The first of our seasonal brews & a magical one. We have made it for the first time last year & we were blown away by its flavor. We were also very surprised that it sold so well & that we received so many great comments about it.
It is magical but the magic lasts only about a month, although you can find nettles till some serious frosts, all the way till Winter. But, there's an explanation for this. Herbalist have known for millennia that although Stinging Nettles are available through 3 seasons, they have the most beneficial properties when they are quite young, so that's about the time frame of mid April till about mid May.
We have learnt about it the hard way when we made a batch of Kombucha with Stinging Nettles in the second half of May, last year & all of the sudden, it tasted quite different than the previous batches. The same Nettles, from the same spot, but the magic was gone.
It is hard to describe the flavor of young Nettles, especially when they are in a fermented form, like in a Kombucha. It is actually indescribable, but very characteristic & quite different from that of dried Nettles. Some people put it as wholesome, earthy flavor that has spring wild edible notes. Something that "lies between spinach, cabbage and broccoli, with a unique hint of nettliness" (1*)
So why do we make our Kombucha with it? It is simple. Besides the alluring aroma, this plant has quite a few medicinal properties & of of the ways to prepare it is to make a "tea" out of it. And when you can make a tea out of something, we can also make a Kombucha out of it.
So let's look at the plant's medicinal properties. Top10HomeRemedies.com put them into a nice package like this: (2*)
And the DoctorsHealthPress lists these benefits for the Nettle tea: (3*)
That should be enough of information to pique your interest for now. But since Stinging Nettles have been used for hundreds & hundreds of years, there is a lot of proven information about their benefits.
Now let's go to the part of how we make our Kombucha with them. So, when the time is right, we make a trip to our spots that we know that they are away from city pollution & from people in general. There, we look for these:
These are nice & young and the perfect size for our harvest. We pick them in the morning & we make Kombucha out of them on the same day. So, after we bring our filtered & revitalized water to a boil, we add the Nettles & we steep them for a least a half an hour:
After steeping we drain strain the Nettles & squeeze them dry, in order the get all the beneficial liquid, up to the last drop:
Next, we add the unrefined brown sugar & stir it till it's dissolved. After that we add more water & when this mixture is cold enough, we add one of our Scobies & some starter liquid.
Now all the fun begins.
After couple of days, we start seeing happy, white bubbles - a welcome sign of proper fermentation:
And then we also see some new Scoby growth - also a very good sign of the fermentation process going the right way:
When the fermentation period is over
our Nettle Kombucha goes from glass jar into glass bottles. In those, it undergoes the second fermentation for the natural bubbles to form (we do not force carbonate our Kombucha). Then, a few more days of "ageing" & finally our "booch" is ready for retail:
If you want to find out how it tastes, don't wait too long, as this one we will only have for a limited time only!
Filtered & Revitalized Water, Kombucha Cultures & Starter Liquid, BIO Unrefined Brown Sugar & Fresh Nettles
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