For those who are unfamiliar with Kombucha, it is an ancient, bubbly, living brew made from cultured sweet tea, that has many health benefits. A "mother" culture ferments the tea, producing a delicious effervescent brew that is loaded with vitamins, probiotics, organic acids and antioxidants.
The distinct flavor black licorice primarily comes from two particular ingredients that also have various health properties. The main ingredient is anise, which is a Chinese spice that has been used for centuries as a digestive aid and to stimulate blood circulation, among other things. The second ingredient is licorice root, which originates from Southern Europe and Asia. It has a sweet taste has been used to treat many ailments including; asthma, depression, chronic fatigue, colds, flu, heartburn, ulcers and many more.
Step 1: Ingredients and Equipment
1 Cup of table sugar (preferably organic)
1 Gallon of distilled water
4 Tbsp of licorice root
2 tsp of anise extract
1/2 Cup of sassafras tea (optional)
Kombucha "mother" culture + 1 Cup fermented tea starter
1 Gallon jar
Cloth or paper towel
7 Bale-top beer bottles
Strainer, filter, cheesecloth, etc.
Food-grade bucket or sink
Starsan (or other brewing sanitizer)
Step 2: Brewing
Wash and soak your 1 gallon jar in water and Starsan, following the directions on the bottle. Then boil 4 cups of distilled water. Add hot water and 10 tea bags to the jar and let steep for 8-10 minutes or so. (Don't worry if the jar still has a few suds from the Starsan bath, it won't hurt or create "off" flavors in the brew)
Remove the tea bags and stir in 1 Cup of sugar. After the sugar has completely dissolved, pour in the rest of your distilled water, leaving an inch or so of space from the top. This will cool down the brew enough so that your culture can live comfortably. (Make sure that your water is not above room temperature, as it could kill it!)
Step 3: Mother Culture (Scoby)
Place the culture and starter liquid in the jar of sweet tea. Cover with a clean cloth or paper towel and secure with a rubber band. Allow an inch or two of space to make sure that the cloth doesn't touch and contaminate the brew. The purpose of the cloth is to allow air to circulate, but keeps contaminants such as fruit flies out.
Leave in a warm place (around 75-85 degrees Fahrenheit) somewhere where it won't be disturbed. After around 7-10 days you can taste your brew to see if the amount of carbonation and tanginess is to your liking.
Step 4: Work Flow
Step 5: Flavoring
Step 6: Bottling
Then, cap the bottles and set aside again for another 4 or 5 days, this allows time for the brew to finish carbonating.
After allowing time to carbonate, refrigerate the bottles and they are ready to be enjoyed! The next section is purely for fun and aesthetics, but adds a lot to the overall presentation, especially if you intend to bring your brew to a party or give away as gifts.
Step 7: Presentation
Here is a link to my labels if you would like to use them for your brew. I would just ask that you please use them for non-commercial purposes only. Thanks!
Step 8: Conclusion
I hope you have enjoyed this Instructable, thank you for reading and have a happy Halloween!