In my book, Probiotic Drinks at Home we are so lucky because we had enough space in the book to photograph every single drink – that is 50 different drinks!
Which is amazing because these drinks are all so beautiful!
But – it meant that I had to ferment every single drink in the book.
That is a seriously lot of fermenting to do!
And it was school holidays, so I had both my daughters home with me, and I only had a few days notice! EEKKKK!!!!
So I needed to ferment 50 different recipes in 1 day, with my kids at home, and the drinks had to be perfect for the shoot!
I wanted to take you behind the scenes today, into my kitchen, and show you how I did it.
Plus, I’d love to give you the recipe to a kombucha from my book Probiotic Drinks at Home, this is just an excerpt.
In kombucha brewing, the sugars convert into acids, leaving a low-sugar drink. I like to harvest the kombucha when it’s still a little sweet. However, if you want to make a vinegar or a totally sugar-free product, allow it to ferment for several weeks and use the kombucha vinegar in salad dressings.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Fermentation time: 1–5 weeks
Shelf life: Refrigerate for up to 3 months
Makes: About 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups)
1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cups) filtered water or springwater
4 black tea bags or 1 tablespoon loose-leaf black tea
3 tablespoons raw or white sugar
3 tablespoons kombucha starter culture liquid
1 kombucha Mother, a little smaller than the size of
Bring 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) of the filtered water to a simmer. Pour into a teapot or heatproof bowl, add the tea bags or tea leaves and leave to steep for 3–5 minutes. Strain the tea into a heatproof 1.5 litre (52 fl oz/6 cup) wide-mouth glass jar and discard the tea bags or tea leaves. Add the sugar to the jar and stir to dissolve. Pour in the remaining filtered water.
When the liquid has cooled to room temperature, add the kombucha starter culture liquid and Mother. Cover the jar with a piece of muslin (cheesecloth) and secure with an elastic band.
Place the jar out of direct sunlight in a cool spot where it won’t be disturbed. Leave the liquid to ferment for around 4 days in hot weather and 14–20 days in cooler weather.
Gently remove the Mother to re-use or rest (see page 89). Retain 3 tablespoons of the kombucha liquid as the starter culture liquid for your next brew (see page 88).
Mix in any sediment that has settled at the bottom of the jar, or leave it as it is. Put a funnel in the opening of a 1 litre (35 fl oz/4 cup) glass bottle with a tight-fitting lid and put a strainer on top of the funnel. Pour the kombucha into the bottle through the strainer and discard any solids.
Tightly seal the bottle lid and leave the bottle on the bench to build carbonation. This could take anywhere from 2–14 days, depending on the temperature. ‘Burp’ the kombucha daily to release some pressure by opening the lid slightly and then tightening it again.
When the kombucha is as fizzy and sour as you like (this could range from a small spritz to a ferocious fizz), store it in the fridge to slow the fermentation process, and enjoy cold.
Tip: You can make a fabulous hair rinse from kombucha that will leave your hair soft and silky. Allow fermentation to continue to vinegar stage, so that no sugar is left – the kombucha will smell highly acidic. Bottle the kombucha and use it next time you wash your hair.