A MuskOx Guide to Making Homemade Kombucha

Homemade Kombucha

We called it, MuskOx Herd, flannel guys do drink kombucha, and its a favorite amongst our team when we're not reaching for a beer. After long weeks of pounding the pavement, launching a flannel brand, it's nice to have a healthy option that's immune boosting and aids food digestion. The carbonated and tangy fermented tea, that has gained popularity in recent years for its health benefits and refreshing taste. Forget buying those flashy, super expensive and overly sweet kombuchas. Let's get you up to speed on making your own at home.

Kombucha has the ability to boast a spectrum of flavors, from delicate floral notes to bold, tangy punches. But beyond its taste, this ancient concoction offers a myriad of potential health benefits, thanks to its probiotic content, which may aid digestion, boost immunity, and even promote mental well-being. While store-bought kombucha is readily available, making your own at home allows you to control the ingredients, flavors, and fermentation process, resulting in a customized brew that suits your taste preferences perfectly.  In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk you through the steps of making homemade kombucha, from brewing the tea to bottling the finished product and of course enjoying that first swig just like you enjoy unboxing all of your MuskOx Gear.

Understanding the Kombucha Brewing Process

Before diving into the brewing process, let's take a closer look at what kombucha is and how it's made. Kombucha is made by fermenting sweetened tea with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). During fermentation, the SCOBY consumes the sugars in the tea and produces acids, enzymes, and probiotics, resulting in the characteristic tangy flavor and fizzy carbonation of kombucha.

Ingredients and Equipment

To make homemade kombucha, you'll need the following ingredients and equipment:

SCOBY: You can purchase a SCOBY online. Might as well check out our website too while you're at it.

Starter tea: This is strong brewed kombucha from a previous batch, which helps to lower the pH and kick-start the fermentation process.

Tea: Use black, green, or a combination of both teas for the base. Avoid flavored or herbal teas, as they may contain oils or additives that can harm the SCOBY.

Loose Tea

Sugar: Plain white cane sugar is recommended, as it provides the necessary nutrients for the SCOBY.

Water: Use filtered or spring water, as chlorine and other chemicals in tap water can inhibit fermentation.

Large glass jar: A gallon-sized glass jar with a wide mouth is ideal for brewing kombucha.

Cloth or paper towel: Use a breathable cover to allow airflow while keeping out dust and pests.

Rubber band or string: Use to secure the cover to the jar.

Brewing Homemade Kombucha

Kombucha Fermentation

Prepare the Sweetened Tea: Brew a strong batch of tea by steeping the tea bags in hot water for 10-15 minutes. Add sugar to the hot tea and stir until dissolved. Allow the tea to cool to room temperature.

Combine Ingredients in a Jar: Pour the cooled sweetened tea into the glass jar. Add the starter tea from a previous batch, along with the SCOBY. The SCOBY may float or sink—either is fine.

Cover and Ferment: Cover the jar with a breathable cloth or paper towel and secure it with a rubber band or string. Place the jar in a warm, dark area away from direct sunlight and let it ferment for 7-14 days. Taste the kombucha periodically until it reaches your desired level of tartness and carbonation.

Bottle and Flavor (Optional): Once the kombucha is ready, carefully remove the SCOBY and set it aside. Pour the kombucha into glass bottles, leaving some space at the top. If you'd like to spice it up, add flavorings such as fruit juice, herbs, or spices to the bottles.

Carbonate and Chill: Seal the bottles tightly and let them sit at room temperature for 1-3 days to carbonate. Once carbonated, refrigerate the bottles to slow down fermentation and chill the kombucha before serving.

MuskOx Grand Flannel in Seagrass

MuskOx Grand Flannel in Seagrass

Tips for Success

Maintain Cleanliness: We know you're hard at work, but for Pete's sake, wash your hands, utensils, and brewing equipment thoroughly to prevent contamination.

Monitor Temperature: Keep the brewing vessel in a warm environment (around 70-80°F) for optimal fermentation.

Be Patient: Fermentation time may vary depending on factors such as temperature, SCOBY health, and personal taste preferences. Experiment to find the perfect balance for your palate.

Enjoying Homemade Kombucha

Once bottled and chilled, your homemade kombucha is ready to enjoy! Pour it into a glass over ice and savor the fizzy, tangy goodness. Feel free to experiment with different tea blends, flavorings, and brewing techniques to create your own signature kombucha recipes. Our method of choice is to match your tea flavor to your flannel color. We highly recommend! With a little time and patience, you can enjoy the satisfaction of crafting your own delicious and healthy elixir at home. Cheers to your kombucha brewing adventures MuskOx Herd!