Beginner’s Guide to Kombucha Making
Today, I am sharing my Beginner’s Guide to Kombucha Making so that anyone can learn how to make this probiotic-rich fermented tea at home!
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is basically a fermented tea that is made with a “SCOBY”. And what exactly is a SCOBY? Great question! It stands for “Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast.”
It’s this SCOBY that allows us to take a simple sweetened black tea and turn it into a delightfully effervescent probiotic-rich beverage. We can do this process at home for a fraction of the cost of buying it from the store!
Where do I find a SCOBY?
If you have a friend who makes Kombucha, you may be able to get a SCOBY from them along with a couple of cups of the starter tea culture. If not, no problem.
Right now, you can buy a large SCOBY and the accompanying starter tea culture online. Alternatively, if you live near a company that brews Kombucha for sale, they may also sell you a SCOBY.
Once you have your SCOBY, you’re all ready to make Kombucha. In this video, I’ll walk you through all the steps from brewing your tea, sweetening your tea, adding your SCOBY, and fermenting the tea to make Kombucha. And once you make your first batch of fermented tea, you can also do a second ferment where you can add all sorts of flavorings, including fruit, spices, and herbs.
Let’s Get Started!
So get your SCOBY and watch my Beginner’s Guide to Kombucha Making video as I walk you through this full-length class on how to make your own Kombucha at home!
More Probiotic Drink Recipes
As you’re learning how to make Kombucha, be sure to check out these other videos for making lots of delicious and nutritious probiotic-rich drinks.
- Switchel – The 18th Century Energy Drink
- How to Make a Shrub – A Drink From The 1700s
- How to Make a Pineapple Mint Shrub Mocktail
- Learn How to Make Water Kefir – A Probiotics Rich Fermented Drink for Good Gut Health
- Kombucha Starter Kit Unboxing (Including a SCOBY)
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Beginner’s Guide to Kombucha Making
- 1-Gallon Sized Jar
- Clean Fabric Square large enough to fit over top of jar
- Rubber Band or Kitchen Twine
- Large pot or Tea Kettle
- Measuring Cup
- Fine Mesh Strainer, optional
- 3 quarts Filtered water, brought to a boil and cooled slightly
- 8 Tea bags, black caffeinated tea
- 1 cup White cane sugar
- 1 SCOBY
- 2 cups Starter kombucha tea
- 2 tablespoons Distilled white vinegar, optional Only required if there is no starter kombucha tea available.
- 1 cup Strawberries, optional Only required for the second ferment.
- Boil 3 quarts of water.
- Pour boiled water into a clean, heat-proof 1-Gallon jar.
- Add tea bags to jar and allow to brew for 10 minutes.
- Remove tea bags and do not squeeze them.
- Add sugar to jar, stir well, and allow sugar to dissolve.
- Add SCOBY to jar.
- Cover jar with fabric and secure with a rubber band or kitchen twine.
- Place jar in a room temperature area out of direct sunlight (between 68° Fahrenheit and 85° Fahrenheit).
- Taste test the kombucha after 7 days to see if it is to your liking. If you would like it more tangy, test it again at 10 days or up to 14 days. Some people even let it ferment for up to 20 days.
- Once you like the taste of the kombucha, you can decant it and enjoy it as is, or you can move on to a second ferment. But first, remove the SCOBY and transfer it to a clean jar. Then give the kombucha a good stir and then remove two cups of this first ferment kombucha and add it to the jar with the SCOBY. Reserve these two cups for when you are ready to make your next batch of kombucha.
- In this recipe, the second ferment is done using strawberries.
- Puree the strawberries and then use a fine-mesh strainer to remove the seeds.
- Add the puree to a bottle (approximately a 16-ounce size bottle).
- Stir the first ferment kombucha well and then pour some of the first ferment kombucha into bottle, leaving a 1-inch of headspace.
- Stir well to incorporate puree with tea.
- Cap bottle and allow to ferment for 3-5 days in a room temperature area out of direct sunlight (between 68° Fahrenheit and 85° Fahrenheit).
- After the second day, begin to "burp" your bottle by loosening the cap and then re-tightening the cap. This will release some of the carbon dioxide created by the good bacteria and prevent the bottle from breaking under the pressure of the natural carbonation.
- Once the second ferment reaches the level of carbonation that you like, you may drink it as is, or refrigerate and then drink it once it has cooled.
- In a bottle with a screw top, the kombucha will maintain its carbonation for only a few days. If you prefer to maintain a longer carbonation, you will need to bottle the second ferment kombucha in a swing-top bottle specifically made for carbonated beverages as those sold by home brewing companies. (See video for cautions when using swing-top bottles. I do not recommend them for home brewers of kombucha.)
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Favorite Fermented Beverage Making Supplies:
- Large SCOBY and LIVE Starter Culture Tea
- 1-Gallon Glass Jar with Cloth and Rubber Band
- Swing-Top Bottles
- Glass Bottles with Screw Tops
- Masontops Kombucha Starter Kit
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