I decided to create kombucha and a sourdough starter today, now that I have the appropriate equipment of hermetic jars, bread pans, and a kitchen scale. For intents and purposes, the following recipes is a hodgepodge of recipes I’ve seen online and from friends, and I decided to write about it here so I have an easier time finding the steps.
Day 1: Measure 113g of whole wheat flour and 113g of cool water. Combine in a jar — for me, I decided to use one of those latched hermetically-sealed jars. Mix the flour and the water till fully combined, and close the lid (but don’t seal/latch it; air needs to get in). Leave the jar at room temperature for 24 hours. I also marked the jar with the date, so I can keep track of the days.
Day 2: If there is any brown liquid, discard immediately; keep doing that each day, if necessary. That brown liquid means the starter is hungry! Scoop out 1/2 a cup of the starter and discard. Next, add 1/2 a cup of all-purpose flour and 1/2 a cup of cool water, and mix thoroughly.
Day 3: By now, bubbles should be forming and the starter should have a sweet, aromatic smell of yeast. The starter should have also doubled in size. At this point, it’s time to “feed” your starter twice a day: discard any brown liquid, remove half a cup of the yeast, feed it 1/2 a cup of water and 1/2 a cup of all-purpose flour, and mix. Repeat this 12 hours later. It also helps to mark the jar with a rubber band or a Sharpie, so you can also track the rise and fall of the starter.
Day 4 & 5: Again — twice a day — discard any brown liquid, discard 1/2 a cup of the starter, and feed it 1/2 a cup of all-purpose flour and 1/2 cup of water. The starter should continue to bubble and double in volume.
Day 6: The starter should require one last feeding, so repeat the process of discarding and adding flour and water. The starter is ready if a spoonful of it floats in a cup of water.
Storing the Starter: You can keep the jar of starter in the fridge, thereby slowing the growth of the yeast. Just be sure to discard any brown liquid, and feed it once a week by discarding 1/2 a cup of the starter, and giving it 1 cup of all-purpose flour and 1/2 a cup of water.
For this, you’ll need the following:
- 1/2 gallon of water (or 8 cups)
- 3-4 tea bags of either green tea or black tea
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of plain, already made kombucha
- 1 SCOBY disc (Symbiotic Community of Bacteria and Yeast)
- Simmer the water and dissolve the sugar.
- Steep the teabags for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove the teabags (I used the ground tea as fertilizer for my garden) and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
- Add the cooled mixture to a large container. Add the kombucha and the SCOBY disc (thanks, Morgan).
- Cover the top of the container with a paper coffee filter and a rubber band.
- Store the mixture in a dark, clean, and coolish place, away from any light. I put it in a pillowcase and placed it underneath my kitchen table, but if I had a closet that wasn’t full of shit, I’d put it there.
- Wait for two weeks as the mixture ferments and carbonates. Congrats, you just made a SCOBY Hotel!
I’ll probably post more recipes using these starters, so stay tuned.