Saturday, February 24, 2018

My Kombucha Recipe and The Making of the Kombucha

Hello all I have been making kombucha since 2015 and I kinda feel like now I have sorta mastered it, no not ready to write a book on it but can share with you a bit of how I do it and how much my husband and I enjoy it. So at the bottom I am putting in my recipe and where I originally got the Scoby (Symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast)  We have been making beer and wine off and on for year since like 2001really it may have been more like 1997 or so I can't really remember. We first learned of this at Wine and Cake Hobbies in Norfolk Virginia. We have been loyal customers since I know like 1988 or 1989 I was going there trying to figure out cake decorating when my oldest son Bruce Jr. was a baby. He is now 31 years old. Wine and Cake Hobbies have been excellent in providing me a place to shop and teach for all my hobby needs over the years. I have bought all my bottles from there and wine making and beer making supplies. Oh and cheese making ingredients. Chris can order you a Scoby from Wine and Cake too.  Thanks Wine and Cake!!  
This is the Butterfly Pea Scoby which turns the most beautiful purple color, and not to mention taste Yummy! It is made with the butterfly pea flower tea which is a caffeine free tea. The tea possess many antioxidants. Known as Clitoria Ternatea, Asian Pigeon wings and other names like blue pea. Known for brain booster, anti-stress, and calming your nerves. Has many properties for providing many health related issues. Great for stress and anxiety. An amazing herb which could be f=grown around here at least in the summer. It is known for Zone 9. You can buy seeds to grow some right here. You can buy the tea flowers HERE  You buy your Scoby with some of the Butterfly Pea Tea at Zenobia's Garden
This is one of the places I have bought excellent healthy Scoby's from and they are amazing they ship fast and everything comes with excellent instructions. 

This is another pic of the butterfly pea scoby I always wear gloves with so you don't transfer any germs or oils from your hands 

I use some of the half gallon Ball jars and old pickle jars (which I learned something amazing from Tiffany Don't Waste the Crumbs) which you soak the jars full of hot water and Dawn Dish soap and soak turned upside down for several days and I tell you it works!!!! When you dump the soapy water out and wash like normal and dry there is no vinegar pickle smell left behind and you can now use the pickle jars for really anything. I also use the 2 1/2 gallon jars you buy from Target or Walmart which we have had for many years. They used to be $9 bucks at Walmart and I stored a lot of stuff in them like my cookie cutters, flour, and other stuff. We only use purified drinking water and we also use that to make the tea too. We have the stick on thermometers on most of the jars, the ideal temp for kombucha is 75 -85 degrees Farenheight. Which is perfect for fermentation. I have a few of the heating blankets jars from Amazon.

See Recipe Below

Bruce usually makes all the tea which I do all the bottling and the second fermentations 
This is one of the first batches and where I split the scoby I add different things for the second fermentation like Welche's Grape Juice 100% juice, Dole Pineapple Juice, ginger, apple juice, its endless. 

These Grolsch bottles are ready for the second fermentations

These are the grape after the second fermentation. See all the bubbles and fizz

I enjoy at least one a day whether in the car of just working around the farm 

This is the pineapple ginger (just grate up a thumb size piece of ginger root) add some to each bottle and add the pineapple usually about a 1/4 cup per bottle and then add the tea allow to sit for several days (all depending on the temps) and once you have the fizz or carbonated part then you have a delicious kombucha or aka at my house as a buch or a buchi 

We make a lot every time for all to enjoy 
Note the stick on bottle thermometer 

a perfect little one gallon jar scoby 

another perfect scoby 

I cover all the jars with muslin and a rubberband and also a crochet cloth or towel if you have issues with the fruit flies especially in summer and fall just have to make sure those little bugs do not get into your buch as they love that fermented smell and will do anything to get to it. So keep it covered well. 

One of the 2 1/2 gallon jars with the large scoby it is best to let your scoby be at last about a 1/4 of an thick 

I also add freezer tape to all the bottles and the brewing jars 

Note the grated ginger in the flat dish to add to bottles of kombucha the bottles are best to rinsed first with a sanitize or no rinse solution like C-Brite you can also buy the bottle drying racks HERE

                                                          Kombucha Recipe

12 Cups of  Purified Water to start (I use one gallon for each batch)
8 Tea bags of Oolong Tea or Black Tea 
1 cup of cane sugar we use the Organic one 
2 Cups of kombucha from a previous batch or if you don't have that or it didn't come with your scoby use one cup of white distilled vinegar I always have the kombucha from a previous batch and it is best to buy the scoby with the extra kombucha 

We brew the tea in a coffee pot filled with the purified water (you don't want any chlorine in the water so I buy the purified water in the jugs)
once brewed add the organic cane sugar and then pour the rest of the gallon of the water in the tea sugar mix allow to cool to approx. 80 degrees then add your  kombucha brew from a previous batch or the white distilled vinegar. Mix in and then place the scoby in.  Then cover well it muslin cloth and a rubber band as you don't want any bugs to get into the tea. I cover with crocheted towels too to try to avoid in penetration of the fruit flies. As they love the stuff.  

