Friday, August 12, 2011

Kombucha and Kefir

WOW if you know about Kombucha you know how many great advantages there are to it.  But did you know that a designer actually made clothing from it! Watch Video here

We have been having a great deal of fun with it of late in our home.  First thing I did was make up the black and green teas for my home grown Kombu mothers.  I'm so happy!  There are now 2 small mothers from the beginning of this experiment.   I'm still experimenting with the green tea as I haven't used this before.  Black, sugar and me go way back.  So I did up 10 bags of the black with my normal sugar, don't measure as I have a cup in my canister of sugar which isn't a measuring cup and I have always used 2 of those.  So the green got 8 bags and about 12 oz of commercial honey.  It did REALLY well making the mother so I'm thinking it will work even though all the web sites say don't use honey.  Ya'll know me by now... against the grain and the biggest thing is to PLAY AT WILL!
Kombucha: green and black teas.
Kefir: water, rice milk, regular milk
After the Kombu was done I wanted to go hard into my water grains.  I figured out a lot of things.  First let me tell you that there are 4 of us who want to drink the WK here.  We have real grains that I bought from two different growers, the last one should be here by tomorrow. Eventually I need to have 4 different jugs going every day.  I have been playing with the recipe of the fruits to satisfy everyone but that's not what I wanted to talk about.  I re-read Dom's site site and it hit me that my WATERS not optimal for GROWING the grains.  So today I boiled a dozen eggs,,, ONLY 4 are left uneaten, I guess I should boil eggs more often.  BUT the fun I had getting the shells off for my kefir!  I found that under the strong stream of water out of the sink was the best way.  I unzipped them from around the middle of the shell by getting that inner skin off and then gently prying my nail under the shell and the water lifted the entire shell out of the egg!  Incredible!  What fun we had - all of us learning how to "unzip" our eggs to keep the shells whole.  Till I get my plastic strainer I'm not too thrilled about having tiny things in my grains.  All that just to say that I added a shell to my recipe.  I also added the 1/8th t. of baking soda.  Then I figured I was done... but continued to think about our water.  We are on well water that's poisoned with uranium and fluoride,,, overly much eh!  So we have had a softener and a reverse osmosis for drinking.  There's NOTHING in our water,,,, nothing good,,, nor anything bad... so I remembered Concentrace (if you go buy it there put the code WEN537 in and they will give you a discount) which is a liquid mineral for those drinking RO water.  I added that in the end, what FUN!  YUP this is the kind of stuff I get off on.
My Kombu teas are cooled and combined with the tiny mothers I made from the tea DH purchased from the market.  We are now at day 2 photo above, you can see the thin mother forming on the surface and you can see me in the reflection if you look hard enough.  I figure on trying them at about day 5, I used to go to 7 but till everyone's acclimated 5 might be better so I will start testing them.   
OOOOhh I almost forgot, the thing that took the most amount of time!  See my family doesn't like my plain 7 day Kombu which is very like Apple Cider Vinegar!  I love it but it's too strong for teens and my mom who all love sweets.  BUT in all fairness they did like the stuff from the store with the elderberry's.  So here's what we did.  We had this massive bag of frozen berry's from Costco.  It has raspberry's, blueberry's and blackberry's in it.  We defrosted the berries in a bowl and they hit the blender.  DS is very good at blending fruit into liquid!  He kept ramping it up till they were all liquid nummies, which we then put through a strainer with a spoon and pushed out the liquid fruit.  NUM!  These went into ice cube trays, 5 in all and those went into a freezer bag.  Easy access and can now be put into the finished Kombu for those with more delicate sensibilities.
I'm so thrilled!  I found the plastic lids and the small strainer I needed as well as a set of corked 32 ounce bottles!  What a boon that was for secondary ferments!  This will be for adding flavor! Oh and I'm getting a pound of hibiscus flowers and rose hips too!  Which is what you put into the 2nd ferment for more flavor.... less like tea more like herbal tea which the SCOBY's don't like.
Found a small downloadable booklet on Sugar Kefir Grain's too! download the book here
I hope this URL works for you it's from if it doesn't work.  Gives a plain SKA recipe and one for Coconut and a bunch of what ... how... I dunno, claims of what drinking kefir can do for you.  I'm making a book of recipes and all the goodies (only 15 pages so far) I can find all about fermenting as it's just flat out TOO MUCH FUN!  It comes in doses that I seem to be able to maintain what with not being able to walk/stand for long.  So this is an ideal "hobby" life style to adopt again.  We need to clean up our act even more around here so I'm really excited to get "cooking". 
We eat a lot of yogurt too so I'm looking forward to getting all of this down pat and getting the 5 pack sample of the different cultures.  I found it on eBay of course! Oh dear,,, now I can't find him.  There were 5, Villi, Caspian, Piima, Fil Mjolk, and one other.  Oh dear.  Really should have bookmarked it.  Sigh I did make up a batch of plain yogurt from the store in my crock pot and found a girl who will be able to ship me the various types of yogurts to try.  I'm really excited about all this as I'm sure you can tell.
If anyone needs anything I should have plenty to share soon.  Way too long as always, have a great weekend.

1 comment:

  1. Just started making kefir last week and already my grains are growing.

    Haven't thought about making kombucha yet. Not sure if I want to get into that. We do a lot of traveling and I will have to take my kefir with me. LOL ... I can remember when I used to drag Herman around with me. Not sure if you know what Herman is. It is a starter that you can make friendship bread etc...