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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Super Food Saturday-DIY Kombucha

I was first introduced to this drink by my niece when she made her own. She wanted me to try it, but I was leary since I had never heard of it.

Then I heard a chiropractor talking about the health benefits of Kombucha on a radio show.  Kombucha is a fermented tea which is full of probiotics. Probiotics are very healthy for your digestive system.

I started drinking store bought stuff and got addicted. It comes in a variety of fruit flavors. I was hooked but at almost $4 a bottle it was an expensive habit.  I decided it was time to make my own.

I bought a culture called a scoby.  My first attempt went well, but my scoby ate all of the brew, so I started again to make a bigger batch.  I was afraid to try it thinking I might get sick. So today seemed like a good day to test the batch I made. It tastes fantastic.  I did the first fermentation and then bottled the result with some extract. This created a nice fizzy product. You do not have to take the second step and can drink the product after the first fermentation.

Because I grew up canning produce with my mom, I use the same practice she used. I sterilize all the equipment I used in boiling water to be sure I am not introducing any bad bacteria.  We always did this anytime we canned food.  Wash your hands well with soap and water before starting.

Any equipment or ingredients can be purchased from Ebay or Amazon
Equipment needed:
Glass jar (half gallon or gallon size)
Wood spoon ( no metal should touch the kombucha scoby)
A paper coffee filter or cheese cloth to top the jar
A rubber band to secure the filter

To make 1/2 gallon
1 tablespoon of loose black tea or 4 tea bags ( I used bags)
6 1/2 cups of filtered water
1/2 cup white cane sugar
1 cup distilled white vinegar

Place hot water and sugar together in a jar. Mix until the sugar dissolves. The water should be hot enough to steep the tea, but not boiling.
Place the tea in the water mixture.  Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.  Remove the tea bags. Add the vinegar and the scoby culture. Cover the jar with a coffee filter or cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band.

Place the jar in a spot that is between 70 and 80 F.  It should be out of direct sunlight.  The spot should have good air flow. I put mine on my kitchen counter.  Keep the jar away from any other cultured foods such as kefir, yogurt or sourdough.

Do not disturb or move the jar.  Allow the mixture to ferment. Start checking after a couple of days. It is done when you like the taste or you can use a pH strip.  pH should be 2,5 to 4.0.  Shorter the time the sweeter the finished product.

You can drink now or bottle like I did for a second fermentation to get a fizzy drink. I strained through a non metal strainer into airtight bottles.

I let it sit on the counter for a week to ferment and then put the bottles into the refrigerator. I put a little tart cherry extract in each bottle for flavor. Fruit juice will work as well.
I did not save my scoby because it got so big. If you want to save it can be put in a jar of sugar water and tea.  This was easy and made about 6 bottles. I loved the final result and I will do this again.


Chris Wodke
Founder & Manager Team CMT

Chris is a triathlete and long distance runner. She is a three time participant of the Boston Marathon.  In 2012 she finished 2nd at Boston in the Mobility Impaired Division. She was on the course in 2013 when the bombs exploded.

She has appeared three times at the Paratriathlon National Triathlon Sprint Championship. She was the 2012 and 2014 National Champion Paratriathlon Open Division Champion.

In 2014 she was the PC Open Champion at the Duathlon National Championship and at the Aqua bike National Championship in 2016. She represented Team USA at the Aquathon ITU World Championship in Chicago in 2015 and at the World championship in Cozumel in 2016.  

 In 2014 she represented the U.S. as a paratriathlete at the Pan-American Triathlon Championship in Dallas, Texas.  She has won state championships in cycling and triathlon as a senior Olympian.

She travels around the country raising awareness of CMT.

She is the author of the book, “Running for My Life” that details her experience as a CMT affected athlete.

You may visit her author page at:

Team CMT is a group of athletes and supporters working to raise awareness and to find a cure for CMT. We have 210 members in 38 states. We also have members in Australia, England, Scotland, Canada, Vietnam, Turkey, Finland, Scotland, France, Poland, Iran, Norway and Sweden. If you wish to join us visit our web site; or

CMT or Charcot-Marie-Tooth is the most commonly inherited peripheral neuropathy. It affects over 155,000 Americans (as many as MS).  It is a disease of the nerves that control the muscles. It is slowly progressive, causing loss of normal function and or sensation in the lower legs/feet and arms/hands.

Symptoms include; muscle wasting in the lower legs and feet leading to foot drop, poor balance and gait problems Atrophy in the hands causes difficulty with manual dexterity.

Structural foot deformities such as high arches and hammer toes are common.

Poor tolerance for cool or cold temperatures and many people have chronically cold hands and feet.

Additional symptoms may include fatigue, sleep apnea, breathing difficulties and hearing loss.

Additional Link
Follow CMT affected Paratriathlete Timmy Dixon

Follow CMT Author Chris Steinke

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