Starting Your Own Kombucha Mother




Introduction: Starting Your Own Kombucha Mother

Kombucha, like any other living thing, has a strong will to survive. If you start out with a bottle of store bought raw, unpasteurized Kombucha (you know the kind), you can get a fully functional mother culture within a week. It's cake. In fact, you would probably have to try pretty hard to NOT get a fully functional mother.

Also, if you are into things like taking down the man and Thoreau, this is a baby step to self reliance. Almost.

Step 1: Materials

1. A bottle of raw, unpasteurized Kombucha. I won't name names, I'll just say avoid the kind with juice added. I started mine with the ginger flavored one, but that wasn't my first choice.

2. A clean glass jar, preferably rinsed out with boiling water prior to use. Preferably a small one with a rather narrow throat.

3. Tea. Black or green, as long as it's got no additives. I used some kind of green tea in a tin with no English writing, and it worked just fine. My last culture I did with black tea, worked just fine.

4. Sugar.

5. Cheesecloth or similar cloth. I use sterile gauze I pilfered from a first aid kit and it works just fine.

Step 2: Step One: Make Sweet Tea

Make sweet tea. Brew some tea like you normally would for yourself. Teabags, loose-leaf...whatever.

In the jar you intend to start your culture in, pour in a few tablespoons of sugar

Step 3: Add Your Tea to Your Kombucha

Dump your entire bottle of store bought kombucha into the jar you plan to keep it in.
Then, fill up the jar with the sweet tea from the previous step. Add as much tea as you need to get the level of the liquid somewhere within a half- to quarter-inch of the top. As close to the narrowest part of the jar as possible.

Sample the concoction, make sure it tastes properly sweet.

Top with cheesecloth and put it in a warm or at least room-temperature place where it can sit undisturbed for a while.

Step 4: Wait Wait Wait

After a few hours, all of the gunk that you normally see at the bottom of your kombucha bottle will begin to organize into larger clumps and float to the top. Overnight this foamy thing will turn into something not unlike a man-o-war jellyfish. If you poke and prod your little jellyfish you'll notice that it's spread out across the entire surface of the tea with little a little invisible film. In the next couple of days this film will get thicker and thicker and take on the appearance of the familiar mother culture you've all seen pictures of on the internet.

Within the week you should have a small but thick and durable culture. In colder climates this may take longer, but that's remedied by just keeping it in a warm spot.


Step 5: A Summary

Honestly, if you don't want to follow all those steps just open a bottle of kombucha you got from the store, secure a piece of cloth over the top with a rubber band, and let that sucker sit around for a week or two. That will do essentially the same thing, only I like to think the extra tea and sugar speed things up.

Step 6: Brewing Future Kombucha Batches

Since I always just go with my gut instincts when mixing my tea and sugar, I get radically different results with each batch of kombucha I make. Before moving your tiny culture into a larger container(where it will get HUGE by the way) I recommend looking at other instructables for a good, consistent recipe.



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    70 Discussions

    I'm trying to research making it without a mother or store bought raw kombucha ....It started somewhere without those two things. Can anyone post a link to this information?

    I've been looking for weeks now.....PLEASE HELP !!!!

    2 replies

    the translation wins up rather odd but this should help if you or anyone else happens to still be looking

    Hi Melinda , me too. A scoby must be possible to make without purchasing starters. I see someone recommended buying a book. DiDyou come right? Is it easy , can you share please?

    Does anyone know how to grow/make a SCOBY with out having to buy a store bought bottle Komucha, a freshly bought SCOBY online or a Dehydrated SCOBY???

    I want to know how you grow/make a SCOBY from scratch.

    I mean our ancestors didn't have a store to buy a bottle or "Fresh" SCOBY online option.

    How did they do it?

    Everything online says to use a store bought bottle or buy a SCOBY online.

    I'm not interested in that.

    Again, without a store bought bottle or buying a SCOBY online.

    Anyone, anyone at all?

    Everything online only gives me these options.

    Thanks and much love.

    9 replies

    I was just talking about this today! The guy below, who makes scoby for a living, clearly didn't make his very first scoby from scratch, otherwise he would have revealed it. My mother used to make this, but I couldn't remember the exact process, I remember vinegar being involved... I suffered from the same frustration, so I used 3-3.5 cups water, brewed my tea, added 1/4 cup sugar, and 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar. As I'm sure you've read, everything should be sterilized to prevent contamination. I don't know if yeast Is necessary, as it should create its own naturally, but leave It covered for about a month in a cool and dry location. You should see results, and can also use the scoby topically, and to grow new layers of skin.

    Yes im wondering this too... i fermented some sauerkraut and one jar has a nice yeast bloom on top... can i take some of this and the ferment juice and add it to the sweet tea???

    A kombucha scoby is a baby, of sorts. Have you ever tried to have a baby without a mother? It would be impossible, as the baby is originally a part of the mother. That is what you are asking to do.

    The easiest way to get a kombucha scoby without paying anything for it is to find someone who has one and get a baby for free. Kombucha scobys grow a baby monthly and anyone who makes knombucha has tons of extra scobys. Look for it on craigslist if you need to!

    Disclaimer: I produce kombucha scobys and sell them for a living.

    it is the same as making your own vinegar = once you have made your apple cider vinegar with the skins & cores of 12 apples , it makes it's own scoby plant , so you will have the (jelly scoby plant ) in the vinegar , just break it in half and use it to make your Komucha scoby, I also make my own kefir I started from the store tablets , & my own sour bread , cheers Faith qld Australia .

    One- that is not a true vinegar, it's called apple scrap vinegar.
    Two- a mother of vinegar is a pessicle. Not a scoby. They are completely different.

    this recipe is out of a vinegar book ! also look up on you tube on how to make Natural vinegar .

    A Kombucha scooby is a live animal.... so you need to source the proper
    bacteria somewhere (buy a scooby, or get it free from someone) Sure it's found in nature.... so you can go look for
    it in nature :) Google "kombucha bacteria strains"

    hi Janos.

    Me too , it must be possible to grow it hour buying a store products?

    Did you find out how ?



    Will this make kombacha too? Can you drink the liquid as

    Kombacha? Or should the liquid be discarded after the scoby forms fully?

    1 reply

    the liquid that is left after growing your first SCOBY will be mostly acetic acid and very strong (almost unbearable). However, don't discard the liquid. Use a small amount of the reserve liquid, the SCOBY, tea, and whatever fruits or herbs you want to make your first batch of kombucha.

    Does anyone know the exact ingriedients of a scoby like half a cup of yeast- i just dont want to buy a bottle as it is apparently dangerous

    I brewed a batch of sweetened Dilmah tea in the hope of making my own scoby. It worked, I think, but my scoby is probably contaminated! There is nothing in cyber space that i can find on creating your own scoby from scratch.

    I'm trying to find how to grow a mother without buying a pre-made bottle. Is it possible to grow a mother without buying a mother or getting from a batch of kombucha? How did our ancestors start a batch when they didn't have one???!!!

    The price is now 5.98 on Amazon. The book title is The Essentials of Kombucha (the Manchuria Mushroom. I purchased it in 2012 after loosing mine then it was 2.50 i hope this helped