Kombucha Soap Recipe Using Tea and SCOBY – Cold Process DIY

One of our favorite other uses for Kombucha tea or SCOBYs is as a body and hair care aid. You can find some of our Kombucha Spa beauty care recipes here or in The Big Book of Kombucha. To this day, Alex uses Kombucha Hair Tonic in place of shampoo. Hannah often makes SCOBY and mud masks. And we both swear by Homemade Kombucha Soap. You can buy it at the link, or if you’re the crafty type, this Kombucha Soap recipe is just the fun project you didn’t know you were looking for!

Skin is the largest organ of the human body and anything you apply will absorb directly. This means all types of beauty products such as makeup, deodorant and cleansers also impact the health of the body. As we became aware of the chemicals in beauty care products, we found healthier options. Sometimes this meant a dramatic increase in cost, but other times we learned to make things for a fraction of the cost. Enter Kombucha SCOBY and vinegar, both of which are used in this Kombucha Soap recipe too!

Kombucha on My Face?

Though long known for its internal uses, Kombucha does have a wide range of external uses as well. We have used pieces of SCOBY to soothe burns, cuts and other surface wounds. We keep a jar of 30 day+ old Kombucha in the medicine cabinet for use as skin toner. Not to mention homemade Kombucha face cream! It is a natural acid peel without any harmful chemicals and this promotes circulation to the skin’s surface which regenerates the cells.

Kombucha is an acetic acid ferment, like vinegar, but with a weaker acetic acid solution (less than 1%). This mild vinegar is a natural exfoliator as the acid is strong enough to break the bonds of dead skin but not so strong that it leaves skin feeling dry or flaky. To the contrary, it leaves skin feel soft and smooth. Kombucha also produces trace amounts of beauty acids such a hyaluronic, lactic, and malic which are often found in pricier cosmetic applications and help fight age lines, spots and wrinkles. So when we happened across a Kombucha soap recipe nearly a decade ago, we needed to find some!

A simple Kombucha Soap Recipe produces high quality
Randie works the Kombucha soap cutter.

Soon after, we connected with Rand Hill Naturals from our friend Randie, and she’s been our exclusive supplier ever since. Feedback from friends and customers has been great! Many find that her Kombucha soap recipe does not irritate even the most sensitive skin. Or they find that it can also double as a great shampoo bar, especially for hair that tends to dry out easily.

A Kombucha Soap Recipe is Born!

For decades, Randie has been making natural skin care products with ingredients that you can pronounce, eat and might even have in your kitchen cupboard. She started drinking Kombucha back in the 90’s and evolved into a home brewer for over 20 years. One day it dawned on her that developing a Kombucha soap recipe could produce a unique and healthy product. It is even lab tested to confirm the live elements remain present in the final Kombucha soap recipe.

While many will prefer to simply buy their own homemade Kombucha soap from Kombucha Kamp, others may want to tackle this Kombucha soap recipe for their next DIY project. This comes right from our master soap maker. But fair warning: this is not the exact Kombucha soap recipe or process used for our product. However, it is a similar cold-process which helps to protect the integrity of the culture and microorganisms in the Kombucha.

Kombucha Soap Recipe*

Yield: 3lbs 12oz will produce twelve bars of approximately 4.25oz after 4-6 week cure.

Ingredients

Base Oils

Olive Oil 361 grams (12.73 oz)
Palm Kernel Oil 335 grams (11.81 oz)
Coconut Oil 258 grams (9.09 oz)
Cocoa Butter 155 grams (5.46 oz)
Castor Oil 26 grams ( .91 oz)

Lye Solution

Chilled Kombucha Tea 170 grams (6oz)
Chilled distilled water 160 grams (5.64 oz)
Sodium hydroxide lye 173 grams (6.1 oz)

Add-ins

Ground Kombucha SCOBY 1 oz
Essential oils 2 oz

Equipment

  • Safety equipment – gloves, long sleeves, goggles & mask
  • Scale – to measure ingredients precisely
  • Blender (to grind SCOBY)
  • Plastic Strainer
  • Pot
  • Stick Blender
  • Soap mold(s)

Instructions for cold process Kombucha soap recipe:

Soap making is a time honored art that requires a solid knowledge of safe handling practices. If you don’t have prior soap making experience, then it is highly recommended to research in advance. There are numerous soap making books as well as online tutorials available.

