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How To Brew Your Own Booch

Are you a full-blown stage five kombucha addict ready to take things to the next level? Or just have the fermenting bug (pun intended)? Either way, we're here to show you just how easy it is to make your own kombucha at home. It’s how Remedy started, after all! That’s right, our founders Sarah and Emmet started out making kombucha for themselves and their young family on their very own kitchen counter. Each batch of Remedy Kombucha is still brewed using a descendent of the live culture used in their very first batch!

INGREDIENTS
2 litres filtered water
1 cup organic raw sugar
10g organic black tea (5 teabags)
10g organic green tea (5 teabags)
750ml Remedy Kombucha (any flavour!) 

METHOD
STEP 1
Bring 2 litres filtered water to the boil.
Add black tea and steep for 3 minutes.
Add green tea and steep for a further 3 minutes. “Black tea has a beautiful, rich profile but green tea is full of polyphenols,” says Remedy Founder, Emmet Condon.
Strain the tea into a 3-litre wide open-mouthed jar and add sugar. Stir to dissolve. Cool to 30 degrees celsius.

STEP 2
If you have a mother culture (aka SCOBY) and feeder*:
Add kombucha feeder and place mother culture/ SCOBY on top of the liquid.
OR
If starting from scratch: add Remedy Kombucha to the tea brew.
Cover with muslin cloth and secure with an elastic band.
Leave in a warm room away from food contaminants and direct sunlight for 7-10 days.

STEP 3
Depending on the temperature of where you live, your kombucha will be ready in about 7-10 days. 
If you used an existing mother culture, your brew will have formed a "baby" mother culture.
OR
If you used Remedy to make the kombucha from scratch, your own mother culture will have grown along the surface of the jar.
Taste to decide if it's ready. The kombucha should taste slightly sour with no tea flavour remaining. If you prefer a more sour taste, leave it to ferment for a few more days.

STEP 4
Remove mother culture (this can be used to make your next brew).
Transfer your finished kombucha into sealed bottles to keep in the fridge. Enjoy!


Note: not all kombucha is created equal, and this recipe might not work if trying to substitute the kombucha for other brands. Want to know how you can tell if a store-bought kombucha is the real deal?

  • Pour some kombucha in a glass and let it sit in a warm place for a few days. If it’s real, a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast should form (a SCOBY).
  • The beneficial bacteria and live cultures in kombucha can only be present in the drink if it is raw and unpasteurised.
  • Check the label to see how the product is made, real kombucha is brewed over time.
  • Strands or small pieces of our live kombucha SCOBY or ‘mother’ may appear in the bottle. While they may seem weird the first time you see them, rest assured these are signs of a natural, healthy kombucha that is unpasteurised and full of goodness. These strands are perfectly normal and safe to consume. In fact, it’s a good sign the kombucha is alive and kickin'!

If you're wondering what the *magic hour* is to consume your brew, any time is a good time!


Remedy Kombucha College: Kombucha Myths Busted

Remedy Kombucha College: Lesson #3

Kombucha Myths Busted

The internet is awesome, obviously. But by gee whizz, it can get murky when you're trying to sort out fact from fiction.

Take kombucha, for instance. While the humble fermented tea has been around for thousands of years, it is still a relatively mysterious and unknown drink to many people. If you turn to the good ol' google machine to find out more and you can easily come away confused or misinformed.

Luckily, you've come to the right place. Team Remedy is here to cut through the fake news and dispel the myths about kombucha!

 

MYTH #1: KOMBUCHA NEEDS SUGAR
TRUTH: Only during fermentation!

Sure, you DO need sugar to ferment. We can’t argue with that. And we don’t – we use raw organic sugar to kick off our brew, but what’s extra great about Remedy is that we ferment out ALL the sugar. We all know that when it comes to sugar there can be too much of a good thing, so why have it in your drink when you don’t need to?

MYTH #2: ALL KOMBUCHAS ARE LOW IN SUGAR
TRUTH: Not the case! Make sure you read the label.

Sugar is an essential ingredient in making kombucha. Most of the sugar in kombucha should be consumed during fermenting, but that’s not always the case, and sometimes extra sugar is added after fermentation in the form of juices and other ingredients for flavour, so you should always check the sugar content on the nutrition label.

The amount of sugar left in the final product depends on the length of fermentation. At Remedy, we follow a small-batch, long-aged 30-day brewing process to brew out all of the sugar.

MYTH #3: REAL KOMBUCHAS HAVE TO BE KEPT IN THE FRIDGE
TRUTH: Only if it still contains sugar!

Hold up! Wait a minute! Only kombuchas still containing sugar need to be stored in the fridge. This is because the magic of fermentation happens in a warm environment. So if a kombucha stil has sugar present and it becomes warm, it can kickstart a re-fermentation – which risks a kombucha getting  a little boozy, loose-y goose-y and could quite literally explode everywhere.

