How to Make Kombucha
|PREP. TIME: 10 MINS.||FERMENTATION TIME : 1 WEEK|
Ingredients for Making Kombucha
- 8 Cups of Water
- 4 Bags of Black or Green Tea Bags (or loose leaf tea)
- 1/2 Cup of Sugar (white or brown)
- 1 Pouch of Kombucha Starter Seed™
Brew Your Favorite Black or Green Tea
Boil 8 cups of water and use 4 tea bags of green or black tea
For Kombucha brewing, it's important to avoid herbal teas such as chamomile or ginseng, and flavored teas such as Chai or Earl Gray. These lack vital nutrients for the probiotics and yeast to thrive and may be flavored with oils and other additives that can hurt the fermentation process.
Add Sugar & Let Your Tea Cool Down
While your tea is still hot, stir in ½ cup of sugar until completely dissolved
[!] IMPORTANT: Let the tea cool until it is room temperature BEFORE adding the Kombucha Starter Seed™ pouch.
Add Kombucha Starter Seed™ Pouch
Pour the cooled tea into a glass jar, then add the Kombucha Starter Seed™ pouch to the tea.
Stir vigorously after adding the Kombucha Starter Seed™. Cover the glass jar with a cloth (or coffee filter) and secure with a rubber band. Leave the covered jar at room temperature for fermentation to take place.
[!] IMPORTANT: On day 5, remove and discard the Kombucha Starter Seed™ pouch, then cover your batch again.
On day 7-10, you should begin to see a thin ivory colored layer forming on the top of your tea. This will form into your new SCOBY which transforms your tea into kombucha.
Taste Your Kombucha!
Once your SCOBY has formed a layer across the top, taste your kombucha. It should taste slightly tart. The longer you ferment, the more tart it will become. Your kombucha is now ready to drink or store in the refrigerator to drink later.
[!] IMPORTANT: Make sure to always keep a bit of your kombucha and your new SCOBY after your first batch. It can be used for unlimited batches by simply adding fresh tea and sugar and following the same process every seven days!
Attention: When fermenting any food or drink, there is a risk of contamination. If your kombucha develops any signs of mold or contamination (fuzzy spots on the surface), do not consume. For tips on avoiding contamination, please visit TheaKombucha.com. Learn more.
Tips for Succesful Kombucha Home Brewing
- If you are not planning on making your first batch right away, store the Kombucha Starter Seed™ packet in the fridge to maximize its shelf-life until you are ready to brew your first batch.
- Make sure that you are fermenting your first batch in a warm location, 68-75 °F is ideal. The colder your batch, the slower your initial growth will be and the greater your risk for contamination.
- When temperatures tend to be lower during the winter months, leave your Starter Seed™ in the batch until a full SCOBY has formed. The Starter Seed™ is full of probiotics that will help your SCOBY grow strong, and can be easily removed when you are ready to brew your second batch.
- Make sure your container, lid, and everything that you use to touch your batch has been cleaned with hot water and then rinsed to remove any soap residue.
- Place your Starter Seed™ directly into your cooled tea from the pouch minimizing the handling. Stir vigorously to activate.
What to do after your first batch of kombucha
After your batch has fermented with your scoby and has reached your preferred level of tartness, it is time to transfer it off of the scoby. If your fermentation jar has a spout, you can pour through directly. If your are fermenting in a mason jar or similar, you can pour through a strainer or similar to help catch your scoby and strain out any separate scoby. It is important to leave enough liquid behind to keep your scoby submerged. This will be used as the basis for your next batch.
We recommend transferring into a new airtight glass bottle or jar. If you do not want to attempt carbonation, transfer directly to the fridge and enjoy your homemade kombucha! If you would like to increase the carbonation in your batch, refer to the next section.
To start a new batch, simply add your scoby from the previous batch to cooled tea brewed per the previous instructions and ferment.
Tips on Kombucha Carbonation
To increase carbonation in your batch, simply age for another 1-3 days in a sealed container once you have removed your kombucha from the scoby. ½ tsp of added sugar or juice will help this process along (see flavoring tips in next section).
When carbonated to your liking, simply store in the fridge to slow secondary fermentation.
[!] When carbonating kombucha, especially with added sugar or juice, overcarbonation may occur. Monitor your bottles closely, and periodically open them to relieve excess pressure.
Flavoring Your Kombucha
There are many ways to add additional flavors to the kombucha you have brewed once you have transferred it away from the scoby.
One of the easiest ways is to add fruit juice of your choice. We recommend adding juice in a ratio of 80% Kombucha to 20% Juice. You can then let it carbonate naturally, or cool it in the fridge and drink directly.
You can also flavor by adding your brewed kombucha directly on top of berries or herbs in a new jar and aging for 1-2 days before drinking. Some of our favorite combinations include: Lemongrass and Grated Ginger, Strawberry and Basil, or Blackberry and Lavender. Click here for more flavoring ideas.