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Are you a countertop fermentation newbie, or a veteran?
I have been interested in fermentation for about 10 years now, and I have gone through seasons of consistency, and seasons where I shoved my starters and scobies in the fridge and forgot them for a few months.
It’s all about balance, right?
Is Kombucha right for me?
There are two camps when it comes to countertop fermentation. Those who are renegades and never think about the risk of leaving things out without refrigeration so long, and then the people who think about it all the time.
I’m somewhere in the middle…..
I don’t lose sleep over if I will get sick from my ferments, but I also do a lot of research to know exactly what a ferment gone bad would look and smell like.
I do believe in the process, and frankly God gave us this wisdom so long ago on how to take such simple ingredients and make them work for us long term, that I’m confident in that.
- Over-all health and vitality
All of these benefits make this lady’s heart happy!
Can I drink it if I am living a low carb lifestyle?
The short answer is YES!
The long answer has a few more steps than normal, and includes longer fermentation and specific ingredients for your second fermentation needs.
Here is a PDF I came across in my research too.
What do I need to start my Kombucha Journey?
In my experience fermentation is as complicated as you desire it to be. Me, I like to keep it simple, which can be most of the challenge when you are trying to make enough for 9 humans. So, keep that in mind when you see the multiple gallons of jars on my counters. This does not have to be the amount you make.
Here is what I use:
- 1 Gallon size glass jar
- Black tea, if you are gluten free you will need to check that it is not cross-contaminated.
- Organic cane sugar, yes this is the only reason I have cane sugar in my home.
- Kombucha scoby, I got mine here and it came with starter tea in the kit, which cuts down on the length of your first ferment.
- 16 ounces, or 2 Cups, of Kombucha (Starter Tea) if you have it.
- Coffee Filters
- Rubber bands
- Boil your 12 cups of water and add 9 black tea bags
- Let this cool as it steeps, and remove the tea bags after a few minutes and then add 1 cup of organic cane sugar and stir to dissolve completely. I do all of this part in the gallon jar that I am going to let my kombucha ferment in to save on dishes and handling of the liquid.
- You will need to let this cool as much as possible before you add either your scoby or your reserved 2 Cups (16 ounces) of starter tea.
- When the tea is cooled add your starter tea, and one layer of scoby to the jar.
- Place a coffee filter or a thin cloth over the top and secure with string or a large rubber band.
- Then, you need to let it sit on the counter at room temperature for 14-21 days. We are now keeping ours in our basement pantry because we are doing 6 gallons at one time, and putting an alert on the phone so that we do not forget them down there.
***You may need to pull your scoby apart because it will increase in layers as time goes on and become very thick. It can be a challenge to pull apart, but this is how you increase your ability to make more batches of kombucha at one time or to share the goodness with friends by gifting them a scoby and starter tea***
How to make your Kombucha Lower in Carbs for drinking in the second ferment
In my research, and talking with people who know the Trim Healthy Mama Plan very well, this is how you can make kombucha low-carb compatible or a Fuel Pull on THM.
- Do a 14 day counter-top first fermentation
- Strain your kombucha that you will drink and put into bottles or jars with lids that fit snugly. We use quart jars or half-gallon
- To each jar add 1/4(quart jar) or 1/2(half-gallon) cup of some type of berries, or Lemons. The lowest in carbs are raspberries or lemons according to the article I found.
- Put the lid on and let this sit on the counter for 24 hours.
- Move this to the refrigerator to slowly ferment for the next 7 days.
- Once 7 days have passed go ahead an strain off the fruit and store for drinking.
This slow second ferment with berries makes a very low-carb final product.
Other second ferment options
- 1/4 Cup Unsweetened Applesauce per quart of kombucha…yes, this one is really good
- 1/4 Cup NingXia Red
- 1/4 Cup of any fruit in combination….Lemons, limes, pineapples, pears, oranges, whole apples, raisins, fresh or dried cranberries, goji berries, papaya, passion fruit…the combinations and options are endless
- Ginger, Cinnamon sticks
Additions after the second ferment
- Extracts: mint, cherry, lime, lemon, apricot, pineapple, banana….the options are so many
- Seltzer Water: when serving for a nice bubbly experience. Kombucha can be naturally effervescent from second fermentation alone, but I like this added too.
- Sweetener: Stevia extract powder from here or here, monk fruit, Gentle Sweet or any sweetener of your choice