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Kombucha lemon poppy seed vinaigrette

This was a little experiment ran by Scott’s wife. We’ve been asked a couple times on our Instagram page to post the recipe. I haven’t tried the vinaigrette, but she said that it was amazing. So here’s the recipe:

  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 1/3 cup raw kombucha (1st ferment)
  • 1 preserved lemon, cut into pieces small enough to blend (just leave out if you don’t have any or use the zest of 1 regular lemon)
  • 1/4 of a small onion, diced
  • 1 tsp Dijon style mustard
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Fresh herbs to taste
  • Place all ingredients in a quart sized mason jar and using an immersion blender, puree ingredients (you can use a blender but this is a much easier clean up).

 

Enjoy!

Level 2

I made my one gallon home brew kombucha three times before I decided to make the step-up in production. One gallon brews were the perfect size to start. If I made a mistake, it was only a limited amount of raw ingredients that I wasted. Also, when it came time for bottling, I was able to learn what I needed to do and not do to using small amounts. In sum, one gallon was great, and I believe that most people should begin their home brewing with a one gallon set-up.

I decided to make the jump to a two gallon production last week. One gallon of kombucha produces about six 12 ounce bottles, and it takes about 10 days (7 days brewing + 3 days second fermentation). I like to drink at least one bottle/day, so 6 bottles for 10 days just wasn’t enough for me. I figured that 2 gallons would yield me twelve 12 once bottles, which would be adequate for me to enjoy over a 10 day period. This would also allow me to give one or two to friends!

I learned a few things on my one gallon brews. First, using my 2 cup measuring cup was cumbersome. I decide to buy a 4 quart measuring cup that would allow me to not have to take multiple measurements of water for my brew. Next, I wanted to begin taking weight measurements instead of volume measurements (i.e. grams instead of cups/tablespoons). I bought a digital scale from Amazon on Prime Day. The scale takes measurements up to 3000 grams, so it should fit my brewing needs for some time. Next, I wanted to begin taking pH readings on my kombucha so that I can create consistent flavor profiles and hopefully carbonation levels. I found a digital pH meter on Amazon that fits my needs perfectly. Lastly, I found that pouring the one gallon fermentation jar into a measuring cup was accident prone. My solution: buy a beer siphon! I got the beer siphon from homebrewsupply.com. The beer siphon will allow me to not have to pour from my new two gallon fermentation crock. The beer siphon will surely reduce spillage and I won’t have to lift what feels like a fifty pound object. I’m looking forward to that and it feels good to have a more sophisticated home brew set-up!

I knew that I could find some two gallon recipes on the internet, but I decided to experiment a bit and try my own recipe. The plan was simple: double my one gallon recipe! The recipe I used is as follows:

I followed the brewing instructions given in my first blog, “The First Brew,” to brew the 2 gallon batch. The brew is currently one day into the fermentation process. I will definitely follow up when that batch is complete so that I can share the hopefully successful outcome. I can’t wait as I plan to share this big brew with my family that is visiting Colorado in 10 days. The pressure is on!

 

 

*Note: You will find a great amount of equipment on homebrewsupply.com that you can apply to your kombucha set-up. For example, I bought a bottle cleaning brush from them that works great with my booch bottles.

**Note: I searched all of the internet for the best and most inexpensive two gallon fermentation crock. The best deal by far is from Ace Hardware. Their two gallon crock can be found by clicking here.

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

The First Brew

There was a fair amount of preparation involved before beginning my first brew. I had done weeks of internet research and even read a small book about home kombucha home brewing before I felt confident enough to begin my first batch. It was exciting and unbelievable that I could make something so tasty so easily. I had always imagined carbonated beverages as having to go through a complex production. The fascinating thing about kombucha is that all of the ingredients do everything for you. It was almost like magic and I had to see it for myself. If you are thinking about making your first brew, I can assure you that you have nothing to worry about and everything is as simple as it seems.

I would say that the most important thing to remember when making your brew is to buy the highest quality of ingredients. This is going to make a major difference in the taste of your final product. Having tasted the first brew, I can say that both of these ingredients made a very tasty product.

Below are two lists: one is the equipment and the other is the ingredients we used. I hope this takes the mystery out of making kombucha. The equipment and ingredient list will give you everything you need to have a 1 gallon home brew.

Home brew kit equipment:

 

Home brew ingredients (lay-out in appropriate portions before you begin brewing):

  • 14 cups of purified water
  • 8 tablespoons of  organic loose leaf black tea
  • 1 cup organic sugar
  • 2 cups starter tea (I used “The Original” Healthade. You can use any brand, just make sure that it is unflavored and raw. This will ensure all of the introduced bacteria cultures are alive.)

 

Now it’s time to brew!

Here are the instructions:

  1. Boil 6 cups of water (212 °F)
  2. Remove water from heat and add 8 tablespoons of black tea
  3. Stir well
  4. Allow tea to stay in hot water (steep) for 4 minutes
  5. Pour tea through fine mesh strainer into gallon sized pot or container
  6. Add 1 cup sugar to brewed tea
  7. Add 8 cups of water to brewed tea
  8. Stir mixture
  9. Allow tea to cool to room temperature (my room has been around 80 °F and it’s worked perfectly)
  10. Pour tea mixture into fermentation jar
  11. Lay SCOBY on top of tea mixture (leave at least an inch of space below the rim of the fermentation jar)
  12. Cover jar with rubber band and cotton cloth
  13. Place your jar in a warm location (mid to high 70s °F) out of direct sunlight for 7-14 days
  14. At the 7 day mark, slide your straw down the side of the fermentation jar to taste your kombucha. If too sweet, let it ferment longer. If too vinegary, it fermented too long for your preference and there is no going back. If it tastes just right, the fermentation is complete.
  15. Remove SCOBY and place on a dinner plate bathed in kombucha
  16. Pour 2 cups of your fresh kombucha into a seperate container for you to use as your next starter batch (I start the next batch immediately, but the tea can be preserved in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.)
  17. Pour kombucha from fermentation jar 3 cups at a time into a spouted measuring cup (to make pouring clean and easy).
  18. Add juices to glass bottles to flavor your kombucha (if desired)
  19. Pour kombucha into bottles using your funnel and the fine mesh strainer
  20. Seal the bottle cap
  21. Allow bottles to sit for 3 days at room temperature
  22. Place bottles in the refrigerator for 6 hours
  23. Drink!

 

That’s it everybody. That’s all there is to it. I’m sure I will learn more sophisticated methods as time goes on, but I will tell you that my first batch was amazing and I used the process I just described. I’m confident that if you follow those steps, you will also have a great tasting kombucha.