What’s all this booch business?
I have been brewing my own kombucha for over two years now, which does not make me an expert in any means but it has grown to be quite a hobby. A few months ago, two Instagram friends asked me if I could teach them how to make their own kombucha, since it is much cheaper than store bought brews! I suggested to conduct a workshop at my house, but long story short, one month later I hosted my first Brew Your Own Kombucha workshop at the Vincent’s Eco Estate in Mgarr! The first workshop was so much fun and the twenty-two participants were super enthusiastic to brew their own kombucha.
So what can you expect from your first BYO Kombucha workshop?
Participants are recommended to arrive 5-10 mins before to settle in and visit the organic fruit and vegetable farm at Vincent’s Eco Estate. During the first bit of the workshop, we will discuss the origin and health benefits of kombucha, as well as some precautions to take during the brewing process. I will go into detail of how to brew your own Kombucha at home; each step will be outlined on the take-home cheat sheets and I will show how to handle the SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). The workshop will conclude with a tasting of a few kombucha flavours, ranging from passionfruit ginger to a maple cinnamon flavour; something for everyone! The duration of the workshop depends on the number of participants, number of tasting and questions, the duration is approximately an hour and a half.
The workshop is 20 EUR per person. Each participant will receive their starter kit (SCOBY and starter culture) plus notes, a brewing cheat sheet and access to the private ‘Kombucha Brewers ~ Malta’ Facebook page for continuous support and brewing inspiration.
If you are interested to participate in the next BYO Kombucha workshop, please leave a comment on the page or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org! Keep reading below for the most frequently asked questions about Kombucha and the workshop..
Frequently Asked Questions:
What are your recommended brewing Dos & Don’ts
There are many Dos & Donts, but don’t be intimidated… it is all very straight forward! These are covered in detail throughout the workshop and are included in the take home notes.
How do you avoid contamination?
It is important to keep your brewing vessel clean and closed tightly to avoid external bacteria entering your brew! Brewers are advised to have clean hands (either normal soap or vinegar works) while handling their SCOBY. All utensils should be sterilized as well to avoid contaminating your brew. And the best tip: set it and forget it!
How long does the fermented finished product keep? And how do you store it?
Once you have conducted your second fermentation, it is recommended to keep your product in the fridge. The colder environment will hinder the fermentation process, so you kombucha should not ferment anymore and get more tart. Unopened in the fridge, the product can last anywhere up to a month… that is if you have the self control to leave it there for that long!
What are the main benefits and are there any benefits related to pregnancy/postpartum?
Kombucha offers a variety of benefits, the main one being a source of pro and prebiotics that fuels your gut with healthy bacteria. It is not advise to start drinking kombucha while pregnant, however, if you have been drinking kombucha before your pregnancy then drink your kombucha in moderation. As always, please contact a physician for medical advice.
Is it like a fungus?
Yes! The SCOBY is a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast… and it is technically a fungus, which is why it is known as “mushroom tea” is some parts of the world. Different kombucha will have different strains of bacteria and proportions.
What are adverse effects of Kombucha?
There are some adverse effects of kombucha, besides an improve gut biome. It is important to monitor your brew, as if it becomes too tart (like apple cider vinegar) some consumers can have a build up of lactic acid in their system.
Do you have to shave the SCOBY? Where can I find a SCOBY to start?
No need to shave your SCOBY. However, if you SCOBY becomes quite big after a few brews, then you can transfer a SCOBY to another vessel or use it for other purposes.
What strains of bacteria does it actually have?
There are many strains of bacteria in kombucha, a main strain is acetobacter, which produces acetic acid and gluconic acid. This strain builds the “mushroom” or SCOBY. There are yeast strains in kombucha too, which produce alcohol and carbonation to the brew!
Is Kombucha alcoholic?
This is a common question amongst friends and workshop attendees. And yes, kombucha is in fact slightly alcohol, but a very small amount under 0.5%.
I tried my first batch but mould grew on top! I wish to know what went wrong and how to best take care of your Kombucha.
Yikes, that’s not good. We do not want to see mould on our SCOBYS! If this happens, the brewer must throw out their entire brew and SCOBY and start fresh. Each participant will receive a SCOBY from the BYO Kombucha workshop and learn how to avoid contamination during the brewing process.
How do you want different flavours of Kombucha?
The second fermentation is where the brewer can add their favourite flavouring to their kombucha. Once you have bottled your kombucha, add your desired flavouring and leave it for 3-4 days out of direct sunlight. Fruit with a higher sugar content will yield a more carbonated brew. My favourites are passionfruit and ginger turmeric!