No risk with Remedy as NONE of our drinks contain any sugar (so no chance of refermentation) and our cultures are ripped, super strong and fine out of the fridge. We make sure of it by testing throughout shelf life. We’re alive AND kicking!

MYTH #4: KOMBUCHA IS ALCOHOLIC
TRUTH: Kombucha is a non-alcoholic beverage!

Like many fermented foods and drinks, a trace amount of alcohol is produced during the natural process of making kombucha. At Remedy, we thoroughly test each and every batch to ensure that this does not go above 0.5%, which is the national standard in Australia and New Zealand for non-alcoholic drinks. Don’t believe us? Aussie comedian Dave Hughes – who hasn’t had an alcoholic drink for 25 years - put this to the test on live radio by drinking six bottles of Remedy in two hours and taking a breathalyser test, with the result showing 0.00.

MYTH #5: KOMBUCHA IS HIGH IN CAFFEINE
TRUTH: It’s actually super low!

While kombucha is made from tea, the potency of the caffeine is reduced as a natural part of the fermentation process. The end result will vary from kombucha to kombucha, depending on the tea used and the length of fermentation. In addition to brewing out all of the sugar, our long-aged brewing process reduces the caffeine levels. Each serve of Remedy has less than 10mg of caffeine. To put this into perspective, tea or coffee can contain more than 100mg of caffeine depending on the type of coffee and how strongly it is brewed, and a can of cola will contain around 35mg.

MYTH #6: KOMBUCHA ISN’T SAFE FOR KIDS
TRUTH: Remedy is safe for all ages!

We can’t speak for other brands, but we know that Remedy Kombucha is completely safe and suitable for children to enjoy. We know lots of kids who have grown up enjoying kombucha (including Remedy Founders Sarah and Emmet's own family) and many other types of naturally fermented food and drinks. As part of our strict food safety certifications, we conduct regular external testing of our products to ensure they meet the highest standards of food safety and compliance.

MYTH #7: YOU CAN ONLY DRINK A SMALL AMOUNT
TRUTH: Trust your gut on what feels good for you!

We wouldn’t sell our kombucha in big bottles if you could only drink a little bit!

Really, there’s no limit to how much Remedy you can drink in a day. While we don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all prescription for how much kombucha you should drink, we do recommend incorporating it into your daily diet to truly experience the benefits.

Most of the team at Remedy have a bottle or can with each meal as it’s a super easy way to including something fermented, natural, and raw into your daily diet.

MYTH #8: YOU’RE GONNA NEED A TOILET CLOSE
TRUTH: Don’t worry, Remedy IS safe to drink on a date!

While this myth does make us laugh, it’s not the case. If it were, we’d be going through some serious amounts of toilet paper in the Remedy office.


Remedy Kombucha College: The Benefits of Kombucha

Remedy Kombucha College: Lesson #2

The Benefits of Kombucha

'At Remedy, we freakin' LOVE kombucha. To help spread the love, we've created a little kombucha crash course to give everyone else the lowdown on everything there is to love about it!

The benefits of kombucha essentially come down to three key components: live cultures, organic acids, and antioxidants AKA tea polyphenols. Combined, these three powerhouses can help to support our all-important gut health and overall health and wellbeing. But let’s break it down in a little more detail…

LIVE CULTURES
When kombucha is fermented naturally and kept raw and unfiltered as we do at Remedy, it contains healthy, living, good bacteria aka live cultures. Every bottle of Remedy Kombucha contains literally billions of these mighty little microorganisms.

Live cultures can be amazing for gut health. We now know, thanks to the amazing work of scientists around the world, that good gut health is critical to overall health and wellbeing. Research has proven (and continues to explore in more detail) how it affects everything from our digestion to our mood.

Live cultures can improve gut health because they can increase the diversity of your gut flora, or gut microbiota, aka the microorganisms or bugs that live in your gut. They work together as a symbiotic community to get things working as they should and can also prevent the opportunistic growth of bag bugs. So, the more diversity in there, the better things will work!

ORGANIC ACIDS
When brewing Remedy, it’s not just magic that leads to a delicious drink with no sugar, but fermentation science! You see, the live culture is what consumes all the sugar, but in the process, it doesn’t just disappear, it gets converted into healthy organic acids, also known as short-chain fatty acids, the very same kind produced by our own gut bacteria to aid important body processes.

Without getting too technical or scientific, organic acids can help to:

  • Regulate appetite
  • Prevent the overgrowth of bad pathogenic bacteria
  • Provide an energy source for the good bacteria in your gut
  • Stabilise blood sugar levels
  • Regulate cholesterol

The organic acids are what gives Remedy Kombucha that subtle tang and good-for-you-but-still-so-damn-tasty flavour. Watch out for any kombucha or other drink that claims to be fermented without some tang - that's how you know they're brewing it right, and you're getting the goodness of organic acids.

