Fungus amongus!

Guess what I got the other day? A huge Kombucha mother mushroom!! I’m really excited. I’ve been wanting to try it for a while, but just haven’t gotten to it. A friend was harvesting from hers yesterday and invited me over to get one. I made my own kefir for a while and we liked it, but paying $11 for a half gallon of raw goat milk just to make it in seemed a bit of a waste, and I never could get the flavor right. That’s why I love the kombucha. All you need is water, tea and a sweetener! We have Water, we have honey, and I’ve got lots of tea. So, right now, I’m making my first batch. I’m using 3 parts Rooibos and 1 part oolong tea, along with sugar and water. I thought I’d start with the sugar since that is what most sites recommend, and experiment with other sweeteners when I get more ‘baby’ mushrooms (a ‘baby’ grows each time you use the mushroom).

So, here’s what I did:
I boiled 3 quarts of water and then added a cup of sugar, and boiled for 5 more minutes. Then I turned off the heat and added my tea (~6 tsp Rooibos and 2 tsp. Oolong) and let that steep for 10 minutes. Then I took out the tea bags and let the tea cool to room temp. I poured the tea into a large glass bowl and placed ~ 1/2 cup of kombucha tea (that my friend had also given to me) into the mix as a starter. Then I placed the mushroom on top. I covered the bowl with a cloth and will let it sit for 7 days in a warm place. I’m excited to try it!! I’ve ordered some books to get more info. This one is specifically about what herbs you can use in making Kombucha.

This is the mushroom and a little of the tea. For scale, it’s in a gallon sized bag.

And here is the mix just before I covered it with a cloth. The Mushroom is floating on top:

The first time I ever tried Kombucha was way before it was an ‘in’ thing. It was in 1996 when I was studying Midwifery in Ireland. I was staying with a German midwife who practiced in Ireland and this ‘fizzy drink’ was about all they drank; and she talked about how healthy it was. I remember really enjoying the flavor until she showed me the actual mushroom and then I was kind of grossed out. (I believe she said it was a mushroom that her mother had given her, so who knows how long they had been making it in her family). But, since then, I’d always wanted to figure out how to make it.

Kombucha is supposed to have all kinds of benefits, but my feeling is if it does nothing by increase the absorb ability of the nutrients in food, that you will see a huge change in many areas of your body, because your whole body will be nourished more.

Do any of you make your own kombucha? What ingredients do you use?

7 thoughts on “Fungus amongus!

  1. I’ve been leary of trying it because I don’t know how to tell a healthy scoby from one that’s not, and Florida down here is funky when it comes to fungi. But to ease us into it, we purchased our first raw kombucha from a health food store (refrigerated section), and when was it expensive! I’m going to watch your kombucha-making and see how it goes for you. Our bodies must be out of whack because we started drinking about 16 oz of it and had immediate healing crisis symptoms…we had to scale back to 1/4 a bottle which still makes me feel like I have the flu…but I look at it as medicine. Interestingly, green tea does not usually agree with me, but I found I VERY much enjoyed it, and it tasted better and did not upset my stomach like drinking it hot does. In short, we love kombucha…I just need to figure out how to make it safely without any dangerous molds getting in there.

  2. Hey Robbyn,
    From what I understand if you keep things sterile and cover the tea while it is fermenting, it’s pretty safe, and when it does grow mold you can obviously tell. But again, I’ve never done it before, so we’ll see how it goes. Here are some pictures… http://www.happyherbalist.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=227
    If you are interested in trying it, I’ll send you a baby once they start growing strong!

  3. From what I understand, you cannot use raw honey because it’s natural antifungal properties will kill your kombucha mother. However, if you do want to experiment with honey, you can pasturize the honey and then use it.

  4. I’ve been making Kombucha for a couple months now and I LOVE it! I’ve experimented with different teas, and right now I really love a first flush Darjeeling and an Assum. They both make a very light tasting Kombucha. I’ve found that old Grolsch bottles with the porcelain stopper work well for storing. Also, for flavor I’ve really enjoyed adding fresh squeezed ginger juice after it’s brewed. In my next batch I’m going to try using only half the sugar and half honey or Agave to see how it does. I’ve also wondered about adding citrus to it after it’s brewed, like grapefruit or maybe even mango pulp. Has anyone done this?

  5. i have way too many scobys lurking in my kitchen! i use organic green tea, raw sugar and filtered water. after it’s done, i bottle it in rubber stopped bottles with dried cherries and ginger root. then, we mix it to drink 50/50 with fruit juice. jaden loves the stuff and asks for it all the time.

  6. So, let me get this straight: Sweet tea, that is actually GOOD for you? OH MY! Where do I sign up?

  7. My husband enjoys it and it helps with his heartburn. I ve been leary ordering fungi online to start it. But I really need to get over the fear becasue DH really wants to make his own

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