I’m new to the world of kombucha brewing as it all appeared too overwhelming for me…and it can be with all these flavors and techniques. However, I just followed basic directions and it came out great! Here are the steps and pictures of what I did.
I’m going to try and make this as easy as possible for you!!!
What is Kombucha tea?
Kombucha tea is simply tea that has been fermented with a culture. The culture is often called a “mushroom” or “scoby” It is made out of bacteria and yeast. S.C.O.B.Y. stands for “Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeasts”
here is my original scoby…be sure to wash hands thoroughly before handling…
What are the health benefits to drinking kombucha tea?
Kombucha tea helps to detoxify the liver, boosts the immune system, improves digestion, helps with joint pain, has compounds in it that help prevent cancer, heals the gut, clears the skin, is loaded with probiotics and enzymes…it’s alive! …and the list goes on. I find that when I drink it have more energy, my mood feels great and my skin gets brighter!
How does one brew kombucha at home?
Here is what you need: (you do not need these crazy deluxe kits)
1 gallon glass container. I ordered this one from Amazon-I plan to order another now that I have scoby babies 🙂
a paper towel or a kitchen towel and a rubber band…I had a hard time finding a rubber band for some strange reason, but you do need one!
1 scoby in starter tea…I ordered this one from Amazon
raw apple cider vinegar (for the first batch only). I like this brand
green or black tea-ten bags for each batch. I used green tea for my first batch-here is a link *do not use teas with added oils like Earl Grey*
cane sugar…yes sugar. The sugar is part of the fermentation process. The end product will only be slightly sweet-or not sweet all depending on how you like the taste and how long you ferment the tea. It will be less sweet and stronger tasting the longer you ferment the tea. My first batch was a bit sweeter than I would like, but my kids loved it and it was way less sweet than juice. This next batch I am going to ferment longer for my pleasure. Play around with different batches. I use this sugar (but in a smaller size)
Follow these directions:
1. Boil 1 gallon of water – add 10 green or black tea bags and let it steep to your liking. Remove tea bags and patiently let it cool to room temperature. It must be room temperature-I checked several recipes and this was the one thing that was highlighted. I say patiently because I am not patient. I was hoping it would cool faster and was bummed that it was taking hours to get to room temp. I was a bit excited about this project. So during this time put your feet up and read a book, or take a hot bath. DO NOT I repeat DO NOT fold laundry, clean the bathroom, or clean any room for that matter. Tell your significant other that it is here in the directions, and you must follow the directions if you want it to work.
2.Stir in 1 cup of cane sugar until it is dissolved. Add a splash of apple cider vinegar (only for the first batch-I read that it helps adjust the ph of the tea). Put your scoby into the tea and stir it around. Cover the tea with the towel and a rubber band. Make sure it is stored at around 68-75 degree temp. My house gets cool at night, so I put it on top of the gas stove with just the pilot lit (warm). You can store it in the oven with the oven light on. Now you have to be really patient. Depending on the climate/temp/your taste buds it can take anywhere from 5-20 days or more. During this time you still must avoid all housework. haha…maybe not, but it’s worth a try. Mine fermented for 11 days and it was slightly sweet, fizzy, and really good.
The coolest part is that a new scoby grew! It attached to the original scoby, but they pulled apart easily. Also-I have read that the size of the scoby does not matter. It will not add or take away from the flavor.
Here is a picture of my “scoby baby” (he is starting a batch of his own now)
Here are some things you may see happening in the jar during the process:
The scoby might sink or float on the top. Mine floated on the top.
You may see live creatures swimming around. Don’t let them jump out. Hahaha….totally kidding, no live creatures but kombucha is a living food-loaded with good live bacteria and enzymes 😉
You may see dark matter floating in the tea or forming on and under the scoby. It may look gross-but don’t let it turn you off because this stuff is darn good. It may be bubbly or fizzy.
If you want it fizzier bottle it at room temp for a couple extra days.
I bottled mine in some empty GT’s kombucha bottles and mason jars. Store in the refrigerator. The longer it is in the refrigerator the smoother the flavor becomes!
Now-you can start a new batch with the new scoby and about 10-15% of the fermented tea from the original batch (no need to add apple cider vinegar to the next batch) Store your extra scobies in the refrigerator covered with sweet tea-or give them to friends-or have several batches going at once-or open a kombucha shop.
The fun part is that it is like a science experiment for the kids. They loved watching it, and they love to drink it. I love the benefit for their little immune systems. The little 5 year old boy that lives next door called it “ponchuka” 🙂
ENJOY!! Have any kombucha tips or tricks? want to add on your ideas? Just reply in comments 🙂
* Please note: This is a personal blog. I am not a Doctor or a Dietician. All data and information provided on this site is for informational/educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitution for professional medical advice.
Hi, thank you for sharing. I went to a workshop to do kombucha but I still have not got the courage to do it yet so your post helps get you going. I will soon!! I just wanted to check as it looked like in your end pic your bottle has a metal lid? as what I learnt when storing fermenting foods is not to use metal lids in any part of the fermentation process affects the metal and can be absorbed in the product. Or put a film on clingwrap with a rubber band to be a barrier between them. Just a question re: making the tea. When you put the Kombucha tea in the fridge for drinking do you just take the scoby out with 10-15 of the tea and do your next batch and the rest is what you drink? thank you
Hi Anita, Thanks for your input! Yes, I put it in a mason jar after it was done fermenting-good idea though to use cling wrap, will try next time, thanks! YES, you are correct about what you drink and what you use for the next batch! Good luck and happy brewing 🙂
Wow. I want to try this but it all just seems so daunting! With jars and scobys and cane sugar add a little cider vinegar here, not there, store baby scobys in tea in the fridge(did I read that right?). What happens when you get too many scobys and can’t find anyone to give them to? lol. Do you just use them once? If not, how do you know when it’s used up?
Thank you for sharing! This was very helpful!
I typically brew 6 gallons per week of kombucha. It is my Sunday afternoon routine. I am also not very patient. A trick to avoid the loooooong wait for it to cool is to only boil 1 qt of the water, turn off the heat, add sugar-stirring till dissolved and then add the tea bags and let steep. Add the rest of the plain water to the jar. Once the tea has steeped just add it to the jar with the plain water. Give it a good stir and add your Scoby and starter tea and voila….you have cut TONS of time out! *Note…I only suggest this if you are using filtered water. (Not distiller, just filtered….like out of your fridge door) I typically use a combination of green and black tea. It turns out fantastic! 2 black to each 1 green.
Why not distilled? I’ve been using distilled. Is there something better?