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The Big Book of Kombucha: Brewing, Flavoring, and Enjoying the Health Benefits of Fermented Tea Paperback – March 8, 2016
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— Terry Wahls, MD, author of The Wahls Protocol
“Equally appropriate for health advocates, tinkerers, and historians. This is a must-have for every homebrewer!”
— Russ Crandall, New York Times best-selling author of Paleo Takeout and The Ancestral Table
“Deep-rooted insight into the history, science, and how-to of this ancient brew ... a critical addition to the bookshelf of anyone interested in good food.”
— Jennifer McGruther, author of The Nourished Kitchen
“The definitive guide to all things related to brewing, savoring, and cooking with kombucha. You’ll find all your kombucha queries answered.”
— Michelle Tam, New York Times best-selling author of Nom Nom Paleo: Food For Humans
“An in-depth guide to all things kombucha and an incredibly enjoyable read. I don’t keep many cookbooks in my collection but this one will absolutely be a mainstay in my library.”
— Katie from WellnessMama.com
“The comprehensive guide to all things kombucha.”
— Bon Appétit
“On top of walking you through the kombucha fermentation process, The Big Book also includes a whopping 286 flavor combinations along with the history of the drink, information on health benefits, and much more. So it's your call: keep spending $4 a bottle on the stuff, or buy a paperback book and a couple gallon jugs and get brewing.”
From the Back Cover
Kombucha! It’s the fermented tea that’s fun to say and good to drink, plus it promotes a healthy gut. Expert brewers Hannah Crum and Alex LaGory reveal how easy, inexpensive, and safe it is to make your own delicious kombucha, with instructions for batch and continuous brewing. They share hundreds of flavoring ideas and recipes for using kombucha and SCOBYs. With history, health benefits, and the science behind this ancient beverage, this book is a must-have whether you’re a beginner or long-time kombucha lover!
Includes: in-depth brewing techniques, 268 flavor combinations, recipes for cooking with kombucha, plus smoothies, cocktails, and more
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Top customer reviews
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!!
From the history and science of Kombucha to straightforward guidelines on the many aspects of brewing, decanting and flavoring this healthful fermented tea, Hannah and Alex cram an awful lot of really useful information into this book. I was especially impressed with the full color photographs of typical brews (taken of clear glass jars to show the yeast strands, fermentation process and various colors of healthy and unhealthy SCOBY's). There's ample information on troubleshooting everything from mold to poorly performing brews, as well as scientific guidelines on brew temperature, acidity, sweetness and suggested tea mixes.
The second part of the book offers a huge range of recipes for flavoring, cocktails, smoothies and more, She even suggests intriguing ways to consume old growth SCOBYs (jerky, face masks etc.)
This is the book I wish I'd had four years ago. I intend to take a close look at my current hit and miss production methods and implement their suggestions to improve things.
If you love Kombucha and are getting tired of paying $3-6 a bottle for the retail brands, invest in a copy of Hannah and Alex's book and get brewing at home. It just might change your life.
This book is perfect for the first timer. It answered all my questions. The author included pictures of the SCOBY in every stage of the process which took a lot of the guess work and worry out of it. Without that visual, I might have assumed my brew was ruined at certain points.
The book is visually beautiful and enjoyable to read. You can use it as a reference book or you can read the whole thing. She includes information about the history of kombucha as well as advice about which ingredients work best, step by step instructions, troubleshooting, all kinds of recipes, how to care for your SCOBY and more.
My first batch turned out better than I expected. It wasn't GTs quality but it was still delicious. I would like mine to be a little stronger and would like a little more fizz. I think I will be able to tweak these issues though. I was concerned about my bottles exploding during the second ferment (this can sometimes happen), so I kept burping the bottles and probably killed the fizz. I have my second batch about ready to bottle. I won't burp them as much this time.
On a side note: I ordered my SCOBY and a few other items directly from Kombucha Kamp (the author's website). I've ordered 3 times and each time I received shipment notifications within HOURS of placing my orders and my orders arrived within a couple of days. The SCOBY was big, beautiful and healthy and the ingredients I ordered were top quality. I love everything about this company.