Continuous Kombucha for Post-Collapse Wellness

Learning how to make this fermented tea to provide your family with dietary wellness and a long-term health benefits during a long-term emergency.

 

  This post was written by Laura Imm at www.Alt-Market.com

When you think of collapse, what mental pictures come to your mind? Hiding in a hole, eating your dinner out of a can, willing to trade your left pinkie finger for a plastic spork? If we’re talking economic collapse, things probably won’t be that dire, at least for a while. But there definitely will be deprivations. Have you given much thought to what they will be?

One of my main concerns is how I will keep my family healthy now and through collapse. How will I afford vitamins and good alternative health care when I’m unemployed and my money is worthless?

What if I could make my own vitamins? What if I could make my own probiotics, without the need to support a home dairy or when my dairy animals are dry? What if doing so only cost me some tea bags and sugar, items I can easily, and cheaply, stockpile? What if all the space it would require is a few square feet of my kitchen (or cave, depending on your vision of collapse)? What if doing so required absolutely no electricity? Sounds great, right? What could possibly fulfill all these expectations?


Enter kombucha (pronounced kom-boo-cha). What in the world is kombucha, you might ask? It is fermented tea. The fermentation is produced through the use of a SCOBY, a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. During this fermentation acetic acid, lactic acid, glucuronic acid, probiotics, and a host of B vitamins are produced. The typical profile for an 8oz serving of kombucha looks like this.

Vitamins Amount (mcg) RDA (%) Probiotics Amount (organisms) Antioxidants + organic acids Amount (mg)
B1 300 10 Lactobacillus 500 million Acetic Acid 15
B2 340 10 S. Boulardii 500 million EGCG 50
B3 4000 10 Glucuronic acid 5
B6 400 10 L(+) Lactic Acid 12
B12 1.2 10
Folic acid 50 12

(Source: G. T’s Kombucha)

While all of this is wonderful, by far the star of the show is glucuronic acid. It is a substance created and excreted by the liver, which binds to toxins and carries them out of the living body. Considering we face dioxins, heavy metals, BPA, fluoride, pesticides and whatever is in chemtrails everyday, any mechanism our body has to flush out toxins is welcome and vital. But just like with any living organ, the liver can get overburdened and constantly having to create an overabundance of glucuronic acid to combat the toxins we face everyday can wear it out. Supplementing our bodies with extra glucuronic acid is a wise and prudent action if we plan to outlast these toxins and ultimately, beat the globalists at their own game.

Kombucha’s ability to detoxify the living body is why its been referred to as the Elixir of Life and the Tea of Immortality. It is one of the easiest and sustainable ways to preserve and promote vibrant health.



Kombucha is an old beverage. Its modern popularity originates from the Ural Mountains of Russia during the late 19th century, but it is considered much older than that, with references dating back to the second century BC in China. It is a very light, lightly effervescent beverage, that reminds me of ginger ale.

All this goodness and only 2-10 grams of sugar, depending on how you flavor it. In fact, ounce for ounce, flavored kombucha contains less sugar than yogurt or kefir, and certainly less than a soft drink or a sports drink. Natural News just named kombucha one of the four best functional beverages.

http://www.naturalnews.com/035634_functional_beverages_health_performance.html

So, how to get started? To make your own kombucha you will need a SCOBY. You can order one, from sites like kombucha2000, but where’s the integrity and self-reliance in that? Or frugality?


http://www.kombucha2000.com/products.html#mushroom

Or, you can grow your own, like I did. To do that, you will need only a few things; some sweet tea, unflavored kombucha, a glass jar, and a kitchen towel.  In my line of work, moving things around introduces contamination and loss, so I decided to set up my SCOBY growing and kombucha brewing all in one vessel. That way, once the SCOBY was grown I could move right along to brewing by just adding the next phase of ingredients to the jar. This means I chose a fairly large jar, a 0.8 gallon sun tea jar with a spigot. When brewing kombucha, no metal can be present, so I made sure all the innards of the jar and spigot were plastic or glass.

A word about ingredients. Since this is a brewing process, you will want to use distilled water or if you have a home RO unit, water that has been purified by reverse osmosis. Also, you will want to use organic tea. Nonorganic tea introduces a much higher level of fluoride to the end product than organic tea does. And since that is one of the toxins we are trying to avoid, why not start off with the best foot forward. After carefully selecting the other ingredients, it just makes sense to use organic sugar as well. If you’re going to go to the effort of brewing your own, why not make it as good and as pure as possible? I buy organic sugar from one of our local bulk foods stores in 10lb bags.

