Jun is the booch I give folks who don’t like regular kombucha to try, and so far the consensus has been, “Now that’s tasty. I would drink the hell outta that.” I don’t even have to flavor it. It’s that damned delicious already (though you totally can–I like mulberry and/or blackberry).
So what’s the difference? In a nutshell, Jun comes from a different type of SCOBY and thrives in green tea and honey, rather than black tea and granulated sugar. The flavor is much milder and doesn’t have quite the vinegary tones of regular booch; it also often takes on some of the notes from the honey used: grassy, fruity, flowery, what have you.
Now, I still brew and enjoy regular booch, for sure, but it’s pretty fussy for the work and time involved, and there are a gazillion places that will explain to you how to brew it already (My best results have been with this recipe from Cultures for Health if you want a recommendation), so really, why add one more? But Jun? Well, a recipe for that is a bit harder to come by. I started with this blog post from Nourished Kitchen and mashed it up with what I could decipher from the instructions that came with my Jun scoby I got via Amazon (that were in broken English on a poorly xeroxed piece of rumpled copy paper) , but after several rounds and a lot of tinkering (Jun is much more amenable to that than regular booch, I’ve found) I think I’ve got this shit locked down.
Note: This recipe assumes some basic booch brewing skills on your part. I’m not going to torture you with a picture of every step, a la The Pioneer Woman (sorry Ree Drummond–love you; mean it). Also, you should definitely follow the instructions you get with your SCOBY the first time you brew (no matter how sketchy looking the presentation is).
How to Continuous Brew Jun Kombucha like a Boss
What You’ll Need:
- An activated Jun SCOBY and starter tea (1/2 cup to a cup).
- Between 6-7 cups of spring water (or anything not chlorinated/treated)
- Two teabags or two tsp of loose (organic, non-flavored) Green tea
- Honey (I use raw, but that’s because I have it on hand–I don’t know if it matters either way)
- A vessel in which to brew (My best results have been to use a half-gallon mason jar for the first ferment–it should end up filled to the tippytop by the end).
- Bottles (I use flip-top) and a funnel
1. Heat up the water and dump it in your vessel. The water should be hot enough to brew tea but not boiling–figure it out, champ.
2. Steep tea in the hot water for several minutes (till it looks fairly strong/dark)–I do at least 10 minutes.
4. Dump in 1/3 cup to ½ cup of honey and stir till the honey has dissolved. I prefer a less sweet, tangier Jun, so 1/2 a cup is usually a little too much for me.
5. Let it cool to room temp and add the SCOBY and starter tea
6.Cover mouth of jar with paper towel or a coffee filter; then screw on a wide mouth band (or snap on a rubber band) to hold in place.
7. Let brew in a room temperature spot that’s not in direct sunlight for at least full 3 days for the first ferment (I find that 5 or more days will result in a fizzier, better-tasting brew, though).
8. Funnel into bottles of your choice (you should have enough to fill three grolsch-style flip-top bottles) with whatever flavorings you so desire, reserving around a cup of starter tea for the next batch, and let it second ferment for at least three more days (or till fizzy enough to suit you).
9. Once it’s sufficiently fizzy, you can then stick it in the fridge to slow the fermentation (though during the colder months, I just let mine hang out on the counter, but then I like to live dangerously).
Other Stuff You Might Want to Know
- If you’re not ready to make another batch right away, just keep the SCOBY in the starter tea, covered, in the same environment you brewed the previous batch in. DO NOT refrigerate. Seriously, it will kill the mother and any babies she’s about to be birthin’ (and what did they ever do to you?).
- Speaking of, everything I’ve read says that Jun makes babies less often than regular booch–in my experience, the opposite has been true. Mine’s a baby makin’ machine.
- Once you get a baby, I recommend doing this in double batches (two half-gallon jars at a time).
- Jun tends to get a lot yeastier than regular booch (more surface area seems to really exacerbate this, which is why I like the half-gallon jar). It won’t hurt you, but you can strain the goo out for the 2nd ferment if it grosses you out (though I’ve found that the bottles with some yeasty goo in them tend to be much fizzier than the ones without).
- This stuff is amazing mixed with bourbon over ice!
Got any suggestions or questions? Hit me up in the comments.
Or follow me @IdleHandsFarm for more boochy fun.