Demystify kombucha home-brewing with Kombucha Revolution (Ten Speed Press, 2014) by Stephen Lee with Ken Koopman. In this excerpt, from chapter 4 “Dressings and Dunks”, Lee and Koopman offer instructions for an easy-to-follow Kombucha Vinaigrette recipe, which is the perfect complement for salads, meats, veggies and pasta.
You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Kombucha Revolution.
Three parts oil to one part vinegar. Remember that and you’re on your way to becoming a master vinaigrette maker. Oh, and don’t forget that oil and vinegar will separate, so make sure you shake or stir your kombucha vinaigrette before serving. Once again, you’ll want to use your well-fermented kombucha batch for this easy recipe. And feel free to enhance your vinaigrette with ingredients such as minced onion, garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, lemon or honey for a dash of sweetness.
Kombucha Vinaigrette Recipe
• 1/4 cup Kombucha Vinegar (see recipe below)
• 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 teaspoon ground mustard seeds
• Coarse ground sea salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
1. Combine kombucha vinegar with olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper, to taste. Whisk together until combined.
2. Pour over a salad or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 1 week. Makes 1 cup.
Kombucha Vinegar Recipe
If your unfinished home-brewed kombucha slips away from you and is well on its way to becoming vinegar, don’t throw it out. Why not just let it become vinegar? Because kombucha is such a robust, aggressive culture and antioxidant, it can transition rather quickly to vinegar if the fermentation process is not stopped at the right time. So, don’t fight it. There are lots of recipes in which you can use your own homemade vinegar in place of other cooking vinegars. Since the SCOBY from your batch of vinegar could imbue a harsh taste in any subsequent batch of kombucha, I recommend either discarding it or designating it as a “vinegar SCOBY” if you want to keep brewing vinegar.
• 14 cups purified water, divided
• 16 to 20 tea bags; or 8 tablespoons loose-leaf black tea or green tea, 6 tablespoons balled oolong tea, or 10 tablespoons loose open-leaf oolong tea
• 1 cup evaporated cane sugar
• 2 cups starter tea (see *Note below)
• 1 SCOBY (see **Note below)
1. Heat 6 cups water in a stainless-steel saucepan to 212 degrees, then remove from heat. Add tea, stir well, and cover. Steep for 4 minutes, stirring once at 2 minutes.
2. Remove tea bags or pour tea through a colander or fine-mesh strainer into a second pot. Compost tea. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Then add remaining 8 cups water to cool tea to about room temperature (72 degrees or cooler). Add starter tea and stir. Pour into a 1-gallon jar.
3. With rinsed hands, carefully lay your SCOBY on the surface of the tea. Cover the opening of the jar with a clean cotton cloth and hold it in place with a rubber band. Place your jar in a warm spot (72 to 78 degrees) out of direct sunlight and leave your kombucha undisturbed to ferment.
4. A kombucha’s vinegary nature is subject to taste. If you allow the fermentation to continue for 18 to 21 days (tasting it along the way with a straw), you should expect to make a basic vinegar. Age it for more than 3 to 5 weeks, and you will have a uniquely flavored product comparable to store-bought vinegar.
5. When the kombucha vinegar suits your taste, remove the SCOBY. Pour the liquid into a bottle and store in the refrigerator to cease the fermentation process. Makes 1 scant gallon.
*Note: Starter tea is previously brewed kombucha or store-bought raw kombucha with no flavorings or infusions (essentially as close as possible to a traditional plain kombucha). It is added to freshly brewed sweetened tea to lower the pH and introduce a plethora of beneficial yeasts and bacteria to help kick-start the fermentation process.
**Note: There would be no such thing as kombucha without the SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast)—it’s what ferments your tea. Source your SCOBY online, at a homesteading store or from a friend.
More Recipes from Kombucha Revolution
Reprinted with permission from Kombucha Revolution by Stephen Lee, copyright (c) 2014. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC. Buy this book from our store: Kombucha Revolution.