I love Kombucha so when I heard I could brew my own at home I was so excited to give it a go. Now I’ve finished drinking my first batch of this fermented fizzy tea and I’m getting set to brew another. Read on to find out how you can brew Kombucha at home with the All About Kombucha DIY Brewing Kit.
At Green Outlook we’re all for supporting Irish business so when All About Kombucha who are based in Co. Galway contacted me about their Carbon Neutral Kombucha Brewery I was interested to hear more. Founded by Keith and Emmett All About Kombucha are putting sustainability at the front of their business model. They offset their carbon emissions from brewing as a member of 1% for the Planet and as I experienced use only recyclable paper, glass and compostable packaging.
I received their Deluxe Kombucha Brewing Kit and a selection of their own Kombucha as a gift so I could try it out and share my thoughts with Green Outlook customers. The DIY Kit and bottles arrived by DPD courier within two days. The kombucha kit contains a 2 litre Kilner glass jar and a flip top glass bottle. Everything arrived safe and sound in recyclable cardboard packaging and padding. No bubble wrap in sight!
Why I like Kombucha?
I’ve a big sweet tooth but I’m not a fan of too many fizzy drinks. I love how Kombucha is that little bit of sweet with a fizzy lift that I enjoy but with added health benefits.
The most interesting thing to me about Kombucha though is the benefits it has on our gut health. I’ve heard so much these past two years about the link between gut health and brain health. The guys at All About Kombucha have some really informative blogs including Health Benefits of Kombucha that go into much more detail.
Essentially, Kombucha promotes the good bacteria in our gut to flourish, improving digestion and generally making us feel and function better. I also love how you can flavour your DIY Kombucha with natural ingredients including ginger, lemon and berries or fruits and roots as the instructions say. Gotta get down with that homemade booch lingo. These add extra vitamins and minerals to this tasty drink.
The Kombucha Brewing Kit contains:
S.C.O.B.Y & Starter Liquid, Organic Loose Leaf Tea, Reusable Cotton Tea Bag, Organic Cane Sugar, 750ml Swing Top Bottle, 2 Litre Kilner Jar, Thermometer, Cheesecloth, Elastic Band, Litmus paper & Detailed Instructions. The ingredients came in either paper or compostable packaging.
A kettle, spoons, metal knife/utensil, weighing scales/measuring jug and a funnel would be handy if you have access to one.
I didn’t have a SCOBY
FYI: SCOBY stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.
The Kombucha Brewing Kit contains enough to make a 2 litre batch of which you can drink 80% and 20% gets kept with the SCOBY for your next batch. Don’t worry if you have no previous brewing experience or don’t know what a SCOBY is, I didn’t either but I followed the detailed instructions included with the kit. My advice would be to read all the instructions once first and then read it again step by step as you work through them.
The fermentation process takes a few days so make sure you’re going to be around for the duration to monitor your homemade kombucha brew. There’s no point in starting the process if you’re heading off on a holiday the next day.
The Brewing Process comes in two stages
I laid out everything I needed and got to work boiling water, mixing sugar and tea. Each step was detailed and with no prior experience I took it slowly. Once I finished preparing for the first fermentation I set my filled Kilner in the kitchen counter to do it’s work.
I was monitoring the temperature sticker which is included in the kit on the side of the bottle and noticed that it wasn’t quite warm enough. In fact it was barely measuring as the room was only about 18 or 19 degrees. I wrapped the kilner in a tea towel and moved the brew to the hot press where I hoped it would have a better chance of reaching the desired temperature to brew. Thankfully this worked a treat and the temperature rose into the early 20s. When talking to the team at All About Kombucha afterwards about this they had the great idea to knit a SCOBY cosy like a tea cosy for the jar. It can also be placed higher up in the kitchen as heat rises.
After day 3 I decided to test the acidity of the brewing Kombucha. The Kombucha Brewing Kit contains Litmus paper and a scale and once tested everything looked on track. Who said Junior Cert science wouldn’t come in handy eh!
At this point you’re working to your own desired taste so I chose to wait another 2 days before stopping the brewing process and moving onto stage two fermentation.
Now once I read that stage two was optional (This is the part where you can add fizz and flavour) I decided to dive in for a proper taste test. I separated 20% of the brewed kombucha along with the SCOBY into a separate container, this will now be the base for my next round of brewing.
This was a little tricky as I didn’t have a funnel to hand but I used a jug with a pointed spout to decant the remaining 80% into the bottle provided.
Finally I had in my hands a bottle of my own Kombucha. To be honest I was a little nervous (as was my husband), yes I had taken some small spoons to taste but I hadn’t had a proper drink.
Well we shouldn’t have been nervous, it tasted like real kombucha. I was delighted and he was pleasantly surprised! The Kombucha sat in the fridge in the flip top jar provided and was eagerly consumed over the next few days.
What next for my Kombucha Brewing experience?
Well now I’ve mastered Stage 1 of the brewing it’ll soon be time to repeat this process and also add in stage two of the brewing process to add fizz and flavour. I can’t wait until we have friends and family over and I can offer them homemade Kombucha.
The best thing about the kit is it’s a once off upfront cost of €39.50 and now all I need is some cane sugar and tea leaves to brew another batch. I can buy these from All About Kombucha’s online shop. Plus I’ve seen they’ve just added some new products including a Gut Box and Sustainable Starter Kit.
What you need to know
Through 1% for the Planet All About Kombucha have partnered with two Irish Charities Hometree Charity and Burrenbeo Trust to combat climate change nationally and internationally including the planting of Native Irish Trees in Ireland.
Would I recommend the brewing kit to a friend?
Yes but you’ve got to be committed to the brew. If you’re investing in the Kombucha brewing kit then you’re not only investing in your health but also in the brewing process. The scoby and starter liquid will provide you with endless batches of Kombucha if you take the time to make them. I look forward to making many more batches of Kombucha and refining and tweaking each batch. It will be a great way to make our own zero waste fizzy drink to bring on walks next Summer.
Plastic Free Bottles of Fun
If you’re interested in trying out Kombucha but don’t want to commit to the brewing kit just yet you can buy bottles of Kombucha in plastic free packaging directly from All About Kombucha or from a variety of health food stores across Ireland.
I love how they team up with local artists to create their bottle label artwork! It’s unique, very eye catching and a great way to support local business. Maith thú lads! Oh yes keep an eye on their website for a cúpla focail as gaeilge!
Thanks to the All About Kombucha team for giving me the opportunity to test their kit for Green Outlook customers. If you want to follow my brewing journey then I’ll share my next few batches on Instagram.
If you’ve any questions about my experience send me an email or if you’ve product questions you can contact All About Kombucha on their website https://www.allaboutkombucha.ie/
Happy Brewing all!