Kombucha (pronounced kom-BOO-cha) has a rather mysterious origin story - some scholars have suggested that it was being made in China as long ago as 250 BCE, but most accounts trace its beginnings to Russia during the early 1900s.
The simplest way to think of kombucha is that it is fermented sweet tea. We brew a ten-gallon batch of organic tea - typically half green, half black - and sweeten it with organic cane sugar. After it cools, we add what's called a SCOBY (which is an acronym: Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria & Yeast). The SCOBY is a complex mixture of probiotic organisms, which breaks down the sugar and tannins in the tea and turns them into organic acids (acetic and lactic), vitamins & enzymes, and a negligible amount of alcohol (no more than 0.5% alcohol by volume).
Once the SCOBY has done its magic (we let the mixture sit for 7-12 days at about 75 degrees), we transfer the kombucha to a keg and Owen adds a carefully-selected combination of local and seasonal herbs, flowers, fruits, and/or vegetables. He also enjoys "dry-hopping" kombucha in the same manner that some beers are made, adding tart, citrusy, or herbal aromas and flavors that complement the acidic nature of the kombucha.
Depending on the original amount of sugar used and the length of fermentation, the resulting kombucha can be anywhere from very sweet to very sour. Most of the kombucha we make leans more toward the dry/sour side, with fewer residual sugars. Our mission is to provide a flavorful, refreshing, probiotic beverage that reflects the diversity of this unique area that we are so fortunate to call home. We hope that you enjoy it and will give us your feedback and suggestions for future batches!
Hay Point Ferments is constantly at work experimenting and developing new recipes to capture the essence of the season's harvest. Follow them to keep tabs on what new flavors are bubbling out of their backyard fermentarium.