Whether you are a kombucha brewing newbie thinking about purchasing and brewing for the first time or an advanced brewer (actually wait till Day 5 as most advanced brewers will be blown away at this technique) who has already enjoyed all the benefits of preparing and drinking kombucha tea for several years now – what you are about to learn over the next few days will ensure your success in preparing wholesome, delicious kombucha tea for just pennies per serving!
OK, so enough of the blah, blah, blah.. let’s get Crackin!!
Common Kombucha Brewing Instruction Terms (part 1)
Below is a Glossary of the Most Common Kombucha Brewing Terms. You will need to know these before continuing on with the course. Understanding the following terms are simple, but necessary.
They also make a fantastic “cheat sheet” when brewing and referring to a recipe. In other classes we will go further into the Kombucha brewing instructions.
KOMBUCHA MUSHROOM (or just MUSHROOM): Refers to an actual Kombucha Culture. It gets this name because it looks like a flat rubbery pancake, often resembling the cap of a mushroom. Note: Kombucha is NOT a mushroom, but more on this later 🙂 It is common to refer to the kombucha in kombucha brewing instructions on how to make kombucha as:
- kombucha mushroom
- kombucha culture
- kombucha mother
- kombucha baby
- kombucha scoby
- or as a combination such as kombucha mushroom culture
And speaking of SCOBY… (nice segue huh?)
Kombuchas SCOBY: Acronym standing for Symbiotic Colony (or Culture) of Bacteria and Yeast. This is the truest definition of a Kombucha Mother Culture and is used the most when making kombucha. Now you can impress your friends when you correct them and tell them it is not a Mushroom (even if your kombucha instructions call it that)!
K-TEA: Short for Kombucha Tea. This is the delicious finished product of brewing kombucha. In other words, kombucha starts off as pretty much regular sweet tea with two additional ingredients:
- a kombucha scoby
- some kombucha starter tea
During the fermentation process, the starter tea along with the kombucha culture converts the sweet tea into what we know and love as kombucha (or K-Tea for short).
And speaking of Starter Tea… (oh yeah, two for two baby!)
STARTER TEA: This is K-Tea that has usually been fermented longer. It could also be simply Kombucha Tea like from a bottle of kombucha tea, if this is the case the only reason why it has a different name is b/c the purpose of the kombucha tea is not to drink but to use for brewing in your kombucha instructions.
- Its main use is to help “kick off” the fermentation process.
- Starter tea can be enhanced when keeping in the yeast salts (yeast
strands that gradually forms while brewing).
- When shipping a kombucha scoby, always be sure to pack it with a little starter tea!
SWEET TEA: Refers to the mixture of tea and sugar that is prepared for the kombucha culture to ferment and turn into K-TEA (ahhh, do you see how it’s all coming together!) – we will discuss the best way to prepare your sweet tea a little later on in this course.
- Can also be reffered to as Nutrient Solution – why? Because not all kombucha is made with Tea (as in Camellias Senensis).
- Before you begin experimenting it IS recommended you first brew kombucha by following the basic Kombucha Brewing Instructions and use real tea and evaporated cane juice as the sugar source.
- Keep in mind that the sugar in kombucha is not for YOU, but for the Kombucha SCOBY to convert into all the healthy and tasty goodness.. so even though you start with a lot of sugar, very little remains after the tea is properly fermented.
PREPARATION POT: Pot used to prepare your SWEET TEA. Note: Please avoid using lead based or aluminum pots for boiling your tea. Stainless Steel and Glass work great.
KOMBUCHA BREWING CONTAINER: This is the container used for fermenting and brewing your sweet tea into your k-tea. Both the SCOBY (remember that word?), sweet tea, and your starter tea are placed into the kombucha brewing container.
- Never use aluminum or any other metal besides stainless steel for your kombucha brewing container (stainless steel has been tested fine, however it might taste funny over time).
- Never use Crystal as your kombucha fermentation container as it has elements of lead..
- Glass is a wonderful option. Just make sure when you brew you can place your brewer in a place that’s away from direct sun light as there has been some research showing that kombucha thrives away from direct sunlight.
- Plastic brewing containers have been controversial, as many believe that the kombucha tea’s “detox” properties will draw out the toxins found in plastic and place it into your tea. From my experience and from some research, they have found as long as the plastic is FDA approved like a HDPE #2 using this as your kombucha container is fine… this is the same grade plastic that many people brew beer and wine in.
- Porcelain is also a wonderful choice when selecting your brewing container options. The benefits of porcelain are many: Pure kombucha brewing taste without worrying about plastic or metal residues, naturally protects from direct sunlight, and it is also a great insulator for extreme temps both hot and cold. If you are thinking about using porcelain as your kombucha brewing container, please make sure that it is Certified Lead Free, like all the porcelain kombucha brewing brewers we offer on our site.
COVERING: This refers to a “breathable” (think handkerchief, paper towel, or the best: a muslin cloth), to cover your Kombucha Brewing Container. Though you can use several options for securing your covering over your kombucha brewing container, experience shows that a simple rubber band is often the most effective – Note: we will explain why having a breathable covering is so important later on.
- Paper Towel, Handkerchief, Muslin Cloth or even Panty Hose works great!!
- Never use Cheese Cloth (even if it says so in your kombucha brewing instructions), as the holes are too big and you might get some baby fruit flies fitting through.
KOMBUCHA BOTTLING: Generally, the process of separating out your SCOBY with your newly fermented K-Tea. Kombucha Bottling instructions can refer to actually pouring the K-Tea in individual bottles, which will ensure longer shelf life, better serving portions, and a more delicious effervescent taste. Or it can refer to simply removing your K-Tea and placing it into another container to be enjoyed later.
- Bottling your kombucha tea is the most time consuming task of the whole process.
- Kombucha bottling also yields the highest risk to your SCOBY being susceptible to unwanted elements.
We will commit a whole class to kombucha brewing instructions for bottling your kombucha tea so that you can learn how to do it right. Most Advanced Kombcuha Brewers are not even aware of this!
Till then. Study up, but relax – there is no quiz 🙂 And we’ll see you tomorrow when we explore in depth this ancient tonic, and finally find out…
“EXACTLY WHAT THE HECK IS KOMBUCHA?”
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