Kombucha! A great tasting, healthy, detoxifying & refreshing drink used in Chinese medicine for over 2000 years.
1 C sugar
5 tea bags of organic black tea
1 gallon filtered water
1/2 C Kombucha from previous batch (if you buy a mother, this comes with it)
1 Kombucha Mushroom (you can purchase one from my website modernroots.org--> country store)
Bring water to boil. Add sugar, simmer until dissolved. Remove from heat, add tea. Steep until water is completely cooled. Pour liquid into glass bowl or jar such as mine. Add mushroom and 1/2 c liquid she is in. Cover the top loosely with a papertowl (I double them up) and wrap with a rubber band. Store in a dark room temperature area. Kombucha should be ready in 7-10 days. Your mother will have created another mother (aka scoby or mushroom). Store them in an airtight glass container and put in the fridge for future batches. A single mother can be used dozens of times.
BottlingYou can now bottle it. I put 1/4 tsp white sugar on the bottom of every pint jar I bottle. This creates the extra fizz many desire. After you bottle it with the extra sugar, allow to ferment for 24-48 hours on the counter before putting in the fridge. I do not pressure bottle as Kombucha should be used within 6 weeks (It never lasts that long at my house).
Kombucha does not taste much like tea, more of a very refreshing vinegar background. You can also add flavoring with natural fruit after it is done fermenting or use flavored black tea or a mix of both. For my bavarian triple berry - I add 2 cups raspberries, 1 cup blackberries, and 1 cup blueberries to a stainless steel pot and bring to a boil. Boil 1 minute. Strain seeds/skin out. Add 1 cup berry liquid to the already fermented Kombucha just before bottling. Allow to ferment the flavors for a day in a dark, room temperature room. Follow the bottling instructions above.
*Note: you must use white sugar.
*Word of caution. As with anything, some individuals may be allergic to Kombucha. Though rare, if you have allergies, start with a small taste. If you react badly use Beet Kvass several weeks to detoxify and then try again.
More recipes at modernroots.org- 'like on facebook at facebook.com/modernroots.org for updates and chatter about self-reliant country living :)