I honestly never thought I’d see the day I made my own kombucha. In the past, I’ve had a terrible reaction to fermented foods and probiotics (lots of gas, pain and bloating). I’ve always known they were good for our gut but it was obviously something that wasn’t very good for me. It isn’t until recently that I’ve discovered that my weird little gut issues were to do with my hormonal imbalance. My low Progesterone lead me to have a mild histamine intolerance which meant that I couldn’t eat histamine-containing foods (fermented foods along with a few other foods) without my gut reacting. Ever since my hormones have balanced out I’ve slowly started to introduce some more gut friendly food into my diet and I’ve discovered that I no longer have any issues at all! So I thought now would be a good time to really strengthen my gut and start incorporating gut-friendly fermented foods like kombucha!
I’ve actually never been a fan of store-bought kombucha because I can’t find any that are made without caffeine. Due to my history with anxiety, I am terrified of caffeine and refuse to drink it as I know it makes me very anxious. But more than this I genuinely don’t like the taste of black tea and store-bought kombucha always tastes absolutely horrible to me. I was intrigued at the idea of making my own kombucha because I could use whatever tea I wanted and make it taste the way I like it.
Kombucha is also something that my mum has found to be very beneficial for her gut health and also for her acid reflux, however she absolutely hates the taste of store bought as well so I wanted to conduct this little experiment for her and see if I could make a kombucha that she actually enjoys drinking as well!
I will admit and I was a little intimidated by the process of making kombucha even though in reality it is very very easy. I have had a horrible experience trying to make my own vegan yogurt in the past and so I was a little afraid of making fermented food in general. I always seem to stuff it up somehow! Thankfully for me, the Mad Millie kit that I used with this kombucha gives you everything you need with really great instructions. I’m pleased to say that I have successfully made my own kombucha that is caffeine free and tastes absolutely delicious! The taste far exceeds any store bought kombucha that I have tried and both my mum and husband agree.
For the remainder of this blog post, I want to do a full review of Mad Millie Kombucha Kit
What is it?
Mad Millie is a New Zealand based company that sells make it yourself kits for a range of different food items that are generally only found commercially. They sell internationally and have a range of kits including, cheese making, sourdough, tofu, yogurt, vegan cheese, beer and kombucha (plus many more) they pride themselves in giving you the specialty tools and equipment you need to make things from scratch without any nasty additives.
Kombucha is a fermented, lightly fizzed, sweet tea drink commonly known for its probiotic qualities. It is a wonderful addition to the diet to help improve gut health and aid in digestion. Great gut health is key to overall health and immunity.
The benefits of making your own kombucha over buying store bought are many. The prime benefit for me was that I could get all the gut-friendly probiotics in kombucha but still keep my kombucha caffeine free by using herbal tea (I used rooibos) You can also customize your kombucha and make it any flavour combination you like that is free of any nasty chemical additives or flavours that can be found in store-bought varieties. Making your own kombucha means you can make a large batch that will last in the fridge for a long time. The scoby starter culture can be used again and again to make more kombucha which will save money over time. Of course, the main benefit is that it’s a wonderful way of consuming good quality probiotics that can help strengthen the gut.
The wonderful thing about making kombucha from scratch is that the taste is customizable. You can add any flavour infusions that you like as well as any tea that you like (although black tea is recommended for your first brew) my kombucha is a pomegranate, raspberry rooibos tea kombucha that has a light fizz and an all-around gentle sweet taste. It is by far the best-tasting kombucha I have tried (my mum and husband agree) you can find my kombucha recipe down below.
The price of the mad Millie kombucha kit may vary depending on the store where it is purchased however it is priced at $44.95 online
How to use it:
The following equipment is included in the kit:
1L glass jar
Scoby starter culture
You will also need:
3 tea bags of choice
The kit has easy to follow instructions with pictures. It involves a tea making process, culturing process which takes a minimum of 7 days using muslin cloth as a lid as to let the culture breathe. The thermometer is vital as the exact temperature is needed for the kombucha process to work. It also includes and an optional (but highly recommended) second ferment for 2-3 days or longer. See my recipe down below for more detailed instructions.
I was a little concerned at using white sugar to make kombucha because I threw out all of the white sugar in my house many many years ago when I first changed my diet. But I was assured that the ”scoby” would eat up all the sugar and the final product has very little sugar left within it. After I heard that I was happy to go ahead and ensure I got a strong brew by using white sugar as opposed to a more natural sweetener that I generally would have opted for like coconut sugar. For my next brew, I may try some coconut sugar and see how it compares.
As I mentioned previously I really wanted to keep my kombucha caffeine free so I researched other recipes that use caffeine free tea and chose to use a Rooibos tea. If you are okay with using caffeine then it is indicated that you use a black tea for your first batch to make sure you get a very strong brew. Personally, I’m very happy with how mine turned out because I love the taste of rooibos tea.
The only real con of making your own kombucha is the wait time. It can take quite a long time until the kombucha is ready to drink (up to 25 days) this can be a struggle for many people as we are so used to having things when we want them. The process seems to take longer in colder weather as the culture prefers warm temperatures of 25-30 degrees. For this reason, I think it works best to make kombucha over the warmer months like summer to ensure a strong and speedy brew.
Where to Buy:
You can by the mad Millie kombucha kit online at https://www.madmillie.com/ the kits can also be found in selected health shops as well as online health shops. You can find a full stockist list on the website as well.
|How to make your own kombucha with Mad Millie Kits|| |
- FIRST FERMENT:
- 3 tea bags of choice ( I used rooibos but black tea is recommended)
- ¼ cup white sugar
- 1 scoby
- 950ml water
- SECOND FERMENT:
- 1½ tsp white sugar
- ⅓ cup fresh raspberries
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup pomegranate seeds
- FIRST FERMENT: Sterilize the glass jars under boiling water. I did this by boiling a kettle and pouring in boiling water and letting them sit for 3-4 minutes
- bring 950ml water to the boil
- add tea bags and sugar and let steep for 3-4 minutes
- attach the thermometer to the jar, transfer sweet tea into the jar and allow to cool till room temperature. 24- 26 degrees Celsius is ideal.
- Add Scoby and starter liquid.
- Cover with the muslin cloth and allow to sit at room temperate for at least 7 days. Don't put the lid on the jar, it is important to let the kombucha breathe.
- Taste with a clean sterile spoon after day 8, if you are not happy with the taste, leave for a few days longer until the taste develops nicely. I left mine for 11 days because the weather was a little cool.
- SECOND FERMENT
- Gently remove scoby ( which will have grown) place in a container of choice, cover and refrigerate until the next time you make kombucha
- Add 1.5 tsp of white sugar to your clean bottle.
- Add raspberries, vanilla and pomegranate seeds to the bottle
- Using a funnel lined with a muslin cloth, carefully transfer the kombucha into the new jar.
- Allow to sit at room temperate for another 2-3 days. This will make the kombucha carbonate and turn slightly fizzy.
- Once happy you can transfer to the fridge and enjoy!