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How to make sparkling kombucha

Two bottles of sparkling kombucha
Kombucha is the latest fermented health drink to gain a place our fridge. Many swear by the digestive properties of fermented foods, and drinks too are increasingly popular.

What's the buzz?

Kombucha is the latest fermented health drink to gain a place our fridge. Many swear by the digestive properties of fermented foods, and drinks too are increasingly popular.

Kombucha is usually made from a base of tea, fermented with a bacteria and yeast culture. It needs some sugar content for the fermentation process to take place, so is often flavoured with fruit. If it’s left to ‘double ferment’ then more carbon dioxide is produced, creating fizz.

How is it good for you?

As with many fermented foods, kombucha is believed to aid digestive health. Research has found it contains Lactobacillus, friendly bacteria which help you digest lactose and may also treat diarrhoea.

How to make your own kombucha

The trickiest ingredient, yet the most essential, is the kombucha culture. This is often called a ‘scoby’ (it stands for ‘Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast’) and looks like a large rubbery disc – not particularly nourishing or tasty!

If you know someone who brews their own kombucha you can ask them to pass on a scoby; otherwise you can buy online.

Vegetarian
Easy
Serves 2 litres
Prep time: 5 mins
Nutrition: per serving

Calories

64kcal

Protein

0g

Total fat

0g

Saturates

0g

Fibre

0g

Carbs

16g

Sugar

16g

Salt

0g

Ingredients

  • Tea bags

  • 1-2 litres of hot boiled water

  • 160g - 200g sugar

  • Scoby

Method

1

Make a strong brew of tea (organic plain black tea is ideal) in a 2-litre glass container, and add 160-200g of sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar.

2

Leave for half an hour to brew, then remove teabags and leave to cool.

3

When the tea is around room temperature, add your scoby and any liquid that came with it. Tie a clean tea towel over the top and leave in a warm place (in winter, an airing cupboard would be best).

4

Leave your kombucha to ferment. The colour may change and become slightly cloudier, and a new scoby should form on the top. Pour a small amount into a glass after around 3 or 4 days to check if it’s ready. It should taste fruity, and no longer like tea. Keep tasting daily until you’re happy that it’s ready.

5

Strain your brew into bottles, leaving the scoby and a little liquid behind. Store the bottles in the fridge, where the kombucha will become fizzier the longer it's left.

Advice is for information only and should not replace medical care. Please consult a doctor or healthcare professional before trying any remedies.

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