Who knew so many people want to learn how to make kombucha?
A packed house filled The Shift Wednesday to learn all about this fermented, good-for-you sweet tea beverage (and other naturally fermented drinks) from the very knowledgable Tamara Mannelly, a health coach and blogger at Oh Lardy.
We even got to -- gasp -- touch a scoby. Don't know a scoby from Scooby Do, well ...
Tamara taught us that a scoby -- a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast -- is the key to kombucha. This squishy, jellyfish-like disc is what turns plain old sweet tea into fizzy, fermented kombucha. You need one to start a fresh batch of the stuff, and a new one will grow with each pitcher of kombucha you make. Tamara brought enough scoby for everyone at the workshop to be able to take one home. (Check out her website for more kombucha info and instructions.)
She also showed us how easy it is to make a "ginger bug" to create a host of refreshingly gingery, naturally carbonated beverages. If you're daunted by scoby, ginger bug is a great gateway into fermented drinks.
Keep watching Chicago Market's Events page for more great classes like this one.
Shared by Tamara Mannelly of Oh Lardy
2 cups water
2 tablespoons organic sugar
2 tablespoons peeled ginger, diced or grated
Additional sugar and ginger to keep feeding the "bug"
Combine all ingredients in a one-quart Mason jar.
Place a lid on the jar, give it a good shake and allow it to sit in a warm spot (72-80 F).
Every day for the next week, add 1 to 2 tablespoons EACH of sugar and diced ginger. The liquid should begin to get bubbly by the end of the week. Once bubbles form at the top of the mixture, it's ready.
To make ginger bug soda, add 1/4 cup of ginger bug liquid per quart of sweetened, flavored liquid (sweet tea, fruit juice, lemonade, etc.). Cap the container tightly and allow to ferment for two or three days before drinking.
To keep your bug alive, add more sugar and ginger every few days. To let the bug rest, put it in the refrigerator and feed it every one or two weeks.