Kombucha, the very trendy fizzy tea that lines every health food market shelf has now gained enough traction that thankfully recipes flood the internet. Most are very easy and if you can make any sort of Iced Tea then you can surely make your own “continuous brew” Kombucha.
How to make Kombucha:
Making your own Kombucha brew is not only a great way to save money as store bought Kombucha’s can cost upward of $4 but can also give you consistent access to Kombucha’s great health benefits.
I’m not a huge fan of store bought brews because of the over carbonation. Kombucha isn’t a soda so let’s not try and make it one shall we. Slight natural fizz is fine and naturally occurring for the second round of brewing/flavoring but there are some brands out there that show utter disregard for my tooth enamel and dental bills by inducing forced carbonation. By brewing your own Kombucha at home you have more control over the flavoring process and can control the carbonation based on your own preference.
Here’s what you’ll need for the first round of brewing:
A Kombucha Scoby or “Mother”
2 cups Kombucha starter tea
*If you not have enough starter liquid 1 cup starter tea and 1 cup Organic Apple Cider Vinegar will work)
8 Organic Oolong tea bags ( black tea works great but you can try green tea as well!)
1 cup organic cane sugar
14 cups filtered or boiled water
A big pot
Coffee Filter or cheese cloth
2 Gallon container- Most people recommend a container with a spicket. I have one and while I use the container I never ever use the spicket to pour out my Kombucha. I just pour it out of the top because it’s faster and I do what I want.
Second round of brewing where the “fizz” and flavor come in:
Fruit or fruit juice for flavoring (organic preferred)
Airtight glass bottles to store
Where can I get a scoby?
1- Buy a Scoby online- Simply google, “buy Scoby online” and you will have a variety of resources. There are a ton of brewers who will mail you a Scoby complete with starter tea for your first brew. They can range anywhere from $5 to $30. The thicker the Scoby the more brews it has made but don’t start away from thin Scoby’s as they will still give you a fantastic brew.
2-Check your natural food market- Some natural health food markets may also carry Scoby’s or Mother’s but it is wise to call before you go.
3-Make your own from scratch- This is actually the same process of making your own Kombucha but just using a store bought unflavored bottle as your starter liquid. Good news! Making your own Scoby at home as easy as brewing your own.
How to brew your kombucha:
- Pour 14 cups of filtered water in large pot and bring to a boil
- Pour in 1 cup organic cane sugar and stir until dissolves
- Throw in 8 Organic Oolong tea bags to steep
- Let steep until liquid cools and sugar fully dissolves
- Take out tea bags once cooled
- In designated Kombucha container pour 2 cups starter liquid
- Pour 14 cups tea/sugar mix
- Place Scoby on top of liquid. If the Scoby sinks or turns it’s fine and totally naturally.
- Place coffee filter or cheese clothier top of container. Use rubber band if you need to keep out the fruit flies if in warmer climates.
- Leave for a week up to 30 days to ferment. You can start tasting your brew after 7 days to see if the desired sweetness or acidity and ferment is to your liking.
*Do not place a lid on this container as the air is what will help ferment your tea.
*Do not place in direct sunlight
*If brown strands form throughout the week, that’s normal. Those are called yeast strands and are part of the process. You can always strain them out before the second brewing process.
After a week fermentation process your brew should look more cloudy than clear. It should also smell more vinegar-y than sweet. I love the first brew Kombucha because it is more vinegar-y. If you are new to Kombucha I would definitely suggest flavoring for taste.
You are now ready to flavor your Kombucha.
What’s you’ll need:
Fresh or frozen fruit or fruit juice for flavoring (organic preferred)
My favorite flavoring options are: Pineapple, Ginger, Blueberries, Palo Santo (oh ya the incense stick) as they are always in my house.
Airtight glass bottles to store
- After a week or longer depending upon your preference remove the Scoby from your brew and store in any glass storing container. You will likely have another Scoby that either formed on top of the Scoby or from it. You can pull off the new Scoby and store it or reuse it on the next batch.
- Pour Kombucha in airtight glass bottles leaving a bit of room for air on top. Typically filling up until the bottle starts to narrow into the spout is good place to stop.
- Cut fruit in small pieces enough to fit in bottle. Typically 1/4 -1/2 cups is good.
- Seal the bottles so there is no air and place in a warm spot to ferment for 3 to up to another 7 days.
*You may notice small bubbles forming.
- Take care in opening the bottles as there second fermentation is going to produce a bit of air that will be trapped in that bottle.
Kombucha will likely be around for a long time as it has withstood thousands and thousands of years already. The best way to get your daily fix that will be way more cost effective is of course brew your own at home. Don’t give up after one brew if it doesn’t come out the way you want. You’ll be a Kombucha brewing maniac in no time! You totally CAN be THAT person!