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Kombucha Overload

2014-05-02 20.57.42There was a time I’d only seen this mystical liquid on the interwebs. Everyone was drinking it and it is supposed to be a magic elixir of health and good feeling. It took some time but I found it randomly in a supermarket a bit to the south of me (read: too far for a regular trip). I bought some and it was good, but not the best thing I ever tasted.

I recognize that Kombucha has some health benefits and some less publicized health risks. The moral of the story is if you are going to drink, start slowly and  speak with your doctor if you have problems with your kidneys or liver.

So, I gathered some supplies and SCOBY from an online source and brewed my first batch. It was pretty good! A no frills, straight up fizzy tea…better than I expected. I didn’t think the hubs would like it, sometimes I think his taste buds are from outer space because he doesn’t seem to like delicious food sometimes. I was pretty surprised when I found him drinking a glass of it that I didn’t pour for him. He chose it willingly! I had to hide my amazement.

Here is what I did not anticipate in my first couple tries:

  • As you prepare your first batch for secondary fermentation, the SCOBY will have to be moved to a second batch so you should already have a cooled batch of sweet tea.
  • The SCOBY grows pretty quickly (what the heck am I going to do with all this stuff?)
  • You can add fruit, spices during the secondary fermentation to jazz up your drink . I like raspberry and ginger.
  • It’s best to have larger jars and a non-metal funnel. I didn’t have larger jars (I only had the one huge one for brewing) so when I did the secondary fermentation, I quite a few small ones and it was a bit cumbersome.

I got a little worried about the growing SCOBY situation. Unfortunately for me, the people I know in town aren’t willing to try Kombucha, so giving some of the SCOBY to them (I would have been thrilled) is out of the question. I put some in the compost heap–going back to the Earth couldn’t hurt. I went to the only expert I know – Google- because surely those can’t be the ONLY options. Here’s what I found:

Via Mockingbird Meadows:

1. Use it as a facial –put it on your face for 15 minutes

2. Dry out and give it to your pet as a chewy treat.

3. Put a small piece under a band-aid to assist in healing cuts and burns

4. Dress plants that like a high pH with it directly

5. Blend a small piece of it into a smoothie

6. Add a small bit of it to flower vases in order to rejuvenate your flowers

Via Holistic Quid:

7. Make SCOBY Jerky- this post has pictures and everything

And finally- for the Crafty Folks:

8. Make some jewelry- Check them out here and here. It’s incredible. Who knew?! The internet literally has everything.

I may get bold one day and try some of this. Especially the facial thing. It skeeves me out right now, but if I’m two glasses of wine deep, I might try it 🙂

Today I’m going to prep a batch for secondary fermentation, maybe with blueberries this time, and make a SCOBY Hotel for some of the extra. I didn’t realize that you could just KEEP some.

I’d love to hear about your Kombucha experience! What advice or ideas do you have?