Kombucha: the healthy beverage that has swept our pallets by storm!! And, if you're anything like me, you're daily addiction to this probiotic super drink has left your wallet feeling a little thin.
Well, don't you worry, beautiful! I am going to take you through a step-by-step guide on brewing 'bucha in the comfort of your own home. Truth is, making Kombucha is fun, super simple, and requires very little time. Once you start the routine, you will only wonder why you didn't start sooner! If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to ask by commenting below. So with out further ado, let's get brewin'!!
2-liter glass jar
7.5 cups filtered, boiled water
3/4 cup organic, raw cane sugar
2 organic black tea bags
1 cup unflavored, unpasteurized Kombucha (store bought or from a previous home-brewed batch)
1 SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, aka the Kombucha culture)
1 clean tea towel
1 large rubber band
1. Boil water and put into clean glass jar.
2. Add tea bags and sugar to the hot water, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
3. Let steep for 30 minutes, then place jar in the refrigerator until the liquid is at room temperature.
4. Remove the tea bags and add the unflavored, unpasteurized Kombucha to the jar.
5. Using a wooden spoon, never use metal, add the SCOBY (the culture that ferments the sugars into the healthy probiotics and beneficial gut bacteria.)
6. Cover the mouth of the jar with a clean tea towel and seal the edges using a rubber band.
7. Store the jar in a dark place with airflow to ferment. (ex: pantry, cabinet, or closet)
8. Let it sit for 7-10 days. (Taste it on day 7 and decide to continue or stop the fermentation)
9. When ready to stop the fermentation, remove the SCOBY using a wooden spoon.
10. Bottle the Kombucha in sealed glass bottles and store in the refrigerator.
Add Flavors (Optional):
1. Add fresh fruit juice, herbs and spices to the bottled Kombucha. Shoot for a ratio of 10% fruit juice and 90% Kombucha tea.
2. Keep the bottles out at room temperature, covered using napkins or paper towels and rubber bands for 1-2 days. (This will allow the flavored batched to re-ferment the added sugar from the fruit juice.
3. If you want added carbonation in your Kombucha, re-ferment the flavored tea in sealed plastic bottles. Once the bottle has expanded from the built up CO2, stop the fermentation.
4. To stop the fermentation, strain the Kombucha and transfer into sealed glass jars. Immediately place finished bottles into refrigerator.
Flavor ideas: raspberry-strawberry-ginger, blueberry-lavendar, chili-mango, peach-ginger, raspberry-lemon, lemon-thyme, and infinitely more possibilities!! Don't be afraid to get creative.
Tips + Facts:
- You can find your SCOBY, or Kombucha starter culture, online, in a health food store, or from a friend who already has a batch going.
- Never let metal contact the SCOBY because it negatively reacts and reduces it's effectiveness!!
- The reason we add previously brewed Kombucha is to bring the pH to a level that inhibits undesired microbial growth such as mold.
- If you want to create a continuous brew cycle, immediately transfer the SCOBY to a freshly brewed sugar tea. Make sure to always keep 1 cup (or the appropriate ratio) of the fermented Kombucha to throw into the next batch.
- If you want to increase the batch size, make sure to keep the ratio of all the ingredients the same. The SCOBY is capable of fermenting any size batch, it just may take a little longer to complete the fermentation process if you've significantly increased the size.
- Once your SCOBY is of a good, strong size, feel free to experiment with other teas. My personal favorite is white tea. The reason we start with black tea, is because it has a significantly higher nitrogen content, which is essential for young SCOBY's to grow successfully.
- Do not be alarmed if the SCOBY grows to cover the entire surface of the jar, or forms holes or black strings. The only time to consider the batch faulty is if a fuzzy mold begins to grow on the surface.