Make Your Own Kombucha at Home

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Introduction: Make Your Own Kombucha at Home

Here are the basics steps of how you can make Kombucha tea in your own kitchen.

Step 1: Boil Water

Boil enough water to fill a medium-large jar.

Step 2: Steep Black Tea

Steep two bags of black tea. You could use one filled tea infuser instead if desired.

Step 3: Add Sugar

Add about one fourth cup of sugar to the steeped tea. Depending on the size of your jar, you may want to add more. The sugar feeds the fungus that ferments the tea. You can always add more sugar if needed.

Step 4: Let It Cool

Make sure that you let the tea cool.

Step 5: Begin a SCOBY

The SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts) is what ferments the tea. If you do not have a SCOBY to start fermenting your tea, you can begin making it by simply pouring in a bottle of unpasteurized kombucha. Your first SCOBY will grow in about two-three weeks and will be about 1/4 inch thick.

Step 6: Dealing With the SCOBY

After growing your first SCOBY or if you acquire one, you will discover that a new SCOBY will grow on top of your first. After your tea has fermented, split the old SCOBY and the new SCOBY apart. Make sure your hands are very clean and try to do your best not to touch the SCOBY too much.

Step 7: Pour Out Fermented Kombucha

Now that the SCOBYs are out of the jar, pour the fermented tea into a clean jar. Make sure you pour slowly as the tea is very fizzy. You can store the tea to drink in the fridge. Also, make sure that you pour it into a glass as plastic reacts with the tea and is not good for you.

Step 8: Setting Up the New Batch

Pour your cooled black tea/sugar mixture into the kombucha jar to start your next batch. Leave about a half inch of room at the top for the SCOBY and the second SCOBY that will grow on top.

Step 9: Put in Your SCOBY

Put your first SCOBY in with the tea and give your other SCOBY to a friend to start their own kombucha. Some people take their second SCOBY and dry it. It dries into a leathery material.

Step 10: Storing the Kombucha

Before you let the tea ferment and sit, make sure to cover the jar with a cotton cloth with a rubber band sealing it. You can leave your jar to ferment on top of your fridge. It will take from one to two weeks for the new batch to ferment.

Step 11: Drink Tea!

Now you can drink your kombucha. You can add juice to your kombucha to add some flavor. If you drink your kombucha faster than the new batch can ferment, simply put the SCOBY of the next batch in a larger jar.

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    37 Discussions

    It wasn't real clear on when it's ready to drink or be bottled? Was the "old tea" drinkable errrrr what?

    There's not much point, it seems to me, in washing your hands really well, if you're not sanitizing the measuring cups, the jar, and everything else that is going to come in contact with the mixture you're making, just before using them. As with canning, the aim is to keep the recipe safe from potentially harmful organisms. And speaking of organisms, I suppose you could call this a chemical reaction, as you do, but it's a biological process the yeast is alive; it eats the sugar and grows. Great filming and great step-by-step. I'd just think you'd want to clean up your process some for your own safety.

    im a very how-did-it-start kinda person. how is it that adding unpasturized kombucha to start the "mother" fungus can start the whole thing? i just dont see how it can start. and where does unpasturized kombucha come from anyway? same process u explained? if so, how did the make they're first "mother" culture? i think u konw wat im talking about. thank you

    1 reply

    With unpasteurized(Live!) Kombucha, while bottled, the "mother" wont grow, due to the anaerobic environment. The bacteria responsible for the polysacharide mycelium are aerobic.

    Given oxygen(clothcover), sugar and purines(tea), the sleeping cultures in a bottle of live kombucha will awaken! The more acidic, the more they thrive.

    The bacteria and yeast in kombucha float around in the air, along with all the other molds, yeast and bacteria, IF you create a "must/wort", and DIDNT introduce a kombucha scoby or starter drink; There is a 20% chance you might spontaneously generate one given a prolonged fermentation time. Try IT the traditional way!

     You can use dried scoby for dog treats (they prefer it dried to fresh, as it's more like a jerky).  I read horses like it also.  You can eat scoby dried or fresh (I haven't done this yet, but read of others doing it).  There's even a method for using it as a skin treatment:

    http://kombuchakamp.blogspot.com/2007/09/what-to-do-with-extra-babies.html

    What would you use the dried scoby for?  Would you be able to use it(rehydrated)  later as a starter?

    1 reply

     Unfortunately, the scoby is unable to be rehydrated, (that I know of). I have just heard of people using the dried scoby for art projects. It can be strong, and when dried it feels like a leather.

    Be sure to never use a metal utensil in your tea or on your scoby - use plastic, glass, or just your hands! :)

    I was actually thinking about doing something like that also! We should definitely. It would be really awesome to have a community of people that share a kombucha family.

    Check out the new Kombucha Group I created!
    I'm going to be getting a mother from stasterisk here in the bay area,
    and I'd love to send my new ones on to someone else.
    Let's start a list of people who have some or need some!

    You guys are so cool. I would love to get started with my own 'brew' again. Recently moved in the winter time and lost my scoby. I would love another. Can you help me? the group sounds great, count me in.