Posted on

I think I know how to make this

I think I know how to make this I think I know how to make this
By Julia Wolf

My ongoing science experiment of kombucha-making is chugging along. I started brewing the fermented tea (not as alcoholic as you’d hope) back in August, just because. I don’t think there was really a reason, beyond I like kombucha and it’s the year of quarantine.

Do I really have anything better to do with my time, than watch a blob of yeast and bacteria grow in some tea? Apparently not.

So, start by growing a blob of yeast and bacteria, I did. With some trusty directions from the wide world of the internet and a bottle of store-bought kombucha to start me off, I did manage to grow my own blob, officially known as a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). After a month or so of waiting, I started actually making kombucha with the SCOBY.

I’d say it is going pretty well, actually, with the caveat that I have no idea what I am doing. After all, I have been able to drink all of the kombucha and it has been good. I’m just going off what the internet says, which can be summed up as, “Bubbles, jelly-like masses and gritty brown-colored residue are good. Fuzzy black or green spots of mold are bad.”

The kombucha smells fine, so it’s probably fine to drink, right?

After three months, you would think that I would start to get the hang of the whole process, but I’m not quite there yet. For one thing, I’ve wondered if the weird film growing on top of my kombucha-in-the-making is mold, more than a few times.

I’ve also only done the first round of fermentation on any of my batches. The second round makes the drink fizzy, which just isn’t my cup of tea (pun intended), plus takes more time. Also, with my luck, the fermentation process would get out of hand, and I would have exploded kombucha and shattered glass everywhere.

I also recently learned that kombucha should only be made with pure tea, to minimize the chance of growing mold. Upon investigation of my tea cupboard, I discovered that the Earl Gray tea I used for my current batch of kombucha, is not pure tea. Lovely. I guess I’ll find out how that batch turns out in a few days.

On a totally related note, I’ll buy tea that won’t potentially give me a dose of penicillin when I brew with it in the near future.

It is probably a good thing I have liked all the batches of kombucha I have made so far. I’m not getting a lot of takers to help me drink it and each batch is just shy of a half gallon.

So far, my co-workers have each had a small glass of storebought kombucha. One liked it, one shuddered every sip, and one stared into the deep abyss of her glass and wondered aloud how anyone can make themselves drink kombucha. Neither of my parents were too keen on it when they tried it and my boyfriend drank the kombucha I gave him, just to be nice.

I’m still not sure how long I’m going to keep the never-ending science experiment going. For now, brewing kombucha is fun and gives me a low-stress activity while I’m spending more time at home than usual.

Plus, I get to drink kombucha.