The ultimate brewing and fermentation guide
Vats of homemade kombucha

To make kombucha at home, you’ll need the following ingredients and equipment:

Ingredients:

  • SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast)
  • Starter liquid (previously brewed and fermented kombucha)
  • Organic black or green tea bags
  • Organic cane sugar
  • Filtered or spring water

Equipment:

  • Glass fermentation vessel (1 gallon or larger)
  • Breathable cover (such as a clean cloth or coffee filter)
  • Rubber band or string to secure the cover
  • Wooden or plastic spoon (avoid using metal)
  • Funnel
  • Glass bottles with airtight seals for bottling (optional)

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to make kombucha at home:

  1. Prepare the Tea:
    • Bring 4 cups of filtered water to a boil.
    • Remove from heat and add 4-5 tea bags of organic black or green tea.
    • Steep the tea for 10-15 minutes, then remove the tea bags.
  2. Add Sugar:
    • Stir in 1 cup of organic cane sugar until it dissolves completely.
    • Allow the sweetened tea to cool to room temperature.
  3. Combine Tea and Starter Liquid:
    • Pour the cooled sweetened tea into a clean glass fermentation vessel.
    • Add the SCOBY and the starter liquid from a previous batch of kombucha. The SCOBY should be handled with clean hands or utensils.
  4. Cover and Ferment:
    • Cover the fermentation vessel with a breathable cover, securing it with a rubber band or string.
    • Place the vessel in a warm spot (ideally between 68-85°F or 20-30°C) away from direct sunlight and drafts.
    • Allow the kombucha to ferment for 7-14 days, depending on your taste preferences. The longer the fermentation, the more tart and less sweet the kombucha will become.
  5. Taste Test:
    • After a few days of fermentation, you can taste the kombucha using a clean spoon to check its flavor. The longer you ferment, the more the sweetness will decrease, and the acidity will increase.
    • If you’re satisfied with the flavor, proceed to the next step. Otherwise, continue fermentation until you reach your desired taste.
  6. Bottle the Kombucha (Optional Secondary Fermentation):
    • Using a funnel, transfer the fermented kombucha into glass bottles with airtight seals.
    • Leave about 1-2 inches of headspace at the top of each bottle.
    • You can add additional flavorings like fruit juice, fresh fruit, or herbs if desired.
    • Seal the bottles and let them sit at room temperature for another 1-3 days for a secondary fermentation. This will create carbonation in the kombucha.
  7. Refrigerate and Enjoy:
    • After the secondary fermentation, move the bottles to the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation process and chill the kombucha.
    • Let the bottled kombucha chill for at least 24 hours before opening and consuming.
    • Remember to keep some of the kombucha as a starter for your next batch.

It’s important to maintain cleanliness and hygiene throughout the brewing process to prevent contamination. Regularly sanitize your equipment and work in a clean environment.

Experiment with brewing times, tea types, and flavors to find your preferred taste. Enjoy your homemade kombucha, and remember to monitor the fermentation process and taste regularly to adjust the flavor and sweetness to your liking.

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