Every bottle of Bloom Kombucha has a small culture growing in it. It is very thin cellulose surrounding a delicious, intense probiotic center. Many believe it is the most delicious part of a bottle of Bloom Kombucha. For others, it takes a little daring to get used to (straining it or using a straw are also good workarounds!). It is a sign of a healthy, living, raw kombucha.
Kombucha is a cultured food and this little culture can also be used to brew your own. Kombucha has survived for millennia being cared for by people. We bottle the delicious tonic that has come from the culture, but we were also given a culture many years ago and it is in the spirit of kombucha that we offer these instructions to grow your own. Experiment, and let us know how it is going.
It is a step process. It will take several weeks to several months to grow out a full culture. Be patient.
Begin with a glass container such as a pint-sized mason jar. Clean it and sterilize it with boiling water. Brew your tea. Make 8 oz of black or green tea and sweeten this with about a tablespoon of sugar. Wait for it to cool. Pour 2-6 oz of Bloom Kombucha which includes the baby into the mason jar. It might be difficult to see the baby, but it is basically a little, translucent oblong thing shaped like a lozenge. Fill the rest of the mason jar up to an inch or two below the top with the sweetened, cooled tea. Place a clean cloth or piece of cheese cloth over the top of the jar and secure it with a rubber band. Put the jar out of direct sunlight and away from house plants.
Wait 2-3 weeks until the culture has grown to the edges of the mason jar. It will be a thin, white pancake culture that is likely floating on the top of the jar or has possibly sunk to the bottom. Either way is fine. Check if you have mold and throw it out if you do. You can pour out a sip to try it, but know that this is your starter kombucha for when you scale up. Scale up your recipe for however big of a container you want. Pour the kombucha from the jar into your new, larger container. Add more sweetened, cooled tea and float the culture on top and repeat. A good rule of thumb is 10% brewed kombucha to acidify a new batch of tea and 1 cup of sugar to a gallon of tea. You can store finished kombucha in the refrigerator.