What is Kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented beverage that contains health-promoting cultures full of digestive enzymes and beneficial probiotic bacteria. It is traditionally made from a scoby, tea and sugar. Kombucha is known to be great for gut health, mood and straightening your immune system. It is also packed full of antioxidants.
Making kombucha at home is tasty, rewarding, and economical! Learn here how you can make it yourself! A printable guide is also available here!
Before you get started, make sure you have the right supplies at home. Likely, you do! It just may take some imagination.
- Large glass bowl/jar (4 quart+)
- Basic Kitchen tools including: spoons, measuring tools, funnel, ladle, cutting board, knife
- Glass bottles with tight seals such as , flip-top bottles, glass juice jars with metal caps or reused glass kombucha bottles.
- Scoby (kombucha culture)
- 1/2 cup unflavored kombucha liquid
- Black and/or green tea
- 1 cup organic sugar
Don’t have a scoby? No problem! You can buy one online or better yet, grow your own!
- Take 1 cup of unflavored store bought kombucha and place it in a glass jar or bowl
- Cover with a towel or paper coffee filter, secured with a rubber band
- Let sit out of direct sunlight for 2 to 4 weeks . to grow a new scoby from scratch.
- If your kitchen is around 70ºF, you should start to see a scoby form in just 2 weeks.
- Allow scoby to become 1/4 inch thick before using it for a new brew.
The basic recipe
- 3 quarts of water
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 TBSP organic loose black tea or green tea or a combo (or 4 tea bags)
- 1 kombucha culture (aka scoby)
- ½ cup unflavored kombucha liquid
- Bring water to boil in large pot.
- When at boil, stir in sugar and remove from heat.
- Add tea and stir.
- Let steep 5-10 minutes then strain. Let sit until it’s cooled down to room temperature.
- When mixture has cooled, pour liquid into a 4 quart glass jar.
- Slip the kombucha culture on top of the liquid (it may or may not float right away) and add the unflavored raw kombucha liquid to the bowl.
- Cover with a kitchen towel and rubber band
- Sit at room temperature for 7-12 days (or more!) until it reaches desired combination of sweet + sour.
The longer kombucha brews the more acidic or vinegar like the taste; the warmer the air temperature, the faster the brew.
After a few days the scoby will start to form a new layer that is thin and transparent and covers the whole top of the bowl. This is good and normal; the culture is working.
Whenever you like the taste of your kombucha, in order to bottle what you want to drink, you need to remove the culture from the top. You can either place it in a new batch or in a glass jar with lid and some of the unflavored kombucha liquid to store at room temperature for the short term. The remaining liquid is kombucha!
It can be stored in a glass container in the fridge and drunk that way unflavored or can be bottled, flavored and aged to develop effervescence.
Be sure to save your scoby with 1./2 unflavored kombucha to start your next batch!
Flavors + Bottling
After removing the culture, pour your kombucha into bottles, add flavorings, cap the bottles, label bottles with date and flavor, and let stand at room temperature for 2-5 days to meld the flavors and develop fizziness.
- Berry: small amounts of chopped berries
- Ginger: ½ TSP minced ginger
- Apple Strawberry: ½ strawberry and 2-3 small chunks of apple
- Apple Mint: a few fresh minced mint leaves and 4 small chunks of apple
- Pineapple Ginger: ½ TSP minced ginger and 3-4 small chunks of pineapple
- Citrus: 2-3 chunks of lemon and 2 chunks of lime
- Get creative!!!
Grab a PDF version of this guide here!