Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Persimmon Hongcha Kombucha

Our lovely friend L recently gifted me a kombucha starter called a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) so I can start brewing my very own.  Kombucha(紅茶菌)'s basic inputs are sugar and tea. Since I don't have cane sugar readily available in the house,  I used the diabetes inducing cans of Korean persimmon punch (soojungwa) I had procured for post earthquake refreshments.

Not sure if the resulting brew would be something worth drinking- I experimented with a nano batch only with the persimmon punch thinking the SCOBY would consume the sugar within days. The fermentation took a lot longer than expected- over two weeks.  I suspect this is because the antiseptic cinnamon oil probably is not friendly to SCOBYs and also they cannot really thrive without tea of the Camelia Sinensis variety. So after a week I added some random hongcha being the traditional tea type for kombucha - not the Indian and Ceylon teas.  As the cinnamon and persimmon flavors are so dominant,  the tea taste barely registers. The now much lighter beverage has a nice vinegary tang and I should do a picobatch of persimmon vinegar to see how they compare.  I harvested most of it tonight in another bottle to undergo secondary fermentation to get the fizz.

Green tea makes for the healthiest SCOBY and I naturally have sheng brews in mind once I grow enough SCOBY to play with. But first I must also get over my inability to buy a bag of sugar.  I would not be surprised if shu kombucha turns out gnarly and gross but according to Kombucha Brooklyn, both shu and sheng provides worthwhile kombuchas.  I got a tad suspicious when I saw they source from David Hoffman.  I guess I will just have to empirically determine the truth behind puerh kombuchas for myself.

1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to see the outcome of this!