To prepare the vessel, I washed the jar in hot, soapy water, then rinsed and let it air dry.  If its glass, I will remove the spigot and bake it in the oven at 225F for an hour to sterilize it, keep in mind you can’t bake plastic in your oven. You can also use food safe detergent, like the kind used to clean beer brewing equipment.

To prepare the tea, use 1 organic, black tea bag, 1 cup of hot water and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Cool the tea to room temperature, then add the tea and kombucha to the jar. Do not cover the jar with the lid. Cover the jar with the kitchen towel and secure it with a rubber band. A worn out hair band works well for this. Then place in a warm, dark spot to grow. In two to three weeks you will find what looks like a light, tan colored pancake has grown in the jar. That is the SCOBY. Once it is at least ¼ inch thick, its big enough for brewing.

To move on to brewing, prepare your sweet tea by following the ratios listed below. Black tea will produce the most glucuronic acid, but any combination of black and green tea can be used.

Water Tea Bags  Sugar (cups)
1 quart 2 1/3
2 quarts 3 2/3
3 quarts 4-5 1
1 gallon 6 1 and 1/3
1.5 gallon 9 2
2 gallon 12 2 and 2/3

Allow the sweet tea to cool to room temperature, then add to your brewing vessel, replacing your cloth on top. Now wait.

How long you will wait will depend on how acidic you like your kombucha. I would pour a few ounces off after a few days to try it. Generally, its going to take 3-6 days to get to where you like it. Since I like to practice continuous brewing, I let it go the 6 days, since after that I will be taking some off and replacing it continuously.

Continuous brewing means exactly how it sounds. You never completely empty a brewing vessel, so once you get it started there is no more cleaning or transferring or anything else that could disturb your SCOBY. Your SCOBY will last a good, long while this way, and will stay very happy. So happy, that it will begin forming a baby SCOBY as soon as it goes to work.

When bottling your kombucha, commercial kombucha bottles, Perrier bottles or Grolsch bottles (with the swing-top lid) are recommended. Once your kombucha is ready, start bottling it according to the following schedule. I usually pour off every other day, then once a week pour off an extra bottle from each vessel. But I have also liked the results pouring off every day and a half.

Vessel Size 16oz Bottles
0.8 gallon 1
1.6 gallon 2
2.4 gallon 3
3 gallon 4

After you pour off your kombucha, replace the liquid you poured off with fresh, room temperature, sweet tea. When replenishing the brewing vessel is a good time to inspect you SCOBYs for health and check the growth of the baby. Any tan color is good, but if you spot anything that looks green, blue or black, a mold or an unwelcome bacteria has invaded and its time to discard the contents and begin anew. Continuous brewing helps to keep the baby hydrated, but nonetheless, you will want to take good care of your SCOBYs.

You can drink your kombucha plain or flavor it in any number of ways. I like to use fruit juice, since it is so easy and convenient. I look for true juices, not from concentrate, since juice diluted from concentrate may have used fluoridated water. I have also found juice concentrates at my local health food store that can also be used. Just be sure to use a tiny amount of those since they are concentrated!

Variations:

Different teas can be used in Kombucha. You can blend white tea with your black or even different herbal blends. To make your kombucha truly self-reliant, Territorial Seed Company sells green tea plants. Why not grow your own?

http://www.territorialseed.com/product/1330

Continuing on the path to self-reliance and sustainability, here in maple country we have found that maple syrup also makes a good source of sugar for kombucha and is a great way to use up the darker grades of syrup that might be too strongly flavored for those morning pancakes. Also, using maple syrup will bring manganese and zinc into your kombucha, increasing its health benefits even further.

What about caffeine?

Yes, kombucha does have some caffeine, about 8mg in an 8oz serving. If this concerns you, you can decaffeinate your tea following the instructions in the link concerning continuous brewing.

The gift that keeps on giving; good health:

You may have already realized that continuous brewing of kombucha is going to result in lots of baby SCOBY’s. These babies can be used to start new brewing vessels, can be given as gifts to friends and relatives or could become an important barter item in our post-collapse world.

We love continuous home brewing of our own kombucha. It allows us to enjoy daily, what used to be an expensive, occasional treat. We drink it all the time and we all prefer it to sweeter, less healthy drinks. Regardless of how big my little brewery gets, it cannot keep up with demand. I encourage you to try home brewing for yourself and start taking advantage of this wonderful, life-giving gift.

 

For more information follow these links:

 

Further information on growing your own SCOBY

Further information on continuous brewing and decaffeinating

The history of kombucha

Benefits of glucuronic acid

 

 This post was written by Laura Imm at www.Alt-Market.com 

 

 

This article was originally published at Ready Nutrition™ on May 11th, 2012