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.
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!