Kombucha?

Rich

The Living Force
I've been trying different brands of a drink called Kombucha:

Kombucha is a variety of fermented, lightly effervescent sweetened black or green tea drinks commonly intended as functional beverages for their supposed health benefits. Kombucha is produced by fermenting tea using a "symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast". Microbial populations in SCOBY cultures vary.Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kombucha

I have enjoyed pretty much call the brands I have tried. My favourite has been Remedy. Second would be Captain Kombucha but there is something in it that I can't quite pinpoint. Might be some aspartame or another sweetner. I don't know.

I think I am at the stage where I might start making my own. I think my artist friend Seb has a Scoby at his family home that I may be able to cultivate.

Just wondered if anyone else had tried it or even tried making it?

I confess it is one of those things that I was actually hesitant to post on the forum for fear of someone directing me to a Kombucha kills people article but I am willing to take the risk because I think it might be one of those very rare drinks that have very few adverse effects and in some cases can be beneficial. :)
 
Hi Rich,
I enjoy several brands of kombucha and have been considering trying this as well, as it is very expensive prepared.
There is a little store close to me that just started advertising that they carry scoby.
I would guess one just has to try. It seems to me that it could be very beneficial to ones microbiome if prepared properly with a good scoby.
 

Navigator

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Just wondered if anyone else had tried it or even tried making it?

Yep, I have, after having some stomach problems the drink helped me come back to normal so I decided to take a shot at brewing it myself, it has been good so far. It is not a difficult thing to do at all, it is also way cheaper and you just need to keep in mind some rules of thumb that you can easily find in videos or in articles. So yeah, I do recommend you give it a try.
 

broken.english

Jedi
FOTCM Member
Rich, in all simplicity, I have been making kombucha for years. It is a fermentation process, feeding bacteria and yeast with sugar. In return they produce some vitamins and acids, among them glucuronic acid which is produced by our livers, too. As long as sugar is available it bubbles - CO2 - and then slowly turns into vinegar. I occasionally used it as a sourdough starter. For storage you need either very strong bottles or something like a 5 l jar with a tap which may be more convenient.

Commercial products, I believe, are heated and sterile and of limited value.

The downside of living kombucha is that it has slimey components and needs filtration. It needs a certain amount of dedication.
 
Last edited:

987baz

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I have been making my own kombucha for a few months now, it is quite tasty and from what I understand has some benefits for the gut.

You can order the scoby (which is what makes the drink) online, follow the instructions and you can make your own. I use 3 green tea bags and 3 black tea bags with half a cup of raw sugar, you can other flavour after the tea has been brewed, like ginger or turmeric or whatever your tastes may be. I make a batch a week (around 2 liters).

As said above, the filtration process is needed to make sure you don't get the slimey parts, I use a sieve and only drink a small glass per day as I have read excessive consumption isn't good for you.

hope that helps
 

monotonic

The Living Force
The extra sugar content of Kombucha is what always bothered me, but over the years the variety of kombucha with very low amounts of sugar seems to have increased. I can't tolerate coffee or green tea even with no sugar, but Kombucha works very well for me.
 

987baz

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
From what I understand of it (as the sugar and caffeine were a bit of a put off for me too) the sugar and caffeine are extremely low or non existant in the drink itself, it's just food for the scoby, hence why it seems better to make your own, rather than the store bought stuff which usually has added nasties. That said, after searching online there are plenty of people who say that it does contain caffeine, and plenty that say it doesn't. I guess it's a try it and see type deal. For me I haven't noticed any caffeine kick, but we are all different.
 

thorbiorn

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
A few experiment with growing a SCOBY and making kombucha

When I received a SCOBY I also consulted online pages and there are many sites:
A fresh search gave for instance:
Under the last link, I learned that SCOBY is an acronym. They give one meaning, and on SCOBY - What Does SCOBY Abbreviation Mean? they say:
SCOBYSymbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast Kombucha Brewing, Tea, Health
SCOBYSymbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast + 1 variant
Kombucha Brewing
SCOBYSymbiotic Consortium Of Bacteria and Yeasts Biochemistry, Medical
A SCOBY may make nice kombucha, but for anyone teaching biology or chemistry, it is no less interesting than the usual yeast fermentation process producing alcohol. The processes initiated by a SCOBY are more complex both in biology and chemistry. Below are some observations regarding the growing and especially the hardiness of a SCOBY. While there may be strict limits for an optimal result, there is room for a lot of experimentation.

