Carbonating Kombucha

So last week, we talked about how to make your very own kombucha for a fraction of the price. This post will cover how to kick your kombucha up a notch with flavoring and carbonation! Now that you have an active batch of tea, whenever you add more sugar the yeast in the tea will eat up the extra sugar creating CO2, naturally carbonating your batch of kombucha. Here’s the fun part- the sugar you use will be juice or a juice combination of your choosing. Another option you can use is fresh or dried fruit. This time I made pomegranate kombucha. Behold! DIRECTIONS:

WHAT YOU’LL NEED:

  1. 2 Cups of your favorite juice or fruit.
  2. Flip cap bottles (I got these), mason jars or any glass container that has a sealing lid. Make sure to get enough bottles to hold 1 gallon of liquid.

Optional Step 2 Equipment: A mesh strainer

STEP 1:

With clean hands remove your SCOBY and separate any babies that have grown, if you plan on giving them to friends (there’s a picture below of OG SCOBY which is darker looking compared to the brand new baby). Place them in clean jars along with ½ of a cup of your freshly fermented kombucha.

 

OPTIONAL STEP 2:

Strain your gallon of kombucha. Sometimes there are floating strands of yeast which are totally okay to drink, but I prefer to not have them in there.

STEP 3:

Pour your juice or fruit into your glass containers. The ratio for juice should be 10-25% juice to 75-90% kombucha. The ratio should be 30-10% fruit to 70-90% kombucha. In each of my 16oz bottles I poured ¼ cup of juice. I eyed it the first time I made it which worked just fine too!!

STEP 4:

Add your kombucha to your glass containers leaving 1 inch of head space or less (the less oxygen the better). I prefer to use a funnel and my beverage dispenser because I am a serious klutz.

.DSC02752

STEP 5:

Place your glass containers in a warm dark spot in your kitchen and wait 3 days to a week at the most. Too much time or heat can make kombucha shoot up to your ceiling (true story). CAREFULLY crack them open to release the pressure and then place them in the fridge, it slows down all the activity. You’re done son! Try not to drink them all in one sitting.

 

KOMBUCHA : Barney Style

You’ll find a recurring theme here on This Marvelous Mess. I like things that are cheap and as natural as possible, I also love preventative health. Kombucha fills all of those lovely little check boxes and since I made a batch this week, I figure I’d share how I make it and how awesome it is.

A friend asked me if I wanted a SCOBY to make kombucha. I of course had no idea what the heck she was talking about. It sounded like she was giving me a secret password to play a new hipster board game that came out or something, so I briefly googled it. Turns out kombucha is a fermented tea that’s supposed to be really good for you. I got the SCOBY from her and I was thinking it was going to be some special teapot that ferments tea for you… I WAS DEAD WRONG. She gave me a jar, in this jar was a byproduct of something apparently made from the slime in the Ghostbusters II movie. I wanted to make sure making a batch of this stuff was worth my time before I put my hands on that disgusting thing. Turns out SCOBY is an acronym for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast, this little disc is filled with vitamins, probiotics and good-for-you acids. When you place the SCOBY into a batch of tea and wait a week or two BAM! You have kombucha. The SCOBY has now created a beverage that is great for your digestive and immune systems. Seriously, this thing saved me so much stomach pain postpartum. It costs $2-$5 a bottle at the store and I make a gallon of it for dirt cheap, and you can too. Winna winna chicken dinna. Here is a super easy step by step guide on how to make it, and stay tuned next Monday for a post on how to carbonate and flavor your kombucha!

What you’ll need:

  1. A SCOBY at room temperature in at least 1/2 of a cup of some starter tea. If there is no starter tea, purchase a bottle of unflavored kombucha from the store.
  2. 1/3 of a cup of green or black tea. If you are using tea bags just stick enough tea bags in a measuring cup to make the 1/3 mark and SKIP STEP 2.
  3. 1 Gallon of purified water
  4. 1 Gallon glass jar (I got mine HERE)
  5. Coffee filters
  6. A rubber band

STEP 1:

Boil the gallon of water and then shut it off once it’s done.

