Wednesday, January 18, 2017


My sister gave us a 10-minute crash course in kombucha brewing a couple of weeks back and let us take home a SCOBY – symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast – each so that we could brew our own at home. If you’re unfamiliar with kombucha, it’s a probiotic-rich beverage that’s been consumed for centuries in China, Japan, Korea, and Russia. The first recorded use of kombucha dates back to 221 BC during the Tsin dynasty in China, where it was known as “The Elix of Immortality.”

It was used for thousands of years to help stimulate metabolism and maintain a healthy immune system. Today, kombucha is on the brink of taking over the avocado as the most “fashion” of all foods, as awareness grows about its ability to increase the effectiveness of natural detoxification processes and replenish vital organic acids and enzymes required by the body for optimal health.

Kombucha is made by fermenting sweetened tea with a SCOBY. In the video, the SCOBY is the whitish, pancake-like blob that Scott drops into the big jar. The fermentation process takes 7-12 days depending on temperature and strength of the SCOBY. It consumes over 90% of the sugar during fermentation, resulting in a low-sugar finished product that tastes very similar to apple cider vinegar.

One evening, we noticed brown streaks and splotches on our SCOBY and were fretting over whether it was mold. We decided to scoop it out of our jar in order to better assess it on a plate. Then I shoved Scott out of the way because his broad shoulders were blocking the light. Like, “MOVE, DUDE!” This shocked both of us because I am usually non-violent – except for the time I bit Scott’s bicep when I got bored while he was reading an article. Ie: he wasn’t giving me enough attention.

As expected, I was unable to draw any conclusions on my own, so Scott had to step in to make the call. He decided that our SCOBY wasn’t moldy. Phew! Putting it back into the jar was no longer an option after all our poking and prodding, so we decided to use it as a face mask. Scott was unsure. But as my mother always says, “anything you can eat, you can definitely put on your face.”

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