A few weeks ago I secured my very first SCOBY. Yes...I am a Kombucha virgin <blush>.
Ok, on with my discovery.
While perusing Facebook Marketplace I came across someone in my local area offering to give a SCOBY and starter to anyone interested. With the FALL season upon us, my mind always wanders to unique ways to preserve whatever I can of FALL and most of the time that means jam, herbs, garden goodies and hauling in our outdoor plants before the first freeze. Can you imagine that is just around the corner...in my area it is less than a week away! Well anyway, with that on my mind I thought sure why not try out this fermentation thingy to see what happens.
My dear friend Ms. Google and I got busy researching what we could do with this SCOBY thingy. What really intrigued me was the 2nd ferment process and adding various fruits to "feed" the tea and make some hopefully yummy "naturally fizzy" drinks. I learned that Kombucha starts out as sweetened black tea, a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) and some already made kombucha tea to get it growing. With a little warmth and love the tea begins to make more healthy symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast and grows a new SCOBY that floats along the top of the liquid. After about a week the tea loses its sweet taste and becomes tangy and a fit fizzy. So I put together my first gallon of sweet tea, SCOBY and kombucha tea, tucked it away in the pantry for a week THEN...Oh happy day, we made Kombucha!
I was amazed and delighted that it really was quite good tasting, kind of reminded me of ginger ale without the ginger.
I was now really enjoying this new experience so I quickly began another batch since my sweetheart was going to have it drunk before I could try the "2nd ferment" process. Oh yeah, there is a second step to this process. So now we have about a gallon and a half, the second batch was made with green tea called Jun tea. My brew now was funneled into some 32 oz containers with swing top lids, a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1/4 cup of mashed plum was added. I wanted to keep my first experiment simple...I thought I'd save the more complex flavoring for later. The send ferment just needs a couple days to allow the tea to feed on the sugar and fruit combo. Day 2 I take a peek and there are loads of bubbles...
Hm-mm maybe it's ready? I popped the lid back and an explosion of fizz and fruit come forth. I'm so glad I took it out to the porch! Ok, so after a bit of cleanup I think I'm so glad I checked that.The other bottles looked fine so they all went back in the pantry.
My sweetheart and I kicked back to enjoy a late night Netflix movie before bed but suddenly we heard a startling noise.
Running toward the sound I had that unsettling "uh-ohhh" feeling.
Opening the pantry door confirmed it... red pulp, glass and sprays of juice all over the floor, carpet runner, shelves, you name it!