Sparkling Cranberry Kombucha

Kombucha is an effervescent drink made with fermented black or green tea, sugar and a kombucha starter. It is known to have probiotic properties, and is said to have originated thousands of years ago in China. If you're concerned about sugar-intake, kombucha shouldn't be a problem for you-- the sugar in the recipe is consumed by the living kombucha starter, known as a SCOBY. This term is an acronym for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. In addition, this probiotic yeast is called Saccharomyces boulardii, which is a good probiotic yeast; this strain of yeast is completely unrelated to the yeast Candida albicans and other Candida species.

Kombucha starters are easily obtained from an online source (I recommend www.culturedfoodlife.com) or from a friend or local source already making kombucha (you might check with a health food store or Craigslist to obtain a starter.)

It is extremely simple and economical to make Kombucha at home. My cranberry-flavored recipe produces a fizzy, thirst-quenching cranberry drink, similar to a sparkling cider or soda.

Supplies:

Ingredients

  • 3 quarts water
  • 5 black tea bags
  • 1 cup Kombucha starter + 1 SCOBY (Obtain from someone local who makes kombucha--check Craigslist or health food store for sources; or order online at www.culturedfoodlife.com)
  • 2/3 c. white sugar
  • 12 oz. can frozen cranberry juice concentrate

Supplies

  • 4 quart or larger pot
  • 1 gallon glass jar
  • 2/3 cup measuring cup
  • Large plastic spoon
  • Paper coffee filters
  • Large plastic bowl
  • Funnel
  • 6 dark flip-top bottles (Quart-size canning jars with lids can also be used; but the flip-top bottles are safer in that they are designed for the pressure of the fermentation, and the flip-top bottles produce the carbonation, while canning jars do not. Source listed below for Flip-top bottles.)

https://www.amazon.com/YEBODA-Amber-Glass-Bottles-...

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Step 1: Gather Ingredients and Basic Supplies

Ingredients

  • 3 quarts water
  • 5 black tea bags
  • 1 cup Kombucha starter + 1 SCOBY (Obtain from someone local who makes kombucha--check Craigslist or health food store for sources; or order online at www.culturedfoodlife.com) Photo #3 is the starter/SCOBY
  • 2/3 c. white sugar
  • 12 oz. can frozen cranberry juice concentrate

Supplies

  • 4 quart or larger pot
  • 1 gallon glass jar
  • 2/3 cup measuring cup
  • Large plastic spoon
  • Paper coffee filters
  • Large plastic bowl
  • Funnel
  • 6 dark flip-top bottles (Quart-size canning jars with lids can also be used; but the flip-top bottles are safer in that they are designed for the pressure of the fermentation, and the flip-top bottles produce the carbonation, while canning jars do not. Source listed below for Flip-top bottles.) https://www.amazon.com/YEBODA-Amber-Glass-Bottles...

Step 2: Brew Tea

(I recommend that this step be done the night before, but it doesn't need to be.)

In large pot, heat 3 quarts of water to almost boiling.

Remove from heat; add 5 tea bags.

Let stand until cool.

(If you want to speed the process, ice may be added to cool the tea more quickly.)

Step 3: Make Kombucha

After the tea has cooled, place the 1 cup Kombucha starter and SCOBY (Photo #1) into one-gallon glass jar.

Add 2/3 cup white sugar. Stir well with plastic spoon.

Add 3 quarts black tea to jar.

Cover with coffee filter, and put the jar in a dark place to ferment for 4 days.

Step 4: Second Ferment

This step adds the flavor and fizz!

Pour all but the SCOBY and approximately one-cup of the kombucha into a large plastic bowl.

Add 1/3 of a can of frozen cranberry juice concentrate. Stir well with a plastic spoon.

Using a funnel, carefully pour the flavored kombucha into six flip-top bottles. Put lids on tightly; let sit on the countertop for 2 days.*

Then release gases and put finished bottles into the refrigerator.

*At this point, go ahead and start over with Step 1, using the reserved starter and SCOBY in the glass jar. In this way, you'll have a constant supply of kombucha every four days.

Step 5: Pour a Glass

Enjoy Sparkling Cranberry Kombucha over ice!

Step 6: Helpful Hints

  • Other varieties of teas may be used, including green tea, white tea, hibiscus tea, rooibos, jasmine pearl. Herbal teas may not be used.
  • Other sweeteners may also be used, including brown sugar, agave, sucanat, turbinado, honey, or molasses.
  • As Kombucha is a living organism, individual outcomes will vary. For instance, the time required to ferment the kombucha is quite dependent on temperature. At 70-85 degrees, it should ferment in 4-8 days. At a cooler temperature, it may take longer. It may take some experimentation to determine the appropriate brew time for your situation. For troubleshooting information, I recommend the Cultured Food Life website, of which I have no affiliation.
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    Discussions

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    seamster

    23 days ago

    Very nicely done, thank you for sharing!