What You Need
Ingredients – Makes 1 gallon
- black tea (8 tea bags or 2 T. loose tea)
- 1 c. white sugar
- 13-14 c. water
- 1-2 c. starter tea or distilled white vinegar
- Active kombucha SCOBY
- 1-gallon glass jug
- Plastic or wooden stirring utensil
- Tight-weave cloth or paper coffee filter
- Gather supplies: Ensure you have all the equipment and ingredients necessary to make your kombucha.
- Clean everything: When fermenting anything, it’s best to give the good beneficial bacteria every chance of succeeding by starting off with as clean an environment as possible. Make sure your jug and fermenting equipment are washed and rinsed of all soap residue.
- Combine hot water and sugar: Heat the water until it is hot enough to steep tea, but not boiling. Add the white sugar to the heated water and stir to dissolve.
- Steep the tea: Add in teabags or loose leaf tea. If you are using loose leaf tea, a metal tea ball can be used but should be removed before adding the SCOBY. You do not want the tea ball to come into contact with the SCOBY.
- Cool the mixture: Cool the mixture to 68-85ºF. The tea may be left in the liquid as it cools or removed after the first 10-15 minutes. The longer the tea is left in the liquid, the stronger the tea will be.
- Remove the tea: Remove the tea bags or completely strain the loose tea leaves from the liquid.
- Add in the starter tea: Add starter tea from a previous batch to the liquid. If you do not have starter tea, distilled white vinegar may be substituted.
- Add your SCOBY: Add your active kombucha SCOBY to the mix.
- Cover: Cover the jar with a tight-weave towel or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band.
- Ferment: Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed at 68-85°F, out of direct sunlight, for 7-30 days, or to taste. The longer the kombucha ferments, the less sweet and more vinegary it will taste.
- Pour: Pour kombucha off the top of the jar for consuming. Retain the scoby and enough liquid from the bottom of the jar to use as starter tea for the next batch.
- Enjoy: Your finished kombucha can be flavored and bottled, if desired, or enjoyed plain.
2nd Ferment for Flavor
- Remove the SCOBY from the finished kombucha and set aside for a new brew.
- Add the desired flavoring and mix to combine. (try sweetened tea, juice, etc. – experiment)
- Bottle the flavored kombucha in airtight bottles leaving a few inches of head space.
- Leave the bottled kombucha to ferment for 2-4 days at room temperature. Taste to determine if ferment is ready. Should be bubbly and taste strongly of your added flavor. Do not leave too long on the counter or your bottle may explode.