How to Brew Kombucha Tea

Picture of How to Brew Kombucha Tea
Kombucha is a fermented and carbonated tea.  Many people drink it for health benefits, but I like it because it's delicious! It's very easy to brew and can make as much as you want.
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Step 1: 1: Supplies

Picture of 1: Supplies
Starting supplies:
1) Large glass jar (not plastic!)
2) Mother culture, or scoby
3) Sugar (I use turbinated, but basic white sugar should work too)
4) Distilled cider vinegar
5) Unflavored black tea (green will work too, but avoid teas with flavorings or essential oils which will react badly with the culture)
6) (not shown) Clean piece of breathable fabric to cover the jar of the mouth
7) (not shown) Rubber bands to secure the fabric to the jar

The jar should have a wide mouth for putting in and taking out mother and daughter cultures, and should be large enough to contain the amount of liquid you want to end up with. The best way to get a kombucha mother is to find someone who's already brewing some!  Each batch of kombucha produces a new daughter culture, so people who brew regularly tend to have scobies to spare. You can also find them available online.

Step 2: 2: Preparation

Picture of 2: Preparation
Make sure to wash your hands before dealing with the kombucha culture, to remove any oils that might kill the culture.  Avoid antibacterial soap, because residue from this might also damage the kombucha.  The culture will feel and look a bit like a small, slimy pancake.
joshbierton4 years ago
when you say "large glass jar" do you mean a large jam jar (1 pint sort of thing), or something larger (1/2-1 gallon)?
sorry to ask, but i couldn't really tell the scale from the images.
I stepped up my game by using a 1 gallon 'sun tea' jar like this - - which is easy to come by at a thrift store.

No more fishing out the mother or filtering debris while pouring.
caitlinmorris (author)  joshbierton4 years ago
The size of the jar really depends on how much you want to brew - larger jars will take longer than smaller jars. Something like a 1/2 gallon or 1 gallon jar would work well. I used a very big jar (a couple gallons) just because it's the only one I could find! You might be able to see the size comparison in Step 9 - the small jar with the checkered orange lid is a standard jam jar.
Xenel3 years ago
Head crab juice?
abadfart5 years ago
i think ill use old wine bottles for big batches  
Wondering how this worked for you? I can't understand how you are dealing with the culture (Mother or other!) If you did this with a wine bottle let us know how it is done please.
i just bottle it in them i use extra large pickle jars to brew in
Sorry for the late reply....
Thank you for clearing that up for me.
hellstudios4 years ago
What is a mother culture and were do you get it.
Officially, it's a "symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast" :)  It's basically the organic culture that eats the sugar and vinegar and turns it into some healthy organic acids that give the kombucha its delicious trademark flavor.

I'd recommend asking around to find a local culture - natural foods stores might be a good place to start!  If there's nothing local, you can search online for something like "kombucha scoby" and you should be able to find something there. 
lol i had my first glass of kombucha today and i love it I LOVE IT!!!! i am going to make the stuff at home and drink it everyday! thanks for the inctructable and the information!    take care       Levi
 When I first started brewing, I couldn't find any cultures around so I bought my first one on ebay... They have a couple of sellers on there and you only need to buy one, then they are self propgating... And then some :). 
I found mine off of craigslist. People are very willing to share considering how fast the scoby reproduces.
hishealer5 years ago

Carefully fermented foods like this can be really good for digestion.  I think I'll try to find a starter culture myself.