Making Your Own Kombucha ~ How To Do It

KOMBUCHA MANNA NEWSLETTER # 4
 

We human beings have always sought for miracles while missing the miracles that exist around us every moment of every day. Some have even called Kombucha a miracle.  The longer I use and learn about  Kombucha and it's beneficial effects the more I understand why:-))

It does seem miraculous to go from several sicknesses a year to none in over a year and a half.
Since beginning to drink our homemade Kombucha Manna tea, this has been true for my whole
family.  I have been allergy free; even to molds and yeasts, for the first time in almost thirty years. Most of my friends who have also been drinking Kombucha are finding the same results. More importantly, we are not alone in reaping these benefits.

It is estimated that several million people throughout the world are now enjoying the benefits of
drinking Kombucha Tea.. The same benefits and more  are also reported by those who post on the Kombucha list. The Kombucha list and digest is made up of over 700 people, world wide, who
share Kombucha information every day, on-line. Instructions for subscribing to the Kombucha
Digest can be found on our Kombucha Manna web site. Many letters on the Kombucha list, speak
of relief from symptoms of arthritis, Fibromyalgia, respiratory infections, chronic fatigue, digestive
disturbances, allergies, and also of changes for the better in blood pressure and cholesterol
levels. Many mention improvements in skin and hair as well. Some folks who were losing hair are
growing hair again, and for some, their hair is changing from gray back to their natural color.

Sounds too good to be true doesn't it?  If, like me, you've been drinking K-tea for some months
or years, on a daily basis you know it's true-from your own experience. If not, you might want to try it for yourself. "He who tastes: knows!"

Let me fill you in on what we have learned about the care and feeding of the Kombucha Culture, to
help give you your own Kombucha taste test and get you off to the best start possible. Kombucha should taste good to you! If it is properly made, it tastes like sparkling apple cider:-))

First, you need a Kombucha Culture, starter, and brewing instructions from a good source. You can
actually start Kombucha from the Kombucha Tea itself, and many people have done so, but I highly
recommend that you start with both a fresh Kombucha Culture and some fresh Kombucha tea
Starter.  In this way you will get a complete supply of the healthful yeasts and bacteria, acids and
polysaccharides, that contribute to making Kombucha so good for you.  You also go a long way in
preventing molds from developing in your Kombucha ferment. Not a common problem, but it does
happen occasionally. If by any chance you do develop molds throw the whole thing out and start
again! Using both a Kombucha Culture and Kombucha tea starter, you will very likely not encounter
any problems brewing whatsoever. We have never had molds in over a year and a half of brewing
many gallons of Kombucha every week:-)

Secondly, you need a proper brewing container, we still recommend using glass. Some people do
use food grade plastic, (numbers 1 or 2 on the bottom). Do not use a ceramic container unless you
know for sure it is lead free!  We use 2 gallon glass jars that look like giant cookie jars. Easy to
cover with a cotton cloth, (not cheesecloth) and secure with a rubber band. Recently we also
started brewing in a "Sun-tea" jar.  The "Sun-tea"jar is also made of glass, holds almost a gallon
and has a plastic spigot at the bottom for drawing off a glass or two of K-tea at a time.

In this process, called "Continuous fermentation" you add new: (tea, sugar, (most people are using
white sugar), filtered water mixture, every few days and take your finished K-tea from the spigot
every few days as well. Theoretically, it would be possible just to take some K-tea everyday and
add new tea, sugar, water, everyday, and brew continuously that way. So far, we have been using
a method somewhere in between. There is no doubt "Continuous Fermentation" is easier and more
convenient than the two  gallon weekly brew we have been doing. For the individual brewing at
home I highly recommend it. The trick is to get just the right sweet-sour taste. The margin of error
in timing is very small because of the small amount of brew and constantly changing conditions.
Some, knowledgeable in the art of  Zymurgy,* use much bigger containers than the "Sun-tea"jar
and say it works very well for them.  It is probable that the traditional way to brew K-tea was
more along the lines of "Continuous Fermentation".

Thirdly, Add Starter every time you brew. Starter is simply Kombucha tea from your last batch
and although the minimum amount to be added is 10% we have started to double that or add even
more.  It jump-starts your brew and seems to keep molds and any other potential contaminants at
bay. If you do not have Kombucha tea Starter for your first batch a quarter of a cup of distilled
vinegar will do.

Fourth, drink plenty of plain water every day as well as your daily Kombucha tea. This is important
in helping to eliminate any toxins released by the K-tea, from your body, and it is good for
everyone
anyway. New research shows many physical  problems are due, at least in part, to
dehydration.

BTW. You do not have to concern yourself with which side is up in regard to your Kombucha
Culture:-))  We have found it makes no difference, which is a good thing too, because it was not
always so easy to tell one side from the other. It also does not make any difference what position
the Kombucha Culture assumes in the fermenting jar. Some float, some sink and some dance
vertically in the jar but the new baby always,  forms on top of the liquid and assumes the shape of
the jar it is in. However,  no baby will form at all if the jar is jiggled or moved about a lot-as on a
long car ride.  You can travel with Kombucha brewing, as many people have done, but you may not
get a baby that time. Every law has it's exceptions:-))

Another fascinating report is that when Kombucha fermenting jars are placed very close together
the Kombucha cultures in those jars will assume the same position in their respective jars. I
haven't tried it, but you might check it out and let me know. Frankly, there is probably allot more
we don't know about Kombucha than what we do know. Thing is, what we do know is so
fascinating! Miraculous?

