Making your own Kombucha – at home
- Stock pot
- 1-gallon jar or two 2 quart glass jars
- Tightly woven cloth (like clean napkins, tea towels, coffee filters, or paper towels)
- Bottles: Six 16-oz bottles with lids, 6 swing-top bottles, or clean soda bottles
- Small funnel
Special note avoid prolonged contact between the Kombucha and metal both during and after brewing. This can affect the flavor of your Kombucha and weaken the SCOBY over time.
- 8 cups water, boiled & 4 cups cold (see instructions)
- 1 cup sugar
- 6+ tea bags (Organic Black or Green do very well)
- 1 1/3 cup starter tea from previous Kombucha batch or store-bought Kombucha (unpasteurized, neutral-flavored)
- 1 SCOBY per fermentation jar, homemade or purchased online
Made a strong sweet tea base. Boil 8 cups water on stove top, place your container on stove to preheat your glass jar. Place 1 cup sugar and your tea bags into container. Once water is sufficiently boiled, place into container, mix with wooden spoon (as plastic leaches impurities). Stir the tea until the sugar has dissolved. Allow sweet tea to cool completely, leave tea bags in during this time.
Once the tea has completely cooled. Add in your pure filtered cold water. Ive used PH balanced water (Cerra Water) and or PureWater for clean clean water. Please remove the tea bags as you do not want your SCOBY growing on foreign objects.
Once the tea is done, and the tea bags removed, slide in the Kombucha starter and the SCOBY. The starter tea makes the liquid acidic, which prevents unfriendly bacteria from taking up residence in the first few days of the fermentation process.
The SCOBY seen above is from my previous batch of Kombucha, you by no means need this amount. I just happened to be making 4 full batches and therefore used up all my SCOBY by dividing it up. Please ensure you hands and work surface are clean, that should go without saying.
Once the elixir is done, be sure to place a clean tightly-woven cloth, coffee filter, or paper towels across mouth of the jar to keep the insects out of the brew. I happen to have lovely white cotton cloths and large elastics.
Place in a quiet, darker area. I know ones who place it in a cabinet. I personally place mine in my laundry room on a little table. The combined warmth and room temperature is perfect. Plus its away from direct sunlight and wont be jostled around. I personally go in every day and take a little peek and say positive loving things to my brew. Ferment for 7 to 10 days, checking the Kombucha and SCOBY periodically.
Yes it will look a little alien as this formation begins to happen. Its not unusual to have the SCOBY float to the top, bottom or even sideways during the fermentation process. You will also notice the Mother SCOBY and Baby SCOBY growing together. Do not fret if you see brown stringy bits floating beneath the SCOBY, sediment collecting at the bottom, or bubbles collecting around the SCOBY. This is all normal and signs of healthy fermentation. The tannins in the tea will also show in the SCOBY, no need to worry. Only worry if you see BLACK MOLD appearing, then you will need to toss everything out and start again, but this is very very rare.
This picture below is of my brew I started yesterday. See my little SCOBY growing 🙂
Once the days have past and you are ready to test your Kombucha, take a small straw (long) and place along side, take a little taste test and see if you enjoy the taste. When it has reached the balance of sweetness and tartness that is pleasant to you, the Kombucha is ready to bottle.
next Post: Bottling Kombucha (with pics)