Many of us have come across this “creature” in the bank, which stood on the shelf of our grandmother and did a good deed. What is kombucha, how to make kombucha and how is this drink useful? We will tell you in a new article.
What is kombucha?
Kombucha - This is a fermented, carbonated sweet and sour drink, which is prepared on the basis of tea — black or green. Also known as kombucha, Manchurian mushroom (when referring to the culture of bacteria used to make the drink).
It is commonly consumed for its purported health benefits. Sometimes fruits, juices, various spices are added to kombucha to improve the taste and aroma.
Tea mushroom is a culture of bacteria that produces kombucha.
History of tea grebe and kombucha
Where exactly this drink appeared and who came up with the idea of planting a mushroom in a jar and drinking its metabolic products is unknown. It is believed that kombucha was first prepared and drunk in China; it is for this country that the spicy drink is considered traditional.
The drink was also consumed on our territory in the 20th century, after which it already migrated to Europe, and from there to the USA. It was the United States that began to popularize kombucha in the 21st century.
Believe it or not, this slimy pancake in a jar is so popular with Westerners that sales of kombucha have soared to $1.67 billion as of 2017.
What is kombucha made of?
So, what is kombucha made of?
Kombucha culture is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast. The yeast found in the mushroom is very similar to the microorganisms that produce vinegar. Yeast produces alcohols. Next comes the bacteria.
The bacterial component includes bacteria such as Komagataeibacter xylinus. These bacteria begin to ferment the alcohols produced by the yeast.
Is there alcohol in kombucha
No. Kombucha is only 0.5% alcohol, so it is not a drink that should not be drunk by those who drive.
However, in 2015, there were incidents that showed that some Western brands of kombucha contained alcohol, yet, so new standards for testing and researching the drink had to be introduced.
Health benefits and harms of kombucha: doctor’s word
According to Dr. Brent Bayer, kombucha should not be considered a cure for all diseases and almost a healing elixir. Despite the fact that kombucha contains vinegar, B vitamins and a number of other beneficial chemical compounds, you should not believe everything that is said about kombucha.
“Proponents claim that kombucha helps prevent and treat serious illnesses, from blood pressure to cancer. These claims are not backed by science.”, says the doctor.
Limited evidence suggests that kombucha may have benefits similar to probiotic supplements, including boosting a healthy immune system and preventing constipation. Currently, however, reliable medical research into the role of kombucha tea in human health is very limited, and there are risks to be considered.
Negative properties of kombucha
Kombucha can cause a number of side effects:
- stomach upset;
- allergic reactions.
Very often, kombucha brewed in the wrong conditions can cause serious poisoning. A lot also depends on the dishes, says Dr. Bayer.
“When improperly made ceramic pots were used for brewing, lead poisoning occurred — acids in tea can leach lead from ceramic glaze”, says the specialist.
How to grow kombucha at home from scratch
If you want to try your hand as a kombucha maker, or don’t have anyone to ask for a piece, there’s a great option to grow it yourself. It’s pretty simple.
There are several ways to grow kombucha.
1. How to grow kombucha from tea leaves
This is the classic way to get kombucha, but also the easiest.
You will need: black leaf tea, sugar, water.
How to cook kombucha:
- Prepare strong tea. To do this, pour 6 tablespoons of tea leaves with 0.5 liters of boiling water. It is best to use simple varieties of tea — without additives and flavors.
- Let the tea brew and cool it down.
- Add about 6–7 tablespoons of sugar and stir to dissolve.
- Pour the tea into a container for growing kombucha through a fine strainer. It is recommended to use an ordinary three-liter jar.
- Cover the container with a piece of gauze so that dust and insects do not get into it.
- Store the container with the liquid in the shade, at a temperature of 25 degrees. And in no case do not move the jar until the mushroom forms!
- After 14 days, the tea begins to smell of vinegar, this is normal, the fermentation process has begun.
- A week later, a film will appear on the surface — this is the germ of Kombucha.
- As soon as the kombucha reaches a thickness of 2 millimeters, you need to carefully drain the infusion and replace it with sweet tea. It is very important that the mushroom is not deformed or torn! Do it carefully!
Kombucha will fully mature in 1–2 months, and then you can make kombucha.
2. How to Grow Kombucha with Apple Juice or Apple Cider Vinegar
This is a more complicated way to grow kombucha. But also interesting.
How to prepare the basis for growing kombucha:
- Wash the apples, peel them from the peel and seeds, all spoilage.
- Grind the apples in mashed potatoes, put the gruel in a jar and fill it with chilled boiled water.
- Add 150 g of honey and 15 g of yeast, mix.
- Place the container in the shade and stir every day.
- After 10 days, squeeze applesauce through gauze, and pour the resulting liquid into a jar washed without chemicals.
- Leave the liquid to ferment for a month or two. At the end you will get kombucha.
3. How to grow kombucha from wild rose
Rosehip infusion is also a good way to grow kombucha. Everything is pretty simple.
Preparation of kombucha from rosehip infusion:
- You will need 10 rose hips — dry or fresh.
- Place the berries in a thermos, pour boiling water (about 0.5 l).
- Leave the thermos closed for five days.
- Then pour the infusion into a container for growing the mushroom. A jar that was washed without detergents will do.
- Pour cold strong tea into a jar (a glass of water, 1 teaspoon of tea leaves, 5 teaspoons of sugar).
- Well, do not forget to cover your kombucha with gauze so that nothing extra gets there.
How to grow kombucha from a piece
This method is suitable if someone shared a piece of kombucha with you. The main task is to create a piece of good conditions for life and development.
How to do it:
- 2 teaspoons of plain tea should be brewed in 1 liter of hot water. If the mushroom grew in green tea — choose green, and if in black — black.
- Add 5 tablespoons of sugar to the tea, stir well to dissolve the sugar.
- Cool the tea leaves, strain, pour into a container for growing.
- Put kombucha there, cover with gauze and put in a warm place, in the shade.
- After a week, replace the infusion with fresh tea.
How to care for kombucha
Proper care is very important, otherwise your kombucha will cease to be beneficial, and even begin to harm your health.
What is contraindicated for kombucha:
- nicotine smoke;
- temperature difference in the room;
The kombucha should be kept under cheesecloth so that it gets air but doesn’t get dusty and attract insects. Also, before working with kombucha, it is imperative to wash your hands with soap and remove all jewelry from your hands, the fungus does not tolerate metal objects.
Keep the growing containers clean — you can not wash them with detergents, but they must be washed. This is how cleanliness is maintained.
To make the mushroom feel better, mix the updated liquid for it with a small amount of the old one.
When should kombucha be thrown away?
If the kombucha becomes stained or begins to break down, it will no longer be of any use — you can only throw it away. Also, if gauze flew off the jar (and it stood like that for some time), you can already throw it away, most likely, the mushroom has accumulated dust. And, of course, insects. If there are insects in the jar, all your work has gone down the drain.