KOMBUCHA / JUN
1 litre water
- ¼ cup or 60g sugar
- 3 tea-bags – green or black
- 1 scoby (biofilm)
- 1 cup of kombucha from a previous batch (or the liquid your scoby comes with)
- 1 litre kilner jar or similar
Boil the water and sugar together, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Turn off the heat and add the tea-bags, steep for 20 minutes. Remove the bags and allow the tea to cool down to body temperature or cooler. Transfer the liquid to your 1l kilner jar (or similar wide mouth jar) and gently add the scoby AND the kombucha from a previous batch (or the liquid the scoby comes in). Leave for about 5 days before trying. It may take a week or 3 weeks depending on your home conditions and your taste, but you are looking for a liquid that is sour and slightly fizzy, not sweet. Green takes slightly longer than black. You can ferment on other teas – herbal etc – but wait until you have a spare scoby to experiment with.
When the liquid is to your taste you can drink it as it is or 2nd ferment, just like with kefir. Reserve a little of the kombucha to add to your new starter with the scoby.
Scoby’s reproduce much like the kefir grains do, except that it grows another layer – you will see it as it happens. You can just allow this to keep happening with each ferment or you can separate the layers to have more than one kombucha brewing at a time (or to give away!) Be gentle when separating the layers.
Jun is very similar to kombucha in that it produces a biofilm/scoby and is made with tea. The difference is that the scoby has been “bred” to ferment with honey instead of sugar and only with green tea. It also ferments much more quickly than a regular kombucha and has a very light flavour.
- 2 litres of water
- 1 cup of honey
- 6 green tea-bags
Bring half of the water to a boil, add the teabags, remove from the heat and leave for 15mins. Remove the tea-bags, add the honey and the rest of the water. Allow to cool to body temperature and then either add to your existing jun or put in a jar and add your scoby.
Notes about 2nd Ferments (water kefir, jun and kombucha)
2nd ferments usually take place in a second bottle – such as 1l kilner bottles. Flavour with whatever you wish (mint leaves, lemongrass stalks, ginger juice etc) and then seal. This ferment usually gets fizzy quite quickly and you will need to keep an eye on it. Burp the bottle every couple of hours, get a feel for the fizz. When you like how fermented it is you can put it in the fridge – this slows the ferment down but doesn’t stop it.
Don’t leave your 2nd ferments for more than 24hrs without burping as these bottles can explode. If you are going to be out all day and it is very warm, you’d be better uncapping it and recapping when you are home to keep an eye on it. You can also keep these 2nd ferments in a bucket. It sounds odd, but clearing up a litre of kefir or kombucha and bits of glass is no fun!
Don’t let this put you off, it is not a common occurence.