Demystify kombucha home-brewing with Kombucha Revolution (Ten Speed Press, 2014) by Stephen Lee with Ken Koopman. In this excerpt, from chapter 1 “Home Brews and Infusions”, Lee and Koopman offer instructions for an easy-to-follow Pomegranate Kombucha recipe, a sweet-tasting infusion that’s rich in antioxidants and probiotics.
You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Kombucha Revolution.
Pomegranates soared to popularity because of their high amount of antioxidants. The taste can range from sweet to sour depending on the variety of pomegranate and its ripeness, but as a general rule, if you like the taste of grenadine syrup, you probably like pomegranate. You can push this home infusion to the sweeter side by adding more juice or make it more sour by using less.
Pomegranate Kombucha Recipe
• 14 cups purified water, divided
• 16 to 20 tea bags; or 8 tablespoons loose-leaf black tea
• 1 cup evaporated cane sugar
• 2 cups starter tea (see *Note below)
• 1 SCOBY (see **Note below)
• 4 cups pomegranate juice
1. Heat 6 cups water in a stainless-steel saucepan to 212 degrees over medium heat. Remove from heat, add tea, stir well, and cover. Steep for 4 minutes, stirring once after 2 minutes. Remove tea bags or pour the tea through a colander or fine-mesh strainer into a second pot. Compost the tea.
2. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Add the 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 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 the jar in a warm spot (72 to 78 degrees) out of direct sunlight and leave undisturbed to ferment for 7 days.
4. Taste your kombucha using a straw. Does it taste too sweet? Let it go a few more days before tasting again. Is it sufficiently tart, and you love it? Time for the next step.
5. Carefully remove the SCOBY with rinsed hands and place it on a clean porcelain or glass plate or bowl bathed in kombucha. This will be your culture for the next batch. If immediately proceeding with another batch, reserve about 2 cups of the finished kombucha for the starter tea of your next brew.
6. Add pomegranate juice to the fermented kombucha tea. Stir gently. Using a funnel and a spouted measuring cup (for easy pouring), fill your bottles with the flavored kombucha, leaving about 1 inch of air space in the neck of the bottle. As you pour, you may want to use a fine-mesh strainer to filter out yeast strands. Cap tightly. Your kombucha is ready to drink, but if you prefer a more carbonated beverage, proceed to the next step.
7. To begin the optional secondary fermentation process, simply store the capped bottles in a warm, dry place (72 to 78 degrees is best) for 48 hours. Be aware that the sugars present will add fuel to the fermentation action in the bottle, which will increase the pressure inside the bottles. After 48 hours, chill one of the bottles for at least 6 hours. Crack it open and pour it into a glass. If it effervesces, you’ve done it! If you want more carbonation, let it go for a few more days and test again with another chilled bottle. When you’re pleased with the carbonation, refrigerate all the bottles to end the fermentation. Makes 1 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.