I know this has taken me way too long but finally, here is my Kombucha method that I promised. Everyone who makes their own will have an opinion and a method, so this is just what I do and not the be all and end all by any means. Just give it a go and play around with it.
For a 2 litre batch of kombucha:
1x 2lt glass jar
1 kombucha SCOBY and ½-1 cup of starter tea
4 tea bags (plain dilmah is what I use but any unflavoured black tea will work fine)
½ cup sugar (any kind of sugar works)
Put the tea bags and the sugar into you glass jar. Add about 2 cups of boiling water. Stir and allow the tea about 5 minutes to steep then remove the tea bags. Top up the jar to nearly fill with cold fresh water. Check the temperature; it wants to be a little cooler than blood temp, anywhere between 25-30 degrees Celsius. Add your scoby and the starter tea. Cover with a cloth and a rubber band and sit the jar in a warm place out of direct sunlight. (It doesn’t need to be in the dark, just not right in the sun, where it could get too hot and over-active)
Leave it to sit for between 7-14 days depending on the heat of the day. The hotter it is the faster it will ferment etc. You can taste it from about 7 days in and see whether you like the flavour or whether you want to let it go a bit more and get a little more fizzy/tangy. If it still tastes quite sweet let it go a bit longer to use up the sugar left in the tea.
When it reaches the desired taste, remove the scoby from the jar with a wooden spoon (apparently metal can react with kombucha and harm the scoby, so it’s best to use wooden or plastic spoons.) along with about a cup of the tea to start your next batch. Strain the rest of the liquid through a piece of muslin into a clean bottle and store in the fridge to drink as you like. I like to add half a vanilla pod to each bottle, or some pieces of fresh ginger at this point to flavour it nicely.
Now you can go ahead and make up a new batch of tea in the jar and add your scoby and starter tea to that. The scoby can begin to look very strange after a while and grow very thick. You can give it a rinse off under cold fresh water before each new batch if you want, but you really don’t need to worry too much about what it looks like.
And on a little side note to people in the Marlborough area, if you would like to give it a go, let me know and I can give you some starter tea and a SCOBY. For those not in Marlborough, ask around. A lot of people are making it and will be more than happy to help you out. 🙂