Kombucha tea has unique qualities that can create challenges. Due to the natural carbonation, it’s important to allow the gas to dissipate naturally. Additionally, any sugars that remain can cause overheating issues. To avoid these challenges, place the Kombucha in a wide mouth, open container in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours.

Before you start don’t forget your safety equipment!! Gloves, long sleeves, goggles & mask. Make sure your space is well ventilated. Keep keep kids and pets, out of the way so you won’t be disturbed.

Steps

  1. Grind scoby – This can be done quite effectively with a small blender like a Magic Bullet.
    1. Combine 1 oz scoby and 0.5 oz kombucha tea (both at room temp). You may need to add more kombucha tea depending on the density of your scoby. You want to get a fine grain, somewhat watery consistency.
    2. Add a small amount of the combined oils in order to achieve a smoother consistency if needed.
    3. Once ground up, place in a plastic strainer to allow most of the liquid to drain.
  2. Measure and mix lye solution. Important! Remember to add the lye to the liquid – not the other way around.
    1. Test the pH of the Kombucha prior to use to confirm it is in the correct range of 3.0-3.5
    2. Allow to cool to room temperature.
    3. Label the container so it won’t be confused with a consumable beverage.
  3. While lye solution is cooling … move on to step 4.
  4. Measure and then melt hard oils first.
    1. Once completely melted, weigh liquid oils then add to melted oils.
    2. Allow oils to cool to room temperature.
  5. Weigh essential oils, ground scoby and then prepare the mold. Set aside.
  6. When the finish melting and cooling, add the ground scoby and mix with stick blender. This will help to prevent large clumps in the finished soap.
  7. Slowly add the cooled lye solution to the cooled, still liquid oils.
    1. Mix with stick blender on lower speed until you get a light trace.
  8. Add your scent and any other add-ins, then mix well. Pour into mold.
  9. You should be able to unmold your soap within 24 to 48 hours if using a log mold. Individual bar molds possibly sooner. Keep in mind, the exact time may differ depending on your climate/environment.
  10. Allow to cure 4 to 6 weeks. Then, Suds Up!

*Please note – Rand Hill Naturals Kombucha Bar Soap uses a different formula for their Kombucha soap recipe.

Randie demonstrates all the steps of the Kombucha Soap Recipe from KKamp

Milk Kefir Pancakes Recipe

Having grown up in the Midwest and being of German and Dutch descent, I LOVE all things bread. Unfortunately most types of commercially available baked goodies can leave me with excess phlegm build up – a biofeedback signal from my body that some ingredient is not quite jiving with my physiology. So for the most part, Alex and I avoid consuming commercially produced bread and pasta. But from time to time, I just have to whip up a batch of these lovely milk kefir pancakes to feed the carbo-craving beast that lurks in my DNA!

Milk Kefir Pancakes

“Oladi” (Оладьи), as they are known to Russians, are nearly identical to buttermilk pancakes except with milk kefir. These days its easier for most people to whip up freshly fermented milk kefir than it is to find authentic buttermilk. While seemingly convenient, the store bought cartons often contain unnecessary ingredients and honestly, by the time I want the pancakes, I’ve already forgotten to buy the buttermilk and the kefir is right here in the cupboard! True confession: I’m a bit of a lazy cook and an even lazier baker; so to execute any recipe I have to a) really love it and b) it has to be easy. Thankfully, this recipe is both.

CLICK HERE FOR FRESH MILK KEFIR GRAINS

Hannah Crum, the Kombucha Mamma!Did you know? Buttermilk, the bacteria rich “milk” leftover after butter churning, was once a staple in every home. Buttermilk creates light and airy baked goods due to the chemical reaction between the acids from the buttermilk and the bases in the baking powder providing fantastic lift to otherwise limp biscuits (or pancakes in this case!). ~ Hannah

So while buttermilk may not be lurking in most fridges, if you are fermenting milk kefir, it can serve as a bacteria & yeast rich substitute with spectacular results. Especially if it’s a little old and perhaps not as palatable to drink, the healthy acids and tangy flavor give rise to a batter that yields fluffy “light as air” pancakes FROM SCRATCH in only 30 minutes!

