For all of my kombucha loving friends out there, you know how much that tasty kombucha is costing you at the store….a small fortune, ok maybe it’s not a fortune but it is definitely not cheap. I know I was spending about $2.50-$4.50 a bottle depending on the brand and when you want to drink a bottle almost every day, that adds up!
What’s a girl to do? I don’t want to stop drinking my tasty healthy kombucha (that by the way, my gut loved) but I also don’t want to keep spending the money on the store bought kombucha. Not to say that I have anything against the store bought brands. There are some great local companies that have wonderful business ethics and that I am truly happy to support by splurging and buying every once in awhile. But…this post is all about making wonderful tasty healthy kombucha at home. So, friends, let’s get to it.
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What you will need to get started….and I got it all on Amazon!
- Scoby (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) – Basically your scoby is what makes the kombucha. I think of it as a little colony of bacteria that ferment my tea into tasty kombucha. Keep your scoby healthy, and you will make some great kombucha! This is the one I ordered – $5.95. You can also make your own scoby from store bought kombucha, or if you have a kombucha brewing friend they could give you a scoby. Usually, after brewing 1-2 batches the scoby will produce a sister scoby, so after awhile you end up with so many scobys (it reminds me of that friendship bread where you are always trying to give it away)!
- Glass Gallon Jar – You need something to make the kombucha in, and a glass container works best. It is not recommended to use plastic or metal containers. This is the one I bought – $9.39 .
- Cheese Cloth – The cheesecloth, along with a big rubber band, is used to cover the top of the jar. You want the scoby to be able to breathe during the fermentation process, that is why you do not want to put a lid on the jar. I’ve read that some people use a coffee filter if you do not want to use a cheese cloth. Here is the cheese cloth I use – $3.99.
- Tea – I use regular Tetley tea and some type of flavored organic tea. I usually make the tea half and half, meaning that I brew a gallon of tea at a time using half Tetley tea bags and half whatever flavored tea I decide on. I have tried a few different flavors of organic tea, and they have all tasted good. I think it’s really just up to you and experimenting with flavors. I will leave a link to my Pinterest board where I have pinned multiple things about kombucha brewing, that way if you would like to read what other people do to make kombucha you can access it easily.
How to Brew Kombucha
I am going to give instructions for making 1 gallon of Kombucha.
Start off by boiling your water. I use distilled water, although I believe you can use any kind of purified water. I’ve read different instructions for making kombucha, some state to boil this specific amount water or that amount of water. After making a few batches, I have found that the amount of water you boil doesn’t really matter. Once you have boiled your water, add 1 cup of sugar and your tea bags. Let this cool to room temperature! It is important to let the water cool down before adding your scoby…if you add the scoby to hot water it can kill it, so let that water cool down.
Next, add your tea and sugar mixture to your gallon jar, along with 1 cup of vinegar or store bought kombucha. You want to use regular vinegar, not apple cider vinegar. The vinegar or kombucha keeps any mold from growing on the scoby. Then add water until your jar is almost full to the top, leaving enough room for your scoby and a little space. I do not fill my jar all the way up to the mouth, I leave about 3 inches or so. Wash your hands before touching your scoby, then add it to the jar.
Lastly, cover your jar with your cheesecloth and a rubber band. Now place that lovely tea/scoby brew into a dark place and let the scoby do it’s work for the next 7-10 days. At this point, you can either drink the kombucha or do a second ferment.
How to do a Second Ferment
After you have made a batch, you can place it into smaller jars. I use pint mason jars, which work very well, but you can pretty much use any glass container that can withstand the pressure of fermentation. You will want to fill the containers almost to the top, leaving room for whatever fruit you want to use to flavor your kombucha. Check out my Pinterest board for different flavoring options…my favorites so far have been peach, and strawberry-lemon. This second ferment is also what gives the kombucha it’s fizz, if you drink the kombucha after the first ferment it won’t be very fizzy.
Here is the link to my Pinterest Board – Kombucha Brewing
Happy brewing! I hope you have found this post to be useful…I wanted to take what I have learned and share it. I would love to hear what you flavor your kombucha with or any helpful tips/tricks. You can also check out my video on YouTube