Saturday, April 21, 2012

Kombucha Please

What the hell happened? Have I turned into some funny smelling, vegetable eating, scruffy looking hippie with some sort of damn mold on top of the fridge?


Two of my batches with my new bottles of "Factory" Kombucha
Ugh... I do feel bad for my wife, because part of that question is an easy YES! I’ve always smelled a little funny, and shaving has never been my favorite, but she really does live right in and amongst the science experiment of a life time.

Between the fermentation... Both intentional.... And not (I’ll do the dishes tomorrow I PROMISE!!!!!) Vinegar growing in bottles and carboys and jars strung about the house, the projects that I keep starting with the kids, including the girl’s new Black Powder Rifle... That has the table, half the couch and a portion of the living room floor occupied, and the cat that seems to think the world is her oyster, it’s a small wonder she abandons us for her corner of the bed and disappears into her phone for hours at a time.

But anyway, We’ve been down the road to vinegar together. We, that is to say that I, made some friggen awesome peach vinegar that is still serving it’s duty on salads two or three times per week.

I wish I could say my malt vinegar was coming along like that, but its’ not.

As I’ve decided, recently, to try and become a bit less of a “Big” kahuna, we went in search of gimmicky health food crap at one of those “Hippie” grocery stores. The whole damn place smells like you fell into a jar of spices, they have juice made from dope in the refrigerator and granola in those funny dispensers that the Brew Hut uses to dispense grains.

After a few minutes, it struck me... “This place might have Kombucha!”

A product I first became interested in about a year and a half ago, Kombucha is sometimes referred to as “fermented tea.”  I wouldn’t call it fermented, but I suppose it technically qualifies.

The SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) chews up sugar and makes alcohol... Which the bacteria immediately gobbles up and turns into acetic acid.

Healthy SCOBY in a 2 1/2 gallon batch with Black Tea
It’s pretty much that simple, at least from a Kanuna level view. The folks at Kombucha Kamp, get really into the whole deal, selling jugs to brew it in, warmers, flavors, so-on and on and on.

I was tempted to go that rout, and probably should have, but decided I could do it! So I used a vinegar mother that I’d grown, a recipe I found on the interwebz, and just sorta did it.

I’d never tasted Kombucha before, so when mine was ready, I had NO IDEA what to expect!

Dry, vinegar and tea... That pretty much covers it. Better over ice, and really goes down nice in the morning. Really wakes your ass up!

My 3 gallon batch of Acai Berry Green Tea.
So I did find Kombucha in the hippy market, and I can’t wait to try it.

I have some 2 gallon batches that are right at a year old now, and guess what... Just like Beer, Wine, Cheese, Rum, and McDonalds French Fries... It gets better with age.

I’m dig’n it right now, so I’m bottling the old stuff, getting new batches going, and cant’ wait to see where this leads! The best I can tell, is that you're only limited by the kid of teas that you can find to brew. And even that is not very limiting because you can blend this stuff with anything!

Let me know if you give it a go!

~Cheers

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The adventure never stops

The adventure never stops
with the Buck Reilly series