I don’t have kids yet (other than my five-year-old cat), but brewing Kombucha feels like being a mother because I have been keeping a sensitive life form alive and as a result, I have become very protective of my SCOBYs. I don’t think I’ve cared about many things more than I care about the health and well being of my SCOBYs. I just think creation is key to life, whether you are having children, painting pictures, writing computer code or brewing Kombucha. Creation changes everything and can really make you feel alive and full of purpose. Well, ever since the first Scoby grew, I’ve just become so proud and excited to have them in my life, growing safely.
Last night my mom tried the Kombucha and loved it. We went out to buy another glass jar and I brewed some more tea last night for my second batch. I’ve learned some things along the way after brewing the first batch.
One of the biggest thing I learned was patience. The instructions my SCOBY came with said to keep your jar in a dark, quiet place where it won’t be disturbed. That really helped because since it was in my closet, I didn’t get tempted to look at it all the time. I mean, I thought about it every day but I didn’t obsess over it. I always knew it was there and I made a very conscious effort not to touch it. Another thing that helped was setting ticking clock goals or things to look forward to so as not to only think of the Kombucha.
One of my ticking clock goals was learning the “Thriller” dance and keeping busy with my writing. I thought to myself, by the time I participate in “Thrill the World,” my Kombucha will be done. So I just practiced dancing and looked forward to my event but in the back of my mind I kept thinking, my Kombucha will be done on “Thrill Day” weekend. This time around for the second batch, I’m looking to be ready to drink around Thanksgiving time, so that’s my ticking clock.
Now for some more technical tips. For the tasting element, my instructions said to use a glass straw to taste the Kombucha daily after day 7. I didn’t have a glass straw so I just dipped a wooden ladle into the jar and tasted a little bit of the brew that way. I would like to get a glass straw but I would need to order one online because I couldn’t find one in any store around here.
As for the tasting itself, I tasted my brew on day 10 and it was still too sweet so I didn’t even bother tasting it until day 14. Even by then, it wasn’t as tart as I would have liked so I left it alone until day 21 and I bottled it. After I bottled the brew, I let it sit for about six days before I tasted it. I thought it was decent but not nearly as carbonated so I only refrigerated two bottles. I left my remaining three bottles out for another two days and they were a little more carbonated. The suggestion is, to leave the bottles out for at least seven days before refrigerating and consuming, that way the carbonation will be stronger. My first brew tastes great but it’s really not as carbonated as I would have liked. The carbonation is what I really missed.
Lastly, in regard to the carbonation, I think I might not have gotten as much of a carbonated brew because when decanting and bottling, I ladled the brew into my bottles rather than pouring the whole thing into the bottles. The instructions said to remove the SCOBY and put it in a glass bowl with some of the kombucha liquid, but I didn’t do that because I was nervous about touching the SCOBY. Instead, I ladled the kombucha into the bottles. As a result, they didn’t have as much sediment to react with, which is why I think they weren’t as carbonated.
This time I’m going to follow the instructions to a T. 1) I’m going to use a glass straw to taste the Kombucha, given that I can find one within 2 weeks. 2) I’m going to bottle on day 21 at least and 3) refrigerate and consume after at least 7 days after bottling.
I want a carbonated brew. I want to show my mom that kombucha carbonation kicks the ass of diet soda any day and it’s so much healthier for you. She still likes buying diet soda and I just think….you haven’t tried a good Kombucha yet. Patience is key.