Introduction: Turn Second-Hand Punch Bottles Into Kombucha / Water Kefir Jars

About: I enjoy hiking and plant foraging... but most of time I do chores!

I like to grow water kefir and kombucha at home. If you're already interested in either of these, you've probably heard of the health claims that these soda-like drinks have. I like them because they have good flavor, and because the caffeine and B-vitamins act like an energy drink. In this instructable, I'll show how to convert a typical punch jar into one suitable for brewing water kefir or kombucha.

Step 1: Cleanup

In this step, clean up the jar:
  1. Remove any stickers. Goo gone works great for this purpose.
  2. Disassemble the jar spout. Spray and soak this in bleach.
  3. Spray and soak the jar with bleach.

Step 2: Lid Preparation

In this step, prepare the lid:
  1. Cut out a circle of cotton fabric.
  2. Use a larger plate as a template.
  3. Cut using a razor blade.
Secondly, remove the upper part of the lid:
  1. Use a drill press / mortising bit.
  2. Sand rough edges with a rough sponge.
This is necessary to allow the kombucha / water kefir to "breathe". If this step is omitted, condensation may form in the jar which would be a perfect environment for mold to grow. If you have a serger or are married to someone kind enough to serge fabric for you, serge the edges of the fabric.

Step 3: Boil Tea

In this step, boil a lot of tea. You can use lower quality tea if you'd like since the flavor changes as the tea ferments. I happened to have some oolong tea that didn't taste great so I used it.
  1. Wait for water to boil.
  2. Turn off the water.
  3. Wait a few minutes.
  4. Add tea leaves.
  5. Wait a few more minutes.
  6. Add dark brown sugar.

Step 4: Combine and Wait

Once everything has cooled, the jar has been washed with water, and has been reassembled, pour the lukewarm tea into the jar. Use a strainer to catch tea leaves. Lastly, add the kombucha or water kefir and let it ferment. It should be ready in 3 days to 1 week depending on size, sugar, and temperature.