Every time I hang up my coat in the front closet I get a whiff of fermentation. The smell has increased with the volume of the batches I’ve been brewing. It’s doesn’t bother me. In fact, it kind of feels like home, like the dog meeting you as you walk in the door.
It smells like progress - life is happening.
I borrowed a 25 gallon, stainless steel, brew kettle from a buddy. That’s a significant step up from the 5 gallon glass jar I was using before.
I withdraw every book the Calgary Public Library has on the topics of “Kombucha” or “Fermentation”.
In Japan it is often referred to as Kocha Kinoko (Red Tea Mushroom) - actually, I have no clue if that is true or not, I just jotted it down from a library book because I liked the way it sounded.
Kombucha doesn’t involve mushrooms. It involves a SCOBY, which is the mushroom looking thing that freaks most people out. Symbiotic-Culture-of-Bacteria-and-Yeast. It is the life-force that many people are afraid to touch and is often kept in the fridge between batches (don’t ever do this).
I started brewing Kombucha because I couldn’t afford to buy it. I can make 5 gallons for as little as $5. Some con-artists are charging up to $32 a growler at local Kombucha breweries. These people are criminals. I want to make Kombucha just to share it with people and make it accessible. I don’t want it to turn into a privileged, yuppie drink.
One time I was dealing with the worst hangover of my life and crushed an $8 bottle of Kombucha and it made my body feel like it had a soul again. Small price to pay for getting your soul back. Love at first gulp.
I’m going to have to throw a tasting party once this batch is done. I don’t have enough space to store 25 gallons worth of flavoured, refrigerated, Buch.
Maybe I will start bottling it. My friend Curtis could make me a label design. “For The People” Kombucha. It will be cheap, maybe by-donation. I could drop-it off and teach people how to make it. It could have an illustration of Robin Hood on the label - Robin Hood during an acid trip, that would be cool. Something weird. Lavish colours exploding everywhere. Maybe I will deliver it by bike in the summer. Make it accessible for everyone.
I can already picture the ridicule and criticism I would get if I posted something like that online. All the rednecks would be confused and therefore defensive. The anti-hipster-hipsters, that do too many drugs and hang out down town, would hate it, based on the principle that it’s healthy and they themselves are aging like dogs. Alas, this is the price you pay for putting yourself out there. I wish I was the type of person that didn’t care what people think. Those are the best kind of people. Rare gems.
I’m a sensitive beast and I don’t take well to ridicule. I’m working on that though.
Ginger is the easiest flavour to master. Rose hips and hibiscus are hot right now. Dry hopping is the next trend.
If we aren’t connected to our food sources and we can’t take pride in our learned and acquired skills then what kind of people are we. I’m trying to get a black belt in Kombucha.