When discussing what can be done or not done with a SCOBY, there probably is a difference between growing it during a dry and hot season of a tropical country and in a colder more humid climate. I happen to live in an area with an oceanic climate, neither very cold or very warm.

Initially, as I was reading about everything that can go wrong, I decided it was better to have two batches or functional SCOBYs in different places. SCOBYS grow, with each new batch, there was more that was not needed and I piled them up in a glass. Later I put everything in a fridge. The temperature of mine is about 4-8 degrees, depending on where in the fridge the temperature is measured, in the door or at the back, the top or the bottom. Many webpages will say that one should not put a SCOBY into a fridge, because it will catch mould, or the activity will get too low because of the temperature. Instead one should make a SCOBY hotel. My suspicion though is that what else is stored in the fridge also affects what happens to the SCOBY. After all, a fridge is an excellent place for various types of bacteria and mould, a few of these may not be SCOBY friendly.

For a long time, one batch of the SCOBY was standing on the fridge and that was also okay. Occasionally I added a bit of weak tea with some sugar when they were about to dry out or looked sugar hungry. In December-January, I could see one SCOBY, stored in a fridge sinking, and changing colour to more dark. The liquid though was fine, and the acidity good enough to be a cleaning agent.

Recently, I decided to reactivate the SCOBYs and test if they were alive. First I made a try based on a sweet black tea with some of the above vinegar, left to stand at a room temperature of about 20 degrees Celsius. After a few days, I stopped the experiment as not enough was happening. Left was now only the two-litre jar full to the brim with old SCOBYS from last summer. The top one was showing signs of giving up, even if there was no mould at all, but I took a small piece from the most healthy half and tossed it in with some of the juice that I could get by soaking and squeezing the content. After two-three days, it was hard to say if there was life or not. I decided to put it on a small trivet placed in a ceramic plate on a warm and comfortable to the touch radiator, thus raising the temperature with a few degrees, maybe 5-7 degrees Celsius. And this worked very well, the SCOBY piece decided to float and build. Here one could also mention that the kind of bacterias that make up a SCOBY are influenced by the temperature.
Different temperatures select distinctive acetic acid bacteria species and promotes organic acids production during Kombucha tea fermentation
For more on the biochemistry:

Insights into the fermentation biochemistry of Kombucha teas and potential impacts of Kombucha drinking on starch digestion

Other experiments I have made is thinning the brew with water when there was little activity, suspecting that there was too much sugar in. Or thinning the tea if it was too strong. For instance, they say that Earl Grey is no good, but I have tried commercial Earl Grey and it is okay if not too strong. I have also after removing the tea leaves, add more water on them to make a thinner tea to add to the first. It works too. A SCOBY is like many plants, it needs care but is also generous and resilient.
 

T.C.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I don’t have the detailed information about this story, but my friend’s stepdad was a serious alcoholic and eventually he was told by the doctor that his liver was done and he was going to need a liver transplant. He quit drinking and looked into ways to improve his liver function and learned about kombucha tea.

He started making it and drinking it. I don’t know how much he drank or for how long, but eventually when the doctors tested him again, they were astounded that his liver function had returned to normal and he didn’t need any further treatment.
 

Rich

The Living Force
He started making it and drinking it. I don’t know how much he drank or for how long, but eventually when the doctors tested him again, they were astounded that his liver function had returned to normal and he didn’t need any further treatment.
That is great to hear T.C. I love the flavour it has and great to hear your friend had such positive benefits to his health from his transition!
I haven't made any for a while but you reminding me of it now makes me think I will deffo get another batch on the go after I have moved to my new flat, so Thank you!
 
Top Bottom