I do use some of the bottles from my beer making days and cap with "hooch" bottle caps or the flags If you can't find stuff you want on the Wine and Cake Hobbies Website you can call and they will guide you thru an over the phone order.
These are from the wine and cake hobbies store bottles and item number 
On Valentine's Day I got to make one of my original heart chocolate chip cookies which my family got to enjoy. It was like "old times" I used to make these every year and I still have many of these pans which I will eventually be listing on Ebay as I am going to sell all my cakes pans too. They are all Wilton. 

Ledger celebrated his First Valentine's Day .....#adorable  

Really mom???? 

Dusty got him some new Converse shoes we called the Journeys after the Landstown Craft show and picked them up for him, I was glad I made enough to get them as he certainly has enjoyed these new shoes.  

Converse last a long time too.....they are one shoe I don't  mind spending good money on as Dusty has had a lot of shoes that just don't last no time. 

We have also been working on the greenhouse and I should be planting all my seeds within the week. 

I'm glad to see these cups filled let me tell you it seems to take forever....but we now have both sides completed 

My wonderful neighbor Linda who always thinks of me and is like and angel and when things are tough and I am going thru things more than you can control or sometimes beyond your own control. Linda shows up with bag and hands it to me and wanted to let me know that her Prayer group has been thinking and praying for me and they made me this beautiful prayer shawl. Which brought tears to my eyes and I have been wearing it as much as I can it just makes you feel better. THANK YOU LINDA and THE PRAYER GROUP.......
This is the poem that came with the bag. Again thank you all so much!!!!

This is where we will be next Saturday for another craft show so if you can make it out stop by and see us. 

Have a great week,
Dawn Gallop

Thursday, February 22, 2018

This Weekend We will Be At Grassfield High School 11Th Annual Spring Craft Show and a Few Happenings

Hello Everyone and sorry for the delay in post lately, it has been a super busy time even more so than usual plus we have been having really warm 82 degrees and such. Yes they even said it might be a record month for February this year. I lost one of my pregnant goats and the sadness is overwhelming and yet I know its part of farm life but I will tell you this it never makes it any easier!! We carried her to vet and for almost two days around the clock I gave here IV fluids, calcium drenches and electrolytes. She passed on and it breaks my heart to tell you this story but sometimes life can be really hard and you don't want to share things or make post on your blog, so please understand the delay. With the change in the weather several of my children had a bad cold for like a week straight. Cooper is home today in fact with yet another asthma attack in the middle of the night.   We will be at the Grassfield High School on Saturday from 9am-4 pm on 2007 Grizzly Trail in Chesapeake Virginia. We are excited for this show as we have heard so many great things about if from a lot of our friends. My customers and friends share place with me and I am grateful for this. Come see us if ya can!!!

 We have been working on frames for the bees, some of our best friends are also beekeepers and we go over their honey house and have like an assembly line to get the frames done. Its fun, you drink Mead and just enjoy each others company. Two of the boys went and explored on their property and had a blast. Plus there are always good snacks there so the boys eat up on their yummy stuff.
 Setting the wires in the wax
 Bruce and I did the eyelets which was like old school for me from all the years of paper crafts. Plus I love using a hammer.
 This was the blackberry mead from some of the fermented blackberries we have, it turned our beautiful. The mead was little drier than I expected but very good taste.
 Pouring the blackberry mead and sitting beside it is the Palmetto Mead.

Some of the bottles Mead. 

 You know spring is right around the corner when the yellow crocus are blooming at Jane's house.
 They planted a field of them. Just beautiful.
Gorgeous color and the bees love them. Which gives them an earlier pollen source. 

 Skylar has really been enjoying her new puppy she named her Sofia, aren't they both so precious.

A video Crystal sent of the day they brought Sofia home and her new bed
Skybear and Crystal are visiting in Wisconsin now....LUCKY them!!! Look at Ledger he is loving Skylar being there. #cousins
Skylar was feeding Ledger yogurt in this picture, LOL 

Skylar feeding Ledger on YouTube 

Bruce and I and Colten have been working on getting the high tunnel ready for the spring planting it a job, lime, compost lots of work it is 100x30 so its large sized

Colten driving the tractor while we are still spreading the compost 

Colten and JeweLee are spreading out the compost 

Colten loaded the trailer with the compost and we all pitchforked it off the trailer 

We have also been moving a lot of old bee boxes and cleaning more frames for the upcoming season 

LOL this is on my bed on a Sunday morning our cat Stormy drags her kittens all over to be with us, the boys have named them Dora Jane, Rainy Day, and Sunny Ray .....okay if you must know why the 
Dora Jane because she is an explorer for Dora the Explorer and Jane Goodall, Rainy Day and Sunny Ray because the boys wanted her to fit with their mommas name Stormy. 
Have a great week and I hope to see ya soon!!! Don't forget you can order from me at anytime just by going to my Etsy store. 

if you don't see what you need just convo me and I will list it thanks 
Happy Thursday 
Dawn Gallop

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