Kombucha

Here is how you make kombucha the wonder tea! Scroll through all my pictures, and take a look at the day-by-day slideshow on step 11. Check out my timelapse video too! Happy fermenting!

Watch How to Make It

Course: Beverages
Servings: 3 Quarts

Ingredients

Materials

  • Gallon Jaror non lead-based crock
  • Linen or cloth napkinthat will fit completely over top of jar or crock
  • Rubber bandto go around neck of jug or crock
  • 6 16-ounce bottleFlip-top bottles work best
  • Heating Strip(Optional, but highly recommended)

Instructions

  • Gather your ingredients to make kombucha.
  • Bring three quarts of water to a boil.
  • Add 1 cup sugar ( you can use raw, white, or sucanat) to water when a boil is reached. Stir until sugar dissolved.
  • Turn off heat and add 4-5 tea bags of black or green tea or combination.
  • Steep 10-15 minutes and remove tea leaves or bags and let tea cool (it doesn’t hurt to steep the tea longer).
  • Pour cooled tea into a clean gallon size glass container.
  • Add your Kombucha culture to your jar. It might sink or float and this doesn’t matter.
    Place your scoby in the tea
  • Add 1 cup of fermented Kombucha Tea from a previous batch to our jar.
  • Place a cloth over the opening of the jar and secure with a rubber band. This keeps dust, mold, spores and vinegar flies out of the fermenting tea.
  • Place a heating strip around your jar. (optional, but highly recommended) Allow to sit undisturbed in a well ventilated place away from direct sunlight (temp. 65-85 degrees F.) for 6 – 15 days.
  • You will notice that a new culture, or “scoby” will begin to form. Scroll through all my pictures, and take a look at the day-by-day slideshow!

    Day 1 (side view) Not much is going on. The bacteria are enjoying their sweet tea and warm heating strip! Day 1 (top view) The starter scoby is floating on top, but it can also sink to the bottom. Either way is normal. Day 2 (side view) The starter scoby has sunk to the bottom, but some of the yeast from it is trying to go back up. Day 2 (top view) You can see a few specs, plus a blob of yeast that is still floating. Day 3 (side view) You can start to see a very thin layer forming at the top. Day 3 (top view) All of the spots you see are normal. A lot of people get worried and think that it’s mold. Day 4 (side view) As the thin scoby starts to get a little thicker, you can see some bubbles starting to appear! Day 4 (top view) You can really start to see the bubbles on top! Day 5 (side view) The scoby is thick enough for the bubbles to start making bigger pockets of air. Day 5 (top view) Try not to disturb your scoby. You don’t want the fizziness to escape! Day 6 (side view) Look how thick my scoby has gotten! Those bubbles are going nowhere!!! Day 6 (top view) Don’t worry if your scoby has weird dark spots. This is normal. Day 7 (side view) Look at that big air pocket on the left side! My scoby has done a great job at keeping all bubbles in. Day 8 (side view) Your kombucha should be ready enough to start taste testing.
  • Time for for a taste test! Stick a straw along the inside of your jar. You can do this without disturbing the scoby too much, just keep in the straw along the side, Then put your finger over the top of the straw.

    (If you’re using a jar with a spigot, just use the spigot instead)
  • Draw out some kombucha and have a taste.

    You may expect results like this:

    • 4-6 Days – Too sweet, not all sugar converted.
    • 7-9 Days – Tastes like sparkling apple cider.
    • 10+ Days – Vinegar taste becoming prominent.
  • When the tea is brewed to your taste, pour the tea into glass bottles and cap. Then place in the refrigerator. This can now be second fermented with juices, but is still delicious as is.

Notes

Kombucha starterAlways leave enough starter tea from your last batch to make another batch of tea. You can remove the two cultures or leave them in the pot to make another batch.
Make another pot of tea with sugar and add this to your starter and culture to start the process again.