dissolve the sugar. Allow to cool on the counter for several hours. If scalding tea is added to a scoby, it will kill the yeast.

Here is a scoby in finished Kombucha. You can see there are three pancake-like pieces (2 are floating sideways). The three can be separated to start three new batches. The newest one always forms on the top of the Kombucha.

When starting out, you will place 1 scoby and about a cup of Kombucha in a clean gallon glass jar, and then add the tepid sweetened tea to it. Use a strainer to catch the loose tea leaves.

Then place a clean towel over the jar, fasten with a rubber band. Leave on the kitchen counter, or another clean warm place, for 7-14 days. You can go longer if you like, but it will taste like vinegar. The warmer the room (or season), the faster the Kombucha will ferment, so begin to check it after 7 days. When it is fermented to your liking, it is ready to strain into bottles.

To flavor it with ginger, I chop up candied ginger to place in each bottle; just a few pieces for each bottle.

Chop it finely so that it doesn’t get stuck in the bottle after the Kombucha is gone and you want to wash the bottle.

Then put the ginger in the bottles.

 

Then pour or ladle the fermented Kombucha into the bottle; leave a few inches at the top. I use a funnel with a strainer piece fitted inside it.

Close the bottles of Kombucha, and leave them on the counter for 2 more days. This allows the Kombucha to continue fermenting the sugar in the candied ginger. Carbon will be formed and trapped in the sealed bottle, which will give the drink a nice bubble when it is opened. After 2 days, place the bottles in the refrigerator to halt the fermentation. Drink chilled, using a tea strainer to strain ginger pieces as you pour.

*Organic tea is preferred to conventional, as conventional often has aluminum residues from processing. Any black tea will work; English Breakfast and Oolong are both delicious varieties I have tried.

Although some people use green tea, I found that there wasn’t nearly enough flavor.

For this batch I used Hampstead Tea and Now Foods Ginger, which can both be ordered from iherb.com. If this isΒ  your first order with iherb, use my coupon code: RON268 and receive $5 off your order.

You can order and scoby from Cultures For Health. Or, if you live near me (Portland area) email me and I’ll give you one!

 

13 thoughts on “How To Make Ginger Kombucha

  1. Thank you…I started my first batch this week. πŸ™‚ Do you sterilize the bottles before adding the kombucha?

    Lisa

    I don’t wash my gallon jar between batches…it’s continually fermenting. For the bottles, I sterilize them in the dishwasher when I first get them. Make sure that your dishwashing soap isn’t left inside at all, as I think that would not be very good for the Kombucha or those drinking it. πŸ™‚

    After using the bottles, I rinse them out with hot water right away and then air dry them. I cap them when dry and consider them clean for the next use.

    Bronwyn

  2. Kim gave me some starter today. I am excited to make my own. I love drinking this but even Azure’s is too expensive for me. Thanks for all your hard work!!

  3. I have used rooibos tea a couple of times and that works excellent, both for the scobies (thick and firm) and for the taste. I’ve also used black tea with maracuya a couple of times and that works fine as well.

    I mention the scoby thickness, because you can make kombucha with sugar and warm water alone. Only, the replication of the scoby won’t work, because the film on top of the liquid is very thin and not strong enough. The mother scoby still lives, but probably also misses the minerals and other stuff in the tea.

    The taste in such a kombucha, without the tea, is doable but unpleasant. It’s not something you want to drink every day.

    I keep it to the rooibos and black tea with maracuya.

    1. You can order one from culturesforhealth.com. Or, check Craigslist as there may be someone in your area willing to share. Another resource is your local Weston A Price chapter leader.

  4. No one seems to mention this on websites very often: You can make your own scoby if you buy a bottle of kombucha at a healthfoods store, pour off 2/3 of the kombucha and drink it. Leave the remaining kombucha in the bottle and cover it with a coffee fliter and rubberband. (DO NOT Drink out of the kombucha bottle if you plan to use it to create a kombucha mushroom/scoby because you will contaminate it! . Leave bottle in a dark cupboard undisturbed for two or three weeks. You’ll have a small rubber disk the diameter of the bottle but it’s big enough to use. When you make your first batch you pour the scoby AND the juice it was sitting in, into your tea/water batch when you start.

  5. I”ve tried lots of things to flavor my kombucha and most of my friends agree the best flavor is apple & ginger. It cuts the vinegar taste. You put about 20% organic apple juice in your individual bottle and a few pieces of peeled & chopped ginger (probably equiv to about 1 tablespoon in a 16 oz bottle) and then let that sit four days with a tight cap. Will be very fizzy! It’s the best flavor I’ve found.
    I save kombucha bottles from the store, wash them in hot soapy water, rinse them with vinegar to remove soap residue. I would not recommend putting them in the dishwasher as the opening is to narrow for it to rinse well, unless you plan to re-rinse everything again to make sure the dishwasher soap is completely removed and then rinse with vinegar.
    I’ve also heard of people buying those hot steamer baby bottle cleaners to disinfect their bottles.

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