Add 1 cup sugar (you can use raw, white, or Sucanat) to water when a boil is reached. Stir until sugar is 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 (SCOBY) to your jar. It might sink or float and this doesn't matter.
Add 1 cup of fermented kombucha tea from a previous batch to your 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.
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 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 it is still delicious as is.
Always 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.