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Kombucha and still no picture!

Dec 11, 2010

Greetings everyone! I hope that you are all ready for the holidays. I have gotten the fall decor down, and feed to the wild life, and my pile of fresh greens are sitting, waiting patiently for me to make them festive. I have spent most of today learning how to download pictures onto face book and trying to get a few on here. So far, I have them in a file on this site- but not successful on getting them out of the file into view. Oh well, enough being frustrated for one day. When It finally does get posted, you will notice a glass of "bubbly" in my hand. It is my homemade Kombucha, not Chamagne, although I am told the two mix well. Joel asked me to share my recipe,but I am going to do a little better. I am refering you to A man named Dave has a wonderful free course on brewing kombucha there, for all you need to know. Now how I make mine a little different. You must use real black tea and real sugar to feed the culture. That being said you can still add other things to flavor the Kombucha. EVERYTHING I use is organic. I use ginger and sassafras to give mine a little zing. For a four quart batch, I use three, one inch pieces of ginger (in a muslin bag) and about a 1/2 cup of sassafras bark in another muslin bag. I put both of these in the filtered water when cold and then bring to a boil. The sugar goes in next, then it comes back to a boil, and taken off the heat, when you add the black tea ( in another muslin bag). For the proportions of tea and sugar refer to the web site listed. But I use about 1/2 cup of loose black tea and 3 cups of sugar for the one gallon batch. I take the black tea bag out after about five minutes and let the tea drip back into the mixture. Do NOT squeeze the tea- too many bitter tannins get in that way. I leave the ginger and the sassafras in the mix until it cools enough to add to my continous brewer. If you go to the website and then have questions, please feel free to ask, but I wanted to direct you to an expert. You do not have to make a continous brew- but it is the easiest way for me. Happy Brewing! And tasting!
Caution: Do not drink too much to start with- you can get some serious detoxing going on, which can be everything from flu like symptoms, to GI tract problems. Start off easy. Also, if you are super sensitive to caffeine or have heart problems, check with a knowable health practitioner before drinking. The caffeine content is lowered and the sugar converted, but some people still may have problems if they are super sensitive.


Do you gather your on Sassafras bark?
Hi Joel, When my daughter was little,I used to gather my own. We do have an abundance of the trees in our area. It was fun digging in the dirt, and then scratching the bark with your finger nail, to smell that wonderful "root beer" smell. But I use it such large quantities now, with making the kombucha, I just get mine wholesale , from a certified organic grower. The bark has an excellent shelf life, as long as it is stored in a cool, dry, dark place. I do gather the leaves and dry them for gumbo file. Most store bought smells like moldy socks- at least this far from New Orleans! Have a great holiday! Susan
Hi Susan I was looking up information about raw milk and noticed this information about 'Kombucha' It looks like interesting and healthgiving stuff. Glenn
Hi Glen, That is a good link. We have a few people who drink kombucha in our seedsavers group. We make and drink milk keffir each day. The keffir grains ferment the milk and it is like a probiotic. We used to make honey mead, a sparkling low alcohol beverage, honey, keffir grains and water plus roses petals, cardamon leaves. lemon verbena or lrmon mrytle leaves for flavouring. We also have a lot of people in our group who make all sorts of cheese from raw milk. I shall write more about these things some other time. Have a great day or evening. We are having lovely warm autumn weather, just emptied our 5 underground worm farms to ferterlize our garden ready to plant our seedlings out. We are having lunch today at Carrick Hill Adelaide, they have lovely grounds and lots of espalied fruit trees. Cheers Maggie
Hi Maggie Good to hear from you. I need to look more into fermented foods as it is something i feel i am missing out on. My next task is to locate a local source of raw milk. I looked up Carrick Hill. It looks like a nice place. You can play petanque there. Draw a circle and keep your foot in it. I played that a lot last year when i visited France. You will have to have a go. Have a great Day. Glenn
Don't know what happened when I went to edit, but lost my whole post. Sorry I have been out of the loop for a while. I am finally finishing up some family business, and dealing with some serious health issues among my family, as well. Kombucha is a very interesting beverage with lots of different kinds and recipes going around. I paid a pretty price for my first culture, but never had to buy another, and now have some to sell and barter. I use a continuous brewing system, but there are many ways to make it with just a jar. You should know that you must use a member of the black tea family ( green tea, white tea, etc) and real sugar, although I use organic and fair trade of both. You at least want organic sugar to keep it Monstanto free. I understand that the chemical process used for non organic sugar does something to the way it works, but I do not remember all the details. Look for locals willing to share, or a workshop at a health food store, even check things like "Craig's list" for the culture, also called a "Scoobie". Another fermented beverage I love is Kvass. Beets, when cooked, can be a problem for blood sugar and adrenals if you have issues with either. But as Kvass, the beets become a great digestive aid, and major support for the liver, gallbladder and adrenals. I make mine with celtic or "Real" salt( brand name, cheaper with the higher minereal content!) and whey, when I have it. It is bubbly, slightly salty and very refreshing. It will also stain everything it comes near a beautiful bright red-LOL- so don't drink it while wearing your favorite shirt! I have been culturing veggies, and converted to pickling by fermentation, since last Summer. I eat somethin cultured everyday- almost every meal. What a huge difference a year makes paying attention to the digestive tract!. Spring is here and again, no allergies! I thought it might have been a fluke when I got through rag weed season for the first time in my life without medication, but now that the trees are blooming, and I am getting no allergies, I am truly amazed. Again Sally Fallon's "Nourishing Traditions" has recipes for both kombucha and Kvass, as well as culturing veggies to get you started. There are also "culture" starters" you can purchase. This are useful if you want less salt in your product, especially if you don't have whey on hand. I hope to be able to upload some more pictures soon- I have mastered this skill on Face book, but have not been as successful with this site. I will keep working on it-after April 15TH! I plan to expand the container gardening adventure, and work on going more vertical as well, to make use of all the sun I can. I am keeping my wild and endangered plot at the local nature reserve, but cutting down on the size. Now if I can only stop the tire dumpers and the other "gardeners" from putting their trash, and garden waste on my wild section. I just lost the last of my Greek organo to someone who dumped their dead sunflowers on the patch. I also have had some one raid some of the protected plants. Luckily, the owners, as well as some friendly volunteers, are helping me try and stop the stealing and the trashing. The one good thing about being out of work, it no one can predict when I will be at the garden. Oh, there is a rant. Sorry about that, stealing and respect of one's property is a big issue with me, and it just seems to be less respect all the time. I now an sounding like an official "old fart"- LOL! Hope everyone is busy with their Spring in this hemisphere, and to my friends winding down their garden season "Down Under", I hope you had a good year. I know that for many, it was a hard year with all the weather issues. Green Blessings, Susan

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