Wednesday, July 9, 2014
Brewing Some Booch
If you are like me you are a huge fan of the delicious fizzy fermented tea known as kombucha. If you tried it once and found it a little on the vinegary side, try it a few more times, and try different flavors. It might grow on you like it did me. Once my taste buds acquired the taste for kombucha, I noticed that it gave me this little pep of happy energy. Not the aggressive kick in the ass that an energy drink gives you, but just this good little feeling. As someone who used to abuse caffeine in many forms, I appreciate the good "buzz" I get from good old booch. As someone who is never not on a strict budget, Kombucha was always a very rare treat, and I lived for any kind of sale! For maybe three years or so, I have flirted with the idea of making my own, and watched YouTube videos, read as much information as I could, and it just always sounded too scary, and too out of my skill set, and you can die if you do it wrong apparently. And I always thought, how will I know if I've made it wrong if it's the first time I've ever made it? See what I mean? Way too risky. I just was reading too much stuff and freaking myself out! Last summer around this time of the year, I was at the local Co-op, and above their Kombucha cooler was a starter kit and I must have been feeling sassy that day and I bought the starter along with a gallon glass jar. I had tea and sugar at home already, so that was all I needed. I bought Oregon kombucha brand if anyone is curious, I know there are many different brands online. As soon as I got home and read the instructions I calmed down. The people at Oregon Kombucha have a relaxed way of brewing the booch. According to them, they use plain old tap water, so unless you live somewhere where it is not safe, so should you! A lot of videos I watched online said you must use distilled water. Anyway I decided to not listen to the internet, and follow the instructions that came with the kit, and I had success, and I have not had a single bad batch, I have not died, and most importantly, I have saved TONS of money! I have learned tricks along the way to improve my kombucha, but even in the beginning when my brew skills weren't what they are now, I still never had to throw a batch out. I have experimented with different teas and found that I prefer a white or green tea over the more commonly used black tea. I also learned that a little more sugar than the recommended one cup makes for a more carbonated final product which I prefer. What can I say, I like my fizz! I followed the directions the first few times, then when I felt like I understood what I was doing, I started mixing things up to tailor it to my needs. I make my booch, then I bottle it with a juice of some kind, lately my fave juice to use is Wegmens organic strawberry lemonade. It makes for a very refreshing booch. So where I live the two brands of kombucha available to me are GT's kombucha, and Reed's brand. Both are around $3.79 a bottle. I can make a whole batch for less than that, and a batch makes probably at least ten bottles which are 16 oz. for the GT's brand, and 13.5 oz. for the Reed's. So quite the savings and I swear it is so easy it takes no time. And every time you make a batch, it creates another scoby, which is what makes the sweet tea turn into Kombucha. Scoby stands for symbiotic culture of yeast and bacteria if you're curious. The scoby, with a cup of booch, plus the instructions are what make the starter kit. I have more scobys than I can use! And I always have 2 batches going, so I never run out! I don't think I mentioned that the kit was 12.50 give or take! That was a year ago and I drink one, sometimes two servings of kombucha a day! So really if you love Kombucha but can't afford the good stuff, try brewing you're own! I promise it is so easy and you don't have to be deprived of everything just because you're on a budget! And brewing you're own booch also is gentler on Mother Earth as it cuts down on packaging so really everyone comes out a winner. Have a wonderful fizzy day!!!!