For example, did you know that some people are putting Kombucha on skin cancers, and the
cancers are disappearing? Others are planting Kombucha cultures when they plant tomatoes etc.
and getting better crops. Many people are using small amounts of K-tea in their animal's water
bowls and the animals are responding with better health in very similar ways to people. Lab work
has shown that Kombucha -tea is antagonistic to several pathogenic bacteria such as E-coli, and
Helicobacter-pylori, the bacteria recently discovered to be a causative factor in some ulcers.
Speaking of ulcers, you may be surprised to learn, that many people have found relief from ulcers
and other digestive disturbances when drinking Kombucha tea.

Candida sufferers also have found that even Candida that has held on for years goes away when they drink K-tea. However for a few people, not most, Candida symptoms can flare up before it finally goes. According to Gunther Frank in his book: "Kombucha Healthy beverage and Natural Remedy from the Far East", the Yeasts in Kombucha may be antagonistic to the Candida yeasts.  We highly recommend this book for anyone who wishes to know more about Kombucha. It is available from Kombucha Manna.

What seems to work best, should the detoxifying process from  Kombucha become too intense or
symptomatic is to reduce the amount of K-tea consumed until symptoms subside and continue at
that rate (sometimes even an ounce or less a day) for awhile and then gradually increase the
amount again slowly over a long period of time.  People familiar with the dynamics of the
"cleansing crisis" will understand how this works.

Very rarely, someone may be allergic to the ingredients in K-tea itself, for example, some
ingredient, such as caffeine, in the black or green tea used to make the K-tea. No one thing can be
good for everyone. In such cases, herbal teas can be substituted. At this point we do not know
what effect changing the basic ingredients has on the beneficial effect of the Kombucha tea or on
the Kombucha Culture itself. For that reason, I still recommend staying with the traditional black
and green teas; preferably Organic, If you wish to flavor your tea- and who doesn't - it's so much fun to do, I suggest doing it when you bottle the tea. That way your Kombucha Culture and
fermentation process is unaffected by the changes you make.

One of our latest and greatest flavors is Black current. Recommended to us by Susanna who
sometimes helps us make the tea. Thanks Susanna that is delicious. Also JP. Invented a flavor
Orange Bliss. A combination of Orange and Peach flavors; also fantastic. My personal all time
favorite is Blackberry:-)) Let us know if you discover a flavor you love and we will share it with
everyOne in the next Newsletter.  We are also compiling a Kombucha Recipe book with recipes
from folks on the Kombucha list. If you would like to contribute one of your own, please send it to
us at our address below.  We'll let you know when the booklet becomes available.

Some of our customers sadly stopped making and drinking Kombucha when the misinformation
about Kombucha causing sickness or even death was irresponsibly spread by the media. The truth
is that there has not been one death caused by Kombucha and thanks to Ari,  I have the text from
the FDA Talk Paper, and CDC Morbidity & Mortality Report, to prove it.

Finally, you may be wondering how long you can keep your Kombucha refrigerated. We have kept
our Kombucha for up to six months in our garage in winter, the temperature was around fifty
degrees (50 F). That Kombucha is by far the best I have ever tasted.  It is like Champagne! It was
tested by a lab and found to be free of contaminants. You can keep Kombucha in refrigeration even
longer than that. I do not know how long it would keep, but ours keeps at least six months. It gets
better and better. I also tested it for Ketones and there have never been any in any of our
Kombucha Manna tea no matter how long it is sealed in a bottle. We do use glass not plastic
bottles however, with corks in case too much carbonation builds up.

We welcome your questions and comments and enjoy hearing from you. Thank you, to all of you
who have taken the time to write or phone us with  your appreciation of our products. It means
a lot to us:-)) Please feel free to contact us anytime. Recently someone called with a Kombucha
question about the culture she had refrigerated for three weeks. When she started to use it again
she thought maybe it had died as nothing was happening. I encouraged her to wait and see and
sure enough upon closer examination,  it had just been slowed down a bit from  being refrigerated
but it wasn't dead. After refrigeration, it will just take longer to make K-tea the first time back.
Seems like only too much heat, not cold, kills the Kombucha. People have even frozen them and
then used them again.  It seems to work best to bring a cold culture back to room temperature
before you reuse it.

 Let us hear from you either by mail, email, or phone. The furthest we have shipped a culture, so
far, is the Philippines and all went well:-) We continue to sell our Kombucha Manna skin and hair
products, mostly by mail order through our Kombucha Manna Catalog.  We also have our first
Herbal Extracts in Kombucha Vinegar for sale as well as our original Kombucha *Drops* in alcohol
and alcohol free forms.

Please note our email and web-site addresses have been changed. You are welcome to download
our Kombucha Manna Newsletters and Instruction Manual: How to Make Kombucha from our
web-site. We also have a list of interesting Holistic sites on the www. to visit, and an article by
Gunther Frank.  Our site is a part of the Holistic community, come pay us a visit:-))

Have fun with Zymurgy,* and stay happy and  healthy:-))

*Zymurgy: the manufacturing chemistry of fermentation processes in brewing.

© 1997 Beverly B. Ferguson: Kombucha Manna International

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Copyright and Legal Disclaimer: Information provided in these KMI Newsletters is for informational purposes only and is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. This information is obtained from testimonials of people world-wide who have used Kombucha and our own personal experience.

Statements regarding Kombucha and *Kombucha Manna Drops* are solely to offer our customers additional information. No health claims for these products have been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), nor has the FDA approved these products to diagnose, cure or prevent disease. Please consult your healthcare provider about the use of Kombucha products in your particular case. All rights reserved © 1997 Beverly B. Ferguson.
 
 
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