Kombucha is a low-alcohol content and fermented drink that consists of sugar, tea and bacteria. Kombucha beer, also referred to as ‘mushroom tea’, is actually made with a combination of yeast and bacteria, instead of actual mushrooms.
Once you’ve learned how to brew kombucha beer, you can also choose to infuse or flavor your final product with spices, fruits, herbs or other varieties of teas, in order to produce a truly healthy and delicious beverage. Can it get any better, you ask? Why yes, it can, because kombucha beer is also known to be low in calories.
Now that we have your attention, let’s first go over what tools and brewing equipment you’ll be needing for your first kombucha beer batch:
What You’ll Need
- A warm and clean area in your home to brew your kombucha batch
- A 5 liter brewing jar
- A long handled spoon
- A large pot (that will be used to boil water)
- The Oregon Kombucha Starter Kit
- ½ a cup of sugar
Since you’ll be needing a brewing kit to get started, we recommend using the Oregon Kombucha Starter Kits because they are very easy and always help create delicious kombucha beer. Additionally, these starter kits consist of enough organic tea and live culture to produce 1 gallon of kombucha beer, so stock-up accordingly.
Now that you have that perfect starter kit, all that’s left to do is sterilize your fermentation crock. By doing this, you will help avoid contamination in your kombucha beer and many other problems that could alter the final product.
2. Making a One-Gallon Batch
Your first step will be to boil a gallon (approximately) of water in a pot that you’re comfortable experimenting with. Now, you don’t need heat for this first step so you just turn off your stove and add at least 10 to 12 regular-sized tea bags or one large-sized tea bag to the mix and start to stir.
After stirring for around 3 to 4 minutes, you can remove these tea bags and now add a cup of sugar to your brew and start stirring again. Now you can choose to keep stirring the mix or you can let it simmer down to room temperature and then give it a whirl.
4. Inside Your Kombucha Beer Brewing Jar
Next up, pour this mixture of sweetness to your 5 liter kombucha brewing jar and add all of the content of your live culture packet or starter kombucha brewing kit into it. Now, you don’t need to steer inside this jar but each drop of this liquid will be essential in producing delicious kombucha beer. With that said, cover up your jar with the lid that comes with it or perhaps with a saucer.
Why Use This Brewing Jar, Specifically?
Well, for starters, this 5 liter kombucha brewing jar had been designed for this very beverage. Other than this, you’ll find that this jar comes with its own tap valve and filter, allowing you to not only brew kombucha beer, but also to eliminate the need for a bottling process.
Whenever you want to pour yourself a pitcher, just use its tap valve to pour it right out of its fermentation crock. Also, we know how homebrewers fancy christening their creations with a name so each of these brewing jars also have a rewritable label, right on the surface of the crock.
There is no problem in using a big plastic pitcher or a large ceramic or glass bowl or perhaps even a wide-mouth glass jar. In either case, you should make sure that it can easily hold a gallon of liquid inside without overflowing.
5. Don’t Panic If You See Mold
It is normal for the fuzzy, powdery and dry substance to grow over a batch and you should know that mold will only remain over the surface. Anything that may be growing inside your batch cannot be mold. One way to check is by rubbing your finger on the substance, because when touched, mold just rubs off.
6. Your Kombucha Beer Likes It Warm and Cozy
If you wish to avoid having to see mold over something you fancy twice a day, add a layer (about 2 tablespoons) of pasteurized and cheap vinegar in your brewing process. Also, we’ve found in our experience that keeping the batch crisp at anywhere between 80 and 90 degrees tends to keep it mold-free.
Still, we would highly recommend avoiding placing your home-brewing process anywhere near houseplants, ripe fruit, old carpets or books and old wooden cabinets. You see, dust is a well-known source for mold production and this is why you should always remember to cover your kombucha beer.
7. Bottling Your Kombucha Beer
If you didn’t take our advice for the kombucha brewing jar, you will, of course, have to purchase at least 4 liter-sized bottles. We would highly recommend getting the flip-top kind and making sure you sanitize your strainer, funnel, caps and the bottles themselves.
You should also know that when you strain your kombucha beer into these bottles, you will have started a secondary fermentation process for your beverage. Now, you should let your kombucha beer ferment for about a week or to be safer, 10 days, in order to increase its carbonation. If you don’t like your kombucha beer all carbonated and bubbly, you can begin refrigerating your handiwork before its secondary fermentation is complete.
Our Final Thoughts
Remember how we mentioned that your kombucha beer likes it warm and cozy? Well, as it occurs, they also love it sweet because granulated sugars, both organic and non-organic, have this magical effect on these beers that you wouldn’t regret trying on a cozy winter evening.
Granted, most of this sugar will be used up in the fermentation process, because the culture eats away all the sugar to make the kombucha beer. However, if you add a few flavorings, spices, fruits or herbs during the bottling process, you and your friends are in for some tangy twists and turns with each sip!
Go ahead, call over a few friends and drink up!