Home Brewer Profile

Mykalee McGowan
Washington, D.C.


Brewing since: November 2015
Favorite second ferment flavors: Apple Ginger Cinnamon

 

As it happens so often with kombucha home-brewers, Mykalee embarked on her journey after a friend of hers offered an extra scoby. “I liked how beneficial kombucha was for my body, and wanted to take a stab at making my own,” recalls Mykalee, who is a writer and photographer. “I love everything about creating: food, music, art,” she says. Five months later, she is already a mastering the art, brewing up a storm in her Washington, DC kitchen.

 Photo courtesy of Mykalee McGowan

Photo courtesy of Mykalee McGowan

 

Kombucha Hunter: What compelled you to start brewing at home?  
Mykalee McGowan: I liked how benefical kombucha was for my body and wanted to take a stab at making my own. So when a fellow friend had an extra scoby, I jumped at the chance.  


KH: Did you have any kind of mentor when you started brewing, or did you do a lot of research before you started?  
MM: My mentor would be my friend, Tameko, who gave me my scoby. I also did research on various websites. 
 

KH: Can you describe your at-home set-up? What kind of equipment do you use?
MM: I use a glass dispenser that holds 1.5 gallons. I love it because I can easily pour my finished kombucha without handling my scoby as much.  My brew system is in my kitchen.  
 

KH: What have been your favorite/most successful flavorings, and where do you typically like to source them?  
MM: My most successful flavors thus far are pineapple mint and apple ginger cinnamon. I get positive comments from my friends with those. And I can’t forget just the natural flavor. Sometimes, less is more.  

 

 Photo courtesy of Mykalee McGowan

Photo courtesy of Mykalee McGowan

KH: Do you have staple teas that you use, or do you like to switch them up?   
MM: I realize that l like organic jasmine tea the best. I’ve used gun powder green tea and indian green tea, but jasmine always come out on top. I may delve into the black tea family one day but not now.  
 

KH:  Any home-brewing "disasters" that you've learned from? 
MM: I learned not to brew your tea too long. One time, I left my jasmine tea bags in the tea water overnight. I didn’t taste test before putting it with my scoby. After my fermenting, I tried it and realized it was too bitter. It was such a waste. Now, I’m not lazy with my tea brewing.  
 

KH: What kind of food do you like to pair your booch with?   
MM: I love to pair my kombucha with heavy vegan foods. My initial reason for drinking kombucha was because it helped my digestion. So I drink it while I’m eating foods that are a little much for my tummy to take. I also drink it by itself whenever I’m craving a soda or something.  
 

KH: Are you part of your local kombucha home-brewing community?  
MM: To be honest, I just started to communicate with other brewers. It would just hit up my friend, Tameko for advice. But, I recently joined a Facebook kombucha brewing community for inspiration and questions. Maybe, I’ll find or create a kombucha community in DC one day!  

 

 Photo courtesy of Mykalee McGowan

Photo courtesy of Mykalee McGowan

Stacy Gueraseva