I have been a Kombucha fan for a number of years and began brewing my own earlier this year - using a kit I purchased online. My initial batch was a great success and I am now up to 5 Scobys - hence multiple batches on the go at any one time; and have become more...
I have been a Kombucha fan for a number of years and began brewing my own earlier this year - using a kit I purchased online. My initial batch was a great success and I am now up to 5 Scobys - hence multiple batches on the go at any one time; and have become more adventurous trying new flavors, combinations and secondary fermentation.
I own a couple of different books but so far this has been the hands down favorite. It is a good book in particular for those new to brewing and contains everything from the history of this delicious elixir, to brewing ingredients, tips, flavoring and using your Kombucha in cooking. In the past I have found the many books go too far one way -such as things to use your Kombucha in, or the other way -very basic tips, and do not strike the happy medium that allows the book to be an all around guide. This however meets that requirement.
The book begins with a little about the authors and how they began their Kombucha “journey”. I found it well written and a good read - and I could identify with this more (for example trying it at a party and off the shelf at Whole Foods) than the folks that found it in some mysterious part of the world! It sounded a lot like my initiation into the world of Kombucha and the fact that it was relatable made me like the authors a whole lot more!
The book then goes into an all around look at fermentation which was appreciated, as this area of food and drink is certainly building more momentum of late as the health benefits are realized. This is followed by an in-depth discussion around kombucha, the Scoby, and ingredients / supplies that are instrumental in the Kombucha making process. This is very detailed and great for those new to brewing. I particularly loved the comprehensive guide to the health properties with personal stories incorporated into this; and they took the time to include health cautions too making it a balanced approach.
The Scoby guide is hands down the best I have read / seen. Scobys can be rather ominous in appearance and I cannot tell you the number of times I have peered into my jar trying to determine if it’s healthy or if the weird patch of color /texture is mold (so far it has not happened); but the pictures were exceptional in detail and levels of helpfulness. Thank you authors for this; and including so many detail photographs!
The tea guide was also very detailed and useful -talking about types of blends you should and should not use, and acceptable quantities before they become too much for the balanced of the Kombucha, The sugar guide was equally as useful; as was the equipment guide, as I now know I should not have used that cheesecloth as a cover when in a pinch (allows contaminates to get in your brew). This is then followed by the meat of this book – how to brew, best practices and different methods one can use. For me the advanced guide was so helpful -how to flavor, as we are currently experimenting with secondary fermentation using cascade hobs, and carbonation, as striking that right balance has been an admitted challenge; and other books have simply not been detailed enough, leaving me having to turn to good old Google -this book solves that!
The remainder of this book is a guide to flavors one could experiment with, drinks one can use this in -such as cocktails and shrubs -both of which are hands down amazing with the addition of Kombucha! And other means of cooking / recipes in which you might be able to incorporate Kombucha. This covers everything from dressings, dips and cake -to outside the kitchen; in face masks and creams! Few books are this comprehensive or diverse!
The book ends with more of the Kombucha story; but most usefully a very detailed guide to components of Kombucha, specific health concerns and how the consumption of Kombucha might help; further reading guides and a brew log, which is very useful for new brewers.
Having now owned about 5 different books on the topic including those by Eric Childs and Stephen Lee, this is by far my favorite. It is detailed, comprehensive, and covers everything you need to know and then some. I would say this is invaluable for new Kombucha brewers and even useful for those who have been brewing a while and need some new inspiration. I love this book! And full disclosure…yes I am a top reviewer, but no I did not receive it for free -I paid in full for this as it was much wanted, and it was worth every penny!!