STEP 2:

Make a ginormous tea bag by putting your 1/3 cup of tea in a coffee filter and staple it shut, like this:
1

STEP 3:

Steep your tea in the freshly boiled water, for five to ten minutes.

STEP 4:

Pour your tea in the glass jar and allow it to cool to the same temperature as your SCOBY and starter liquid,usually 12-24 hours.

2

 

STEP 5:

Once your brewed tea is room temperature, using clean hands put your SCOBY in the batch of tea.

3

STEP 6:

Add ½ of a cup of starter tea.

STEP 7:

Cover the top of the jar with a coffee filter and rubber band to allow the tea to breath and keep fruit flies out. Put the jar in a warm corner in your kitchen.

4

YOU’RE DONE SON! Now pat yourself on the back and wait 1-2 weeks. The longer you wait the more sour it will be. You’ll be able to smell it becoming more similar to vinegar after a few days. After a week try a bit by using a straw to see if you like it or if you’d like to ferment it more. If you’d like to kick your “booch” up a notch try to carbonate and flavor it!

 

This Marvelous Mess: Ze First Post

SO! I’M FINALLY DOING IT. I’m sharing my life on the internet. It’s easy to post funny meme’s about a messy house, but it’s super hard to post a picture of your laundry room that used to have a visible floor. You may not even have a laundry room. You might eat takeout every evening because you struggle with depression and can’t seem to get yourself out of bed to cook dinner. You might be on food stamps and can’t afford super fancy, gluten-free organic meals plans served with chickens who learned their freaking alphabet before they were slaughtered. Sometimes, LIFE HAPPENS.

One of my biggest fears lies in showing my “real self” and leaving others to take it or leave it, with all the opinions and judgments that come with it. What do I mean by “real self”? When someone asks me how I am, it’s easy to say “I’m having a rough week, pray for me!” What’s hard to say is “I’m having a rough week because I feel like I yelled at my kids too much and I got into a huge fight with my husband over something stupid.” THAT is what I mean by real.

Before I share some of my mess with you, let me give you a visual: I’m big and uncomfortable because I’m pregnant and I’ve been having contractions for pretty much a week straight. My youngest is currently making a mess with a plate that I left out last night that had some frosting on it. And I’m totally babysitting my two eldest with a few episodes of “Hey Arnold”, just so I can write this post. Oh and throw in the very timely body flop to the tummy while I’m having a contractions courtesy of my youngest, she’s trying to hug me with her now frosting covered body.

A little bit about myself, I’m a young mom of three kids under five and we are expecting number four any day now. I’ve been married for six years to a man who is as equally strange as I am, possibly worse. Together we make a crazy bunch of folks just trying to find out what normal is for us. My life growing up was not your typical middle class American dream where everyone has the same last name and owning a home was in your future. I come from a single parent home. We were on welfare. We’ve moved more times than I can count and sometimes we lived in hotels for long periods of time. My mother has been clean and sober for 16 years from drugs and alcohol, she did the best she could with what she had. I was in foster care for a little bit. Eventually my mom got clean and then things started to change, we moved less and she got a job that she still works at to this day. I share this with you because as I raise my own children, my normal growing up is nowhere near their normal. They have a stay at home mom for crying out loud! I share this because everyone comes from a different climb and place. My place just so happens to be pretty much from ground zero.  That’s my mess.

What you read here will be from that perspective. What is meal planning and how do you start? What are essential oils and how the hell do those work? What does it even mean to be “real”? How can I eat healthy (sometimes healthy-ish) and not become broke? Each and every individual has a struggle, but that struggle will mold and shape you into something stronger. That’s why my starting point which may be messy, is wonderfully MARVELOUS. Now, let’s do life … shall we?