WHY SOURDOUGH & FERMENTED BREADS ARE EASIER TO DIGEST

Soooooo – I went to research this question thinking I had a simple answer and just needed some additional resources but when I scratched the surface, I found all kinds of contradictory information regarding whole grains, phytic acid and phytase. When that happens, I just have to refer back to our “Trust YOUR gut” philosophy. For me, when I eat these pancakes, I don’t get the typical phlegmy biofeedback that I get when I consume commercially prepared grain products. Is that due to the fermentation? Is it due to the lack of other commercially added preservatives or ingredients? I honestly don’t know for sure. What I do know is that these milk kefir pancakes taste great and I don’t feel crappy after eating them. Let us know your biofeedback in the comments below!

 CLICK HERE FOR FRESH MILK KEFIR GRAINS

Milk Kefir “Light as Air” Pancakes

The bacteria and yeast in the kefir feed on the flour and sugar while the batter is resting and create air pockets leading to light, fluffy pancakes that melt in your mouth. The tangier the milk kefir, the more savory and sour the pancake – ideal for serving with sweet fruit or maple syrup.

Yield 6-8 pancakes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Add flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt to a large bowl.
  2. Stir or sift to combine evenly.
  3. Pour in milk kefir and stir into a semi lumpy but evenly mixed batter.
  4. Cover the bowl with a towel and set aside in a warm location for a minimum of 30 minutes up to overnight.
  5. Gently stir in the egg and vanilla mixing only until combined.
  6. Heat a well oiled pan (we use ghee*) until drops of water sizzle on the surface.
  7. With a ¼ cup measure as a scoop, pour batter into pan. 2-3 pancakes may fit in the pan depending on size.

    air bubbles are visible as pancakes made with milk kefir cook on a hot pan
    CO2 manifests as air bubbles giving the pancakes a nice rise.
  8. When bubbles dot the surface of the cake, use a spatula to flip it over. The more you make, the more quickly the bottom may brown due to the butter.
  9. Add more ghee to the pan between batches as needed to prevent pancakes from sticking.
  10. Place pancakes in a warm oven (200F) and slather with butter until all are ready.

Serve with your favorite toppings!

Our favorite topping for these pancakes is
strawberry jam and yogurt or creme fraiche!
What’s your favorite topping?
Comment below!

Helpful Tips for Fluffy Milk Kefir Pancakes

  • To keep the cakes extra fluffy, pour the batter into the measuring cup rather than scooping them out which can break some of the delicate air bubbles.

    pancake batter poured from a cup rather than scooped yields fluffier pancakes
    Kefir pancakes on the left were poured into the measuring cup. The ones on the right were scooped.
  • Ghee is clarified butter. It greases the pan easily but without the burning mess that usually occurs from the protein solids in butter.
  • Check out our fantastic Kombucha sourdough recipe. It is a bit denser since our yeast is different but it yields a rich flavor.

CLICK HERE FOR FRESH MILK KEFIR GRAINS

Top 5 Tips for Bottling Kombucha Tea, Jun, Water Kefir and Milk Kefir Safely In Hot Weather Without Explosions, Geysers or Blowouts

Who loves bubbles in their beverage? We do! In fact, most Kombucha homebrewers desire more fizz in their brew. Any why not? It’s fun, adds texture and flavor, looks cool in the glass and reminds many people of good times. How exciting when a new Booch is opened, bubbles rush madly upward, increasing exponentially, frothing to the top of the bottle and spilling forth gently!

There may even be a secret reason we crave those carbonated quaffs…could it be nutrition? Natural fizz – the kind found when bottling Kombucha, JUN and Kefir homebrews – indicates the presence of living yeast, which contain B-vitamins that the body can use in bioavailable form.