ANTIOXIDANTS
Everyone knows that a cup of green tea is good for you, right? (Just ask your gran). Well, that’s because it’s packed with tea antioxidants, aka polyphenols, which can help your body fight illness.

In kombucha making, the first and very important step at Remedy is to brew a VERY big pot of tea. That’s where these mighty tea polyphenols come in!

Not all kombucha brews will have the same amount of polyphenols. Some tea blends have less or more polyphenols depending on quality, and this can even be impacted by what season the tea was harvested.

Polyphenols also vary on the tea type (i.e green, black, oolong, jasmine or hibiscus). We use a mixture of certified organic green tea for its high polyphenol properties and certified organic black tea for its rich superior taste.

Most importantly, we test every batch of raw tea at Remedy to ensure it meets our high standards of the goods when it comes to polyphenols. We then test each batch of kombucha at the end of fermentation to make sure it meets our top-notch standards for polyphenol goodness.

If you want to check if your kombucha is chock-full of tea polyphenols, pour your brew into a glass. Tea has a brownish background colour, so watch out if you find a kombucha that’s crystal clear.


NATURALLY FREE FROM SUGAR

In addition to the good stuff that IS in Remedy Kombucha, the other benefit comes from what’s NOT in it, and that’s sugar!

While some sugar is in our diets is necessary (and who doesn’t love a little treat now and then), the negative health effects of too much sugar in diets are pretty clear; from really basic and fairly immediate effects like weight gain, through to major risks such as diabetes, heart disease.

The beauty of Remedy is that although sugar goes into the initial brew, it gets eaten up by the live cultures during fermentation to produce those amazing organic acids we keep raving about. Remedy brews out ALL of the sugar, and we test every batch to make sure. 


SO, LET'S RECAP ALL THE GOODNESS IN REMEDY!

  • Live cultures
  • Organic acids
  • Antioxidants
  • No sugar, for real
  • Tick, tick, tick!

Remedy Kombucha College: The History of Kombucha

Remedy Kombucha College: Lesson #1

The History of Kombucha

Forget the fads. While some may have only taken notice of our tasty live-cultured drink when Remedy started popping up in your local supermarket, grocer, cafe, or gym in the last few years, kombucha as a beverage has been around for a loooooong time. We're not just talking pre-social media time when there was no way to snap a pic and show off your booch and acai bowl combo. We're talking BC time, peoples. For REAL old school.

So where did it all start? What's the story? Where does kombucha come from?  Well, here's the thing with those old pre-technology, pre-globalisation days. No one really knows. But there are a few theories that make sense.

Throughout its long and illustrious history, the mighty booch has also been known by some other ripper names, including: Olinka, Tschambucco, Kwassan, Champagne of Life, Kambotscha, Koucha kinoko, Manchurian Mushroom, Mo-Gu, Mother of Vinegar, Mushroom of Charity, Russian Jelly-fish, The Divine Tsche and Mushroom Tea... to name just a few.

Most people believe kombucha originated in China during the Qin Dynasty around 220BC for the Emperor Qinshi Huangdi, which is where the "cha" in the name comes from. As you may know, chá is the Chinese word for tea (yum cha, anyone?). In ancient China, kombucha was called “The Tea of Immortality”. Bold name, huh? Other Chinese names kombucha has been known by include “Sea Treasure”, “Stomach Treasure” (yes, really) and “Sea Mushroom”. Today in China, it goes by the names hongchajun, hongchagu or chameijun.

Believe it or not, the "Kombu" part of the name has nothing to do with kombis and hippies in the 60s who loved kombucha. Instead, the story that makes way more sense is that a Dr. Kombu from Korea introduced the drink to the Japanese Emperor Inyoko in 414 AD.  If you're ever travelling and after a booch fix, don't confuse it with “Seaweed Tea” which is called kombucha in Japan! The Japanese instead call it “kocha kinoko”, which means “red tea mushroom”.

Legend has it that Samurai warriors of ancient Japan carried it as an energy boost for battle. It's even been suggested that the mighty Genghis Khan and his armies were big on the booch.

Thanks to the infamous Silk Road, kombucha soon made its way to Europe, in particular Russia, where it was all the rage.  In Russian, a SCOBY is called čajnyj grib, which means “tea mushroom” and the drink itself is known as "grib" or “tea kvass”.

During World War II, tea and sugar - two important ingredients for kombucha - were rationed in Russia. As a result, the practice was lost in many homes but luckily enough preserved the tradition for it to flourish again in post-war Europe.

The drink soon made its way around the world, growing in particular popularity in the USA and in more recent years, Australia.

Speaking of travelling the world, every batch of our Remedy Kombucha that you enjoy today is a direct descendant from a live kombucha culture (aka SCOBY) brought to Australia from Germany by travellers more than 40 years ago!

Big props to our mates at Kombucha Kamp, an amazing resource and authority on all things kombucha, for much of the wisdom shared here.