If you love kombucha, and don’t want to pay for an overpriced drink, try making it yourself at home. Before long, you will have so much kombucha that you can share with your friends.
Here at the steps to create your own kombucha.
Clean and sanitize your brewing vessel. You can wash it with warm soapy water, but ensure you get all of the soap out of it before adding your kombucha.
For your ingredients you will want to have at least 2 cups of plain unflavoured starter tea. This will ensure that your kombucha is at the right acidity level, and it will ferment properly and will not go bad.
First you want to make sweet tea. There are 2 ways you can make the tea:
I like to steep my tea in a 4 cup French press. This way, I can use loose leaf tea and I don’t have to worry about straining it after. You can use a combination of tea bags and loose leaf tea to make your base, and add in 1 cup of sugar. Let it steep for 5-10 minutes. You want to combine your sweet tea with another 8 cups of cold water in your brewing vessel, and wait for it to be room temperature (between 65 – 90 degrees F or 18 – 26 degrees C). This ensures that it won’t kill your kombucha bacteria culture.
If you don’t have a French press, you can boil 12 cups of water in a large pot and steep your tea bags for 5 – 10 minutes. Add your 1 cup sugar. You want the tea to be quite strong.
Once your sweet tea is at room temperature, add in your starter tea and scoby.
Cover with a porous cheesecloth and secure with an elastic band. This ensures that your kombucha culture can still breathe.
Place in a dark space that has some airflow that will not be disturbed. A closet is a great spot for this.
Leave undisturbed for 1.5 – 2 weeks. At the start of 1.5 weeks, you can start to taste your unflavoured kombucha to see when you want to bottle it. The longer you leave it the less sweet it will be. The kombucha is feeding off of the tea and sugar and this is what creates the healthy bacteria. The longer it sits, the more “vinegar” flavour it will have. When you are tasting your kombucha, do not use any metal utensils. Only use plastic or glass.
When you are happy with the taste of the tea, then you are ready for the second ferment. You can transfer it to a bottle that can withstand pressure. I like to reuse old kombucha bottles, or swing top beer bottles. You can also purchase specific kombucha bottles. Do not use the cheap ikea ones, as those can burst. Once it is bottled, you can add your flavourings. I like to add fresh or frozen fruits and sometimes a splash of juice. If you are adding frozen fruit, microwave it for a few seconds so it is room temperature.
Clean off the tops of your bottle, and secure the lid on it. Place it back in the closet for another 3-4 days. Every day, or every 2 days, you can “burp” your bottle. This means opening the top to release some of the carbonation build up. If you forgot about it, open it up over the sink so it doesn’t make a mess. When you are happy with the carbonation level, your kombucha is complete, and you can store it in the refrigerator.
Tips and tricks:
– find a brewing vessel with a spout at the bottom. It makes it a lot easier to taste the tea, and also to make your next batch of kombucha. I found mine at the dollar store!
– Never use metal utensils to taste your tea. Always use plastic or glass.
– Your scoby may look weird or deformed. It is ok, as long as it is NOT fluffy and dark spotted colours (such as black). If you see any fluff, throw out the entire batch and start over. This rarely happens. The scoby can look pretty gross, especially if its your first time fermenting. This is a healthy scoby.
– use black green or white tea that is caffineated. This gives the kombucha something to feed on.
This is also a healthy scoby, even though it looks gross!
If you enjoyed this recipe, check out the other recipes on the blog!
- 12 cups water boiled
- 3-4 tablespoons of tea black or green tea or 4-5 tea bags
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups of kombucha starter tea
- Optional: Scoby
- Make sweet tea
- Prepare your container
- Combine sweet tea with your starter tea (and scoby)
- Place a cheesecloth on top of your container
- let it rest for 1.5 - 2 weeks
- This makes it carbonated and you can flavour your kombucha.
- You will use glass bottles that can withstand pressurization
- fruits or flavouring of your choice
- let it rest for 2-4 days (burp every 1-2 days)
- Refrigerate and enjoy