Kombucha Bread

Another batch of kombucha was bottled up last night.

Kombucha

Kombucha

The dark bottles are the tart cherry that will go into the fridge today, after two days of fermenting on the counter. The light bottles are the ones I bottled last night and the added fruit juice is Cran-Apple. That’s the first time we’ve added that flavor so I’m anxious to see how that tastes. 

The first ferment happens in a one gallon jar and in the bottom of that jar, there’s “stuff” we call “kombucha dregs”. It’s strands of yeast and portions of new SCOBYs that are forming. I strain that out and have been throwing it out but people use it for all kinds of things. I hear it makes a great poultice for skin rashes, burns, etc. I can see how keeping it in the fridge would help ease the pain of a minor burn.

I’ve also been reading about folks making “sourdough” from the dregs. Technically, it may or may not be “sourdough” because instead of harvesting wild yeast, the starter begins with yeast water that has been produced by the SCOBY/tea brewing. Whatever it is, I decided to try it.

Starter for Bread

Starter for Bread

It’s probably going to be way sweater and less sour than typical sourdough bread but it’s worth trying. If it has a spongy texture and a dark crust, I’ll be happy. It will be real nice because instead of having to keep a sourdough starter fed and happy, I can just pour off the bottom sediment from a batch of kombucha and have bread the next day. We’ll see and I’ll keep you posted on how it works. 

Kombucha Update

Kombucha is merely a fermented tea that supposedly has health benefits. There’s a wealth of info on the internet about it but this is one site with info I found interesting. Before  we went to the trouble of brewing and fermenting our own, we bought a few bottles at the health food store to try. I wasn’t crazy about it. My first thought was . . beer! It’s fizzy and foams over if not carefully poured. It has that little bit of yeasty/fermenty flavor that reminds me of beer and I am NOT a beer drinker. Vince was determined, after having read of the health benefits, that we were going to try making kombucha so we did, and now I love it. In fact, I have pretty much given up Dr. Pepper in favor of kombucha and now, when I drink a Dr. Pepper out, it just doesn’t give me that satisfaction that it once did.

This site has a good explanation of how to make kombucha.

The first and most essential part of making kombucha is to have  a SCOBY. A SCOBY is a “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast”. It’s very similar in appearance and texture to a mushroom. A SCOBY can either be obtained from a friend (they grow and divide like crazy). I started out with a SCOBY from a friend and then I purchased one from Kombucha Kamp, which I highly recommend. Then I had two batches of tea going and then they multiplied and I divided and now I have four batches of kombucha fermenting.

For both previous divisions, I pulled the layers apart basically in the middle. The SCOBY reminds me of the flaky biscuits that are canned and when you bake them, they’re in thin layers. With each new batch of tea, a layer forms on top of the SCOBY and it keeps getting thicker and thicker.

Yesterday morning I was going to bottle a batch of brew and this is what I found on top of the tea.

New SCOBY

New SCOBY

I had not seen a new SCOBY so perfectly formed on top of the “mother”. This is what it looked like from the side.

Kombucha Brewing

Kombucha Brewing

You can see that the bottom portion, which is the mother SCOBY, already has almost separated itself into two layers, but the newest “baby” is at the very top.  The thin white layer at the top will be the size of the mother after about three good ferments.

Tart Cherry Kombucha

Tart Cherry Kombucha

This batch yielded 5 – 32 oz. bottles, plus a little that I had to sample. To 4 cups of brewed/fermented tea, I add 1 cup of fruit juice (tart cherry in this batch), and then add 3/4 tsp. sugar to each bottle. The sugar will sweeten the brew a bit but mostly, it feeds the “critters” in the brew. These bottle will be “burped” twice a day to let off excess gas/fizz, then they will go into the fridge and then . . we will enjoy them! It isn’t mandatory that fruit juice be added . . the fermented tea can be served without added flavoring. So far, we’ve had tea with the following juices added: grape, prune, pineapple and tart cherry. The first time we used grape, it wasn’t our favorite but I was determined to use the last of the grape juice and when I added it to green tea, instead of black tea that we had first used, we really liked it. Now, they’re all our favorite flavors! :)

Baby SCOBY

Baby SCOBY

The baby SCOBY, along with about 2-1/2 cups of “starter” (kombucha from the last batch) will be going to my dentist so she can make her own brew. I was there yesterday and I knew she makes her own yogurt so I asked her if she was making kombucha and she said no but she wants to so . . I told her I’d bring her a SCOBY and my instructions.

It’s nice to share!  :)

Dinner Tonight

You guessed it . . another dinner from the pressure cooker.

Teriyaki Wings

Teriyaki Wings

It’s Teriyaka Chicken Wings, leftover mac and cheese and baked sweet potato. The wings were so good.

Everything about the pressure cooker is good but I really love how well it browns. These are the wings after browning but before pressure cooking for 7 minute.

Browned Wings

Browned Wings

One pack of wings made enough for two meals. Oh, how I love leftovers!