Usually, if carbonation is a problem, the issue is not enough bubbles (See Carbonation Techniques Basic & Carbonation Techniques Advanced for more help with those issues). However too much of a good thing can transform pleasantly bubbly Booch to messy geyser or even bottle bomb under the wrong combination of conditions. Signs of over-fermentation when bottling Kombucha, Jun or kefir include bubbles leaking from the top, hissing sounds as CO2 tries to escape any which way, and stressed or bulging caps.

Bottling Kombucha, Jun, Water Kefir, and Milk Kefir Safely at All Times of YearThe good news is that it’s pretty easy to avoid a mess when bottling Kombucha or any fermented drink at most times of the year, especially cooler seasons when carbonation can be a fickle friend. But as temperatures rise, the yeast become more active, and coupled with sugar in the form of fruit or flavorings (especially pureed fruit – see below), the excessive pressure produced by this dynamic duo is the issue to be on the lookout for.
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Part 2: Diving Deeper Into Detoxification

…with Trish Carty

Hannah Crum, the Kombucha Mamma!We are thrilled to introduce Trish Carty, who is not only an amazing holistic chef, nutritional therapist and a whole foods advocate but also a great friend. We first met a few years ago at the Freestone Fermentation Festival and have been exchanging health tips and advice ever since. I really love her enthusiastic nature and gentle approach. If you have a question for Trish, leave it in the comments! ~ Hannah

rocks with healing words

In part 2 of the detoxification series, we will cover an in-depth study of the body as it relates to detoxification. How do the systems within your body operate optimally? What are the 5 foundations that are considered top priority when addressing detoxification? What happens when the body is overloaded with toxins? What are the modern day toxins we need to be aware of? How do we remove them from our surrounding environment?

In part 1 of our study of detoxification, we covered what, why and how to start a safe detoxification program. How did you rate in the toxicity quiz and did you start the 14 day elimination challenge?

In this five part series, we are going to discuss all aspects of detoxification.

PART 1: We will start with: what, why, and how to start a detoxification process for your body.
PART 2: What are the 5 major factors that impact your body? What are the modern day toxicants to be aware of and how to remove them from the surrounding environment?
PART 3: Herbal remedies, foods and ancient methods to enhance the detox process.
PART 4: A 21 day challenge- How to properly clear the toxins out of your detox pathways.
PART 5: Reintroduction of foods and how to maintain a constant natural chelating process.

How Do The Systems Within
The Body Operate Optimally?

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Cucumber Salad w/Milk Kefir Dressing from Nourished Kitchen

Yay! Jenny McGruther’s new cookbook is here! If you are not familiar with Jenny’s work, she is the artistic eye and culinary genius behind Nourished Kitchen. We first met Jenny at the Freestone Fermentation Festival in 2011 where she was one of the speakers. Her passion for fermentation was obvious as she spoke of the myriad families that had been healed through eating a traditional foods diet that also included ferments.

McGr_Nourished Kitchen
First cookbook from Jenny McGruther of Nourished Kitchen!

At that time, I was just learning about the research of Weston Price and deepening my own understanding of the role fermentation has played in the evolution of humankind. What I’ve gradually come to realize is how much chaos the Industrial Foods Revolution has wrought on the health of our entire nation. Home cooks were enticed away from the hearth with easy bake cake mixes and TV dinners that purported to be just as nutritious as their homemade counterparts.

Gradually, convenience foods along with innovations such as microwave ovens have led to an erosion of basic cooking skills. Moreover, packaged food itself is now comprised of chemicals, additives and generally lacking in the very things we eat food for in the first place – nourishment!

Enter Jenny McGruther’s beautiful blog (now turned cookbook), Nourished Kitchen, featuring recipes with traditional ingredients and cooking classes to help people reclaim the lost skills that had traditionally been handed down generation to generation. Jenny’s writing style and striking photos illustrate the simple beauty of how to make bone broth, ferment kefir and prepare nutrient dense organ meats with mouthwatering appeal. Paired with the science of nutrition, Nourished Kitchen closes the knowledge gap created by our wholehearted adoption of “the foods of commerce.”Continue Reading