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How to Make Kombucha
June 10, 2020
I’ve been making/brewing kombucha for a couple years and have mentioned it on social media and in a blog post or two and have received so many comments on how I make it. I always share the link to this post from Kitchn that I used to get started, but you guys still want to know. So here goes!
First of all, making kombucha is not for everyone – my sister is the one that got me into it and I teased her about it for years and was kind of weirded out by it BUT things change, I did my research, we tried it (and loved it), and decided to give it a try. Years later, this is still one of the things we make weekly around here (go here for other things I meal prep every week) and besides tasting good, it’s also great for the immune system, full of probiotics, and a great alternative to sugary drinks. If you haven’t tried kombucha, grab a bottle at the grocery store and see if you even like the tart/tangy flavor and bubbly nature.
Please note: I have every single product I use linked in my Amazon shop under ‘kombucha’.
How to Make Kombucha
To make kombucha, you need a ‘scoby’ (culture of bacteria and yeast). If you don’t have a friend that you can get a scoby from, you can find them online in a starter tea as well (I linked a good one in my Amazon shop). This is one that I split off for my sister-in-law last week.
KOMBUCHA SUPPLY LIST:
I use organic ingredients for kombucha, from everything I’ve read, organic ingredients make better kombucha. Use what works for you!
- scoby – starter culture
- 1-2 large gallon jugs – I use one for the existing kombucha and one to brew the tea in. When the tea is made, I put the empty jar in the dishwasher.
- six to eight 16-18 oz bottles or a couple large canning jars
- filtered tap water
- 8 organic black tea bags
- 1 cup sugar
- organic lemonade
- frozen or fresh fruit
Steps to Make Kombucha:
Boil filtered water – I fill my tea kettle, boil that and pour it over 8 black tea bags that I’ve placed in my jar.
Add 1 cup sugar to the hot water/tea in the making. Stir to dissolve and let that steep for a good 30 minutes or so.
Allow to fully cool to room temperature – if you’re in a rush, you can add a bit of cold water but make sure you leave room for about 2 cups of the kombucha from your other jar.
WASH your hands if you handle the scoby – you don’t want any bacteria getting into the new brew or you can use tongs. Add the scoby and 2 cups of the kombucha liquid – add a breathable/muslim or coffee filter secured with a rubber band to cover the jar and store in a cool, dark place that’s about 72-80 degrees fahrenheit. Sometimes when you put the scoby in it looks like this but it will rise to the top in a couple minutes.
Bottle the Jars for Drinking
Now that you have your next batch ready to ferment, you need to process your kombucha for a second fermentation. Make sure your jars and supplies are clean. I run everything through the dishwasher.
Pour 2 ounces of lemonade into each jar – I use a funnel to make this a little less messy.
Add 4-5 pieces of fruit to each jar – I use frozen dark cherries or blueberries from Costco – we’ve tried some other fruits and these are our favorites.
Carefully pour the kombucha on top of the lemonade/fruit mixture – I use a strainer to ensure that there isn’t any gunk going into the jars (you’ll see what I mean when you make it).
Continue until you have filled your jars.
Once you’ve filled your jars, add a lid to each one and place it in a cool, dark place for another day or two and then put in your refrigerator to stop the fermentation. We usually drink these up within a couple days of brewing – my kids will split one jar between them. We strain the liquid into a drinking glass so we keep out the fruit and the baby scoby that sometimes forms in each jar.
A couple other tips: I don’t use a thermometer but I know that where I store the kombucha is around 75 degrees continually. You can use a thermometer on your jar to gauge where you’re at for temperature too. I did grab some pH strips to check the pH for fermentation – the pH should be between 2.5-3.
You can find all my favorite kombucha supplies linked in my Amazon shop under ‘kombucha’.