Kombucha in da house

A few weeks ago, I saw somebody who had extra kombucha mushrooms to give away. I had investigated this a year or so ago, but then was too scared to try it in the end. This time, before heading out to the West end to pick up this strange living item, I bought a bottle of kombucha (“The Wonder Drink” brand) to see if I would actually like this fermented tea business anyway.

Turns out I do! It is sweet and sour, slightly fizzy, and very refreshing at the end of a meal

So I went and picked up my mushroom. It’s not a real mushroom, but rather a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (also called a SCOBY) that forms a flat “mushroom” which floats on top of sweetened tea, turning it into this interesting drink.

It really is pretty cool. The mushroom is sortof slimy and creepy, and the thing that weirds out my partner the most is that with every batch, it makes a “baby” that floats on top of the old mushroom, which can then be given away to someone else who can start making their own kombucha. I’ve got a couple hanging out in my fridge right now if anyone wants it!

What you do to make 3 litres is you steep four tea bags in 1 litre of boiling water, to which you have added 1 cup of white sugar. You dissolve the sugar and let the tea steep for at least 15 minutes. You then remove the tea bags and add 2 litres of cold water. Then you add your mushroom plus maybe a half-cup of kombucha from the previous batch, and make sure the mushroom is floating nicely on top. Then cover with a tea towel and let it sit for a week. After that you bottle it and then enjoy! One website I read said to leave the bottled drink out for a few more days to get it more fizzy, but I didn’t find a great difference. It would be work playing with though.

My first batch, I made in a large pyrex bowl. It worked fantastically, but I use that bowl almost daily for baking and whatnot, so I went to a local wine making store (Musca, on Somerset W) and bought a 5 Litre wide-mouth demijohn. This is a wonderful container for making kombucha. The mouth is plenty wide enough to remove tea bags, gently place the mushroom, etc. And the 5 L capacity means there is plenty of air circulation (I have no idea if the kombucha needs this; I’m just guessing since all of the instructions stress covering it with a tea towel, not something air-tight). I just secure a tea towel over the top with a large elastic band, and leave it on the shelf for a week.

Is it a miracle drink? There is lots of info out there on kombucha, most of it controversial. Kombucha contains lactic acid, and many of the same pro-biotics as yogurt, so it should aid digestion. There has been no scientific evidence for the claims made by some. The bottom line seems to be that it isn’t dangerous, and it’s healthier than soft drinks.

I dunno–everyone in my house is sick right now except for me, so I’m leaning toward the “miracle drink” side of things 😉

Are you curious? Ottawanians, leave me a comment if you want to try it, or if you would welcome a mushroom into your life. A new baby arrives every week! Come on, share the love!

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24 thoughts on “Kombucha in da house

  1. Man, I had a mother last summer, and I was so happy, but… I left the lid off during fly season for too long and it go a little bit infested…. which killed it and made me SO SO sad.

    I’m hoping to find a new mother somewhere in edmonton. 🙂 enjoy your tea

  2. I found your blog while searching for a source of kombucha in Ottawa. I tried a drink for the first time on the weekend, and would love to make some of my own. If you could spare a baby scoby I’d be more than happy to trade you for some coffee or tea of your choice (I work for Bridgehead). Let me know if you’re interested!

  3. If you still have scoby babies I would love one! I’ve made Kombucha before but have been in need of a scoby for some time. Let me know if you have one I can take off your hands. Great blog btw 🙂

    xo,

    Melanie

  4. Hello there,

    If you still have a scoby available, I’ve been meaning to start making this. Feel free to email me

    Thanks,
    Marc

  5. I live in edmonton and just made a fresh batch of kombucha. If anyone wants the baby mushroom from this next batch let me know.
    Desiree

  6. Hi there I was wondering if you still might have a kombucha baby available? I used to drink kombucha years and years ago and can’t remember exactly why I stopped, but I am interested in starting to drink it everyday again.

    Thanks!!

    Sarah

  7. Hi,

    My brother, in Korea, has liver cancer and has lived two years longer than doctors said he would. The only treatment he has been taking is Kombucha. I also have a weak liver and have just moved to Ottawa. I really want to find a Kombucha mother. I have any one has a source I would really appreciate it could email me at msneyd@gmail.com

    Thanks!!
    Maya

  8. Hey, I know this is kind of an old post but I was wondering if you still had kombucha? I’m in Ottawa and looking for some.

  9. Hi,
    I would like to have Kombucha babies to make my drink. Can you give some of your Kombucha babies .I really appreciate it, email me please to arrange pick up time.Take care

  10. Hi – like the others, I am looking to start making kombucha, and looking for a mother/scoby. Do you still have any that are available? Please let me know – thanks.

  11. I would greatly appreciate a kombucha baby to start making the tea. Are you still offering some? I live in Kanata and would gladly meet you at any time and location convenient to you. I am hopng to combat an illness with fermented foods. Thank you!

  12. I would love to get a Kamboocha starter! Could you let me know if you have any starters to share still? Thanks : P
    Paula

    1. Hi Paula and everyone else who has written in the last little while, I’m afraid I do not have any SCOBYs at this time. However, you can actually grow your own by following the recipe but just add one whole bottle of store-bought kombucha. It must be unpasteurized and have active cultures, and it will produce a thin SCOBY. Just use the recipe a few more times, no need to add more store-bought stuff, and your SCOBY will thicken up in time. By which I mean, it will start producing a thicker SCOBY. make sense? I think I have a post on here somewhere about growing your own. Good luck!

  13. Hi
    Thank you for all your information. I will find some unpasteurized Kombucha drink to start my own SCOBY.

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