Libertine Kombucha


Roxy / Lightning Kombucha

A fresh, fizzy, probiotic drink that is easy to make at home with a few simple ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 2 Roxy black teabags OR 2 Lightning green teabags
  • 1L water
  • 1/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 Scoby + previous liquid (large enough to cover at least 1/4 of the kombucha surface)

Equipment:

  • One large fermentation jar. Anywhere between 1.5-3 litre capacity.
  • Fermentation bottles. These can be purchased from any brewing shop, don't use square bottles as they are more prone to some unwanted explosion! I used 500mL round glass bottles with a swing top lid and silicone seal.
  • A piece of sterile, breathable cloth. Big enough to wrap over the opening of your fermentation jar, and a large rubber band to use during the first fermentation. I used a chux cloth.

Method

Infuse the teabags in 500ml of boiling water for 10 mins, until nice and strong.

Add sugar and stir to dissolve, then pour in the remaining 500mL of cold water.

Wait until the tea has cooled to below 30¬įC, or overnight, before adding pouring it into your sterile fermentation jar containing your scoby in its starter liquid.

Cover with a breathable cloth, such as a couple of chux cloths, and secure with a rubber band. Ensure air can still pass into the fermentation vessel, as this will keep your scoby alive!

Leave in an airy place for 7-14 days; this time very much depends on the temperature of the room, and how much of your scoby is covering the surface of the kombucha.

Taste the kombucha every couple of days - it should taste sweet at first, but you will notice it will become more acidic as time passes. You are ready to bottle your kombucha when it has reached the perfect sweet/sour spot for you!

I left my black tea kombucha for 14 days, while the green tea I only left for 7 days. During each batch of booch you make, your scoby will grow another layer. When it gets too big, separate a few layers and give it to a friend in some starter liquid to spread the kombucha love!

Shop Roxy Black tea >

Shop Lightning Green tea >

Kapow / Runaway Rose Kombucha

For each 500mL bottle:

  • 1 tea¬†temple (Kapow¬†or Runaway Rose)
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar

Method

Make a really strong brew of the herbal tea of your choice (infusing time about 10 mins), then add the 1 tbsp of caster sugar and stir to dissolve. Allow the tea to cool until it is lukewarm, then pour into a 500mL fermentation bottle. Top up with your kombucha, leaving about 3cm of head space from the top, then seal. Tip the bottle a couple of times to ensure the sweetened tea and kombucha are thoroughly mixed. (Note: ensure that the scoby is left in 4-5 cm of kombucha liquid in the jar.)

Leave for a further 5-10 days. During this time, the bacteria will continue to feed off the added sugar, turning it into carbon dioxide gas. If you begin to see bubbles at the surface of the liquid, then the second fermentation has been successful! Additionally, a new scoby will have begun to form in the bottle.

Test one of your bottles by popping it open over the sink after about 5 days. If there is little to no fizz, test again after another 3-4 days. If it is fizzing uncontrollably, then it has been left a few days too long!

If you won't be drinking your kombucha immediately, transfer it to the fridge, which will slow down the fermentation process (and make your booch nice and cold!). It can be left in the fridge for a further two weeks.

Pour into a glass to serve. Note that some brown residue may fall into the glass - don't worry! This is just the formation of a baby scoby and is not harmful. Either discard or add to a small amount of your remaining starter liquid in a separate jar to grow a new scoby!

Note: You can leave your main scoby in the remaining liquid for a maximum of three weeks before you must make another batch of kombucha. If left too long, there will be no sugar left in the liquid and the scoby will starve.

Shop Kapow tea >

Shop Runaway Rose tea >

Recipes by Poppy Underhill
Photography by Olivia Atkinson