Drinking kombucha for its purported health benefits is on the rise. So to is making kombucha at home. In this post, we share our tips on how to choose the best home kombucha kits.
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The Best Kombucha Kits
We include detailed kombucha making kit reviews below, but if you are short on time, feel free to use the table below to see our best picks. We recommend using Amazon for making your purchase.
First, we find Amazon to have the best at-home culinary kits in terms of price and quality. Second, we try to recommend products that are part of Amazon Prime, which provides purchasers with free and often super-fast delivery. (Get 30 days of Prime free here.)
What Is Kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented, lightly carbonated tea drink. Black or green tea is mixed with sugar, bacteria, and yeast and allowed to “brew.” It is flavored with a variety of spices, fruits, and other juices. Kombucha has become a popular drink for its supposed health benefits.
Originating in China, kombucha has long been made and consumed for its purported medicinal properties. From reducing blood pressure to fighting certain cancers, the list of medical benefits from drinking kombucha is lengthy. However, modern science has yet to back any of these claims. Despite this, the popularity of drinking kombucha continues to grow.
With any fermented beverage, caution should be used when consuming it. This holds true with drinking kombucha. When starting out with kombucha, it’s best to start with small amounts. Fermented drinks can cause bloating, gas, and other stomach discomforts in those who are not used to drinking it. Over time these issues should disappear.
How To Make Your Own Kombucha At Home
Because you will be working with live bacteria and yeast, it is important that all your equipment is sanitized. Wash all your equipment in hot, soapy water prior to getting started. Unsanitized utensils can transfer contaminants to the SCOBY leading to a bad batch of kombucha and potential illness. If you are going to handle the SCOBY, it’s best to wear non-latex gloves to avoid contaminating it.
Having a properly cultured SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is the key to how to brew kombucha. It’s important to purchase the SCOBY from a reliable source.
If you don’t have a trusted friend making their own kombucha, it’s possible to purchase from your local health food store. Once you’ve gotten your SCOBY, make sure to inspect it for mold, fungal growth, or discoloration.
The first step in making kombucha is to bring one cup of filtered water and sugar to the boil. This mixture will feed the SCOBY and fuel the fermentation process. Once the sugar is completely dissolved tea bags are added. Tea is the last main ingredient in making kombucha. It’s important to only use black or green tea. Herbal teas have an adverse effect on the SCOBY.
Cool And Add SCOBY
After the tea has steeped for approximately 10 minutes, remove the bags. Additional filtered water is added to increase the volume of kombucha produced. After the mixture has cooled, it’s time to add the SCOBY and let it go to work. Covering the container with coffee filters will allow the container to “breath” while keeping out unwanted particles.
With the SCOBY securely in the jar, the next step is properly storing it. For the best results, avoid putting the jar in direct sunlight. The jar should be kept in a spot with minimal sunlight and a constant temperature. Both direct sunlight and fluctuating temperatures can affect the fermentation process. From start to finish, the fermentation process will take between 7-10 days.
Test and Flavor
After the fermentation process has finished, it’s time to test the pH level. The ideal pH level is between 4.2 and 2.5. Once you have the correct pH level, transfer the contents to a new container for flavoring. Sliced ginger, apple, and other fruits are common ingredients used to flavor kombucha. Strain the infused mixture and store in the refrigerator. A batch of kombucha will last up to six months if properly stored.
Why Buy A Home Kombucha Kit
Perhaps more than making beer or wine at home, there is a certain increased level of risk with making kombucha at home. Much like handling raw meat or making canned goods at home, the bacteria necessary to make kombucha can cause illness if not handled properly. For this reason alone, buying a kombucha homebrew kit makes sense.
For a first-time kombucha maker, making kombucha at home can be difficult. There are many moving parts to understand. Which supplies or equipment do you need? How does fermentation work? When will I know the kombucha is ready? Trying to figure all of this out independently can be time-consuming and very frustrating.
Using an at-home kombucha kit saves time, energy and will eliminate a lot of frustration. Regardless of how familiar you are with home brewing, there are kits available to match your level of experience. Best of all, at home kits provide all the equipment you will need to make kombucha. There’s no need to buy any additional equipment or ingredients. Using the provided instructions, you’ll be making kombucha in no time.
What’s Included In A DIY Kombucha Kit
Online shopping sites like Amazon offer a variety of kombucha brewing kits for sale. Instead of having to source the necessary kombucha supplies separately, these kits provide all the components you’ll need to make kombucha at home. Here’s a look at what’s included in a kombucha starter kit.
Kombucha Brewing Jar
Usually one gallon in size, these glass jars are where the kombucha magic will happen. The jar needs to be cleaned prior to using and placed in a safe space during the fermentation process.
Also known as SCOBY, or symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, kombucha extract is the key ingredient in making kombucha. It begins the fermentation process, feeding off of the contents of the jar.
Tea And Sugar
The other two main ingredients in making kombucha, most kits will include one cup of organic sugar and a sampling of tea. The amount provided is enough for an initial kombucha brewing and will have to be replaced after using.
Also included in most kombucha home brew kits are pH strips, thermometer, filters, plastic lid for the jar, and detailed step-by-step instructions on how to make kombucha at home.
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