Kombucha Mama

I had never heard of this amazing probiotic before I started my wellness journey. A friend recommended a book for me to read called, The Good Gut by Justin Sonnenburg and Erica Sonnenburg. I recommend this book in order to learn about gut health in general and how it relates to your mental health/moods. It is a little “heady” sometimes, but they give good illustrations to bring it home. Probiotics according to webmd:  “Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. We usually think of bacteria as something that causes diseases. But your body is full of bacteria, both good and bad. Probiotics are often called ‘good’ or ‘helpful’ bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy.”

kom·bu·cha kômˈbo͞oCHə/

A beverage produced by fermenting sweet tea with a culture of yeast and bacteria.

You can buy Kombucha at Wal-mart, Target, and Trader Joe’s. I was buying G.T.’s Kombucha Gingerade. A little word of caution, if you have never had this before, try a half bottle only. When it comes to introducing new things to your body, you want to make sure you don’t overdo it. You also want to find the right “amount” for your body. I drank a half bottle for the first couple days, then started drinking whole 16 oz bottles. I noticed an increase in energy that was amazing. This is not a caffeine or sugar high. No crash and longer lasting effects. It also took away my aches and pains associated with candida. On the whole, I worked up to 2 bottles per day. If I was having a candida sick day, I bumped up to 3 or 3 and 1/2 bottles. This was and continues to be an amazing contribution to better health. Your body will let you know if you overdo it, so if you start having diarrhea, cut back.

What is going on when we ingest probiotics? In general, from what I understand, probiotics prime your immune system to be on alert and ready to attack “bad bacteria” in your body. Probiotics also cause your body to build up more mucus in your large intestine. One function of the mucus is to provide nourishment for the “good” bacteria residing there. Probiotics also cause your body to make adjustments that make your large intestine less permeable. So if you think of your large intestine cells like bricks, you’re adding grout to surround each brick when your body ingests probiotics.

Over time, I realized if I wanted to continue to feel amazing with Kombucha, I would need to make it. It is a lot more affordable. It takes some experimentation. At first, with my “candida” brain, I didn’t think I could do it. It was so hard for me to focus. It’s so funny how difficult this was for me at first. I talked myself into making just one batch…here I am 4 months later.

Getting started :

-1 Kombucha scoby (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) from a trusted source(I sell mine for $10 a piece locally, but you can look on Craigslist or ask around in your area). It needs to come in 1 cup of starter tea (a cup from the last batch of tea)You can also make your own scoby, but I haven’t tried that yet.

1 Cup of starter

1 Cup of organic sugar cane (I use Florida Crystals organic sugar pure cane from Wal-mart)

14 Cups of non-flouridated, non-chlorinated water (I just use my filtered water out of the refrigerator dispenser.)

1 Gallon glass jar with no metal parts

5 organic black tea bags

3 organic green tea bags

Plastic stirring utensil

Tight woven cloth, wash cloth, coffee filter or paper towel with elastic band

Instructions:

Heat water to just below boiling (approx. 200F).

Add tea and cover to steep for 10 minutes.

Remove tea and stir in sugar.

Let cool to room temperature (approx. 70F).

Pour sweet tea and starter into glass jar and stir.

Place Kombucha Scoby in jar.

Cover with tightly woven fabric and secure with rubber band.

Allow tea to ferment, undisturbed for 7-30 days, to taste.

Bottle your finished Kombucha.

You can drink it plain or add flavor if desired then refrigerate.

 

Helpful tips:

-Join fb Kombucha sites.

-If scoby gets too many brown yeast strings, rinse with filtered water (do not rinse down drain, compost it).

-Do not use wooden utensils (contaminants) or metal (weakens scoby over time).

-You can use a metal fine strainer to strain out the “yeast strings” when bottling.

-Wash your hands and rinse really well to handle scoby.

-Look at pics online to see what moldy scobys look like. If it gets moldy, throw everything away.

-After you flavor Kombucha, store in air tight container in refrigerator 2-3 days.

-Your scoby will grow. You can remove the new scoby from the underside, tearing off with your hands. Then you can take the new scoby with 1 cup of the starter from your previous batch to start another container. Or discard the older scoby in the trash. I disgard mine when they start looking like they have dark brown spots on top.

Why is there so much experimentation to develop the right blend of Kombucha? The taste can differ so much from batch to batch. Weather conditions can change the time it takes to ferment. I am noticing during the summer, it takes 6 days to ferment compared to over 2 weeks in the winter. It will vary in your area and depending on what you have your house thermostat set on. Flavoring can also be fun. Try different fruits. I like cutting strawberries or blueberries and adding it to mine. Coconut oil, oranges, or pineapples are also good. I didn’t like lemon or lime because it made it too sour. The kombucha is sour in general. If you let it ferment too long, it turns into a substance similar to apple cider vinegar. It’s not bad for you, but you may not prefer to drink it. You can also sub out one of the organic black tea bags for an organic chai tea bag. This adds another unique taste.

There are a few friends of mine that have started making their own Kombucha. I get lots of questions about different issues they are having. I think it’s helpful to bounce ideas off someone you know. It’s kind of funny sometimes, though. I’ll get random texts with kombucha questions. I told my husband, I guess I’m the Kombucha Mama. I hope this is helpful to you and you make some amazing Kombucha or enjoy the health benefits when you buy some.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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