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Beginner's Guide to Kombucha Making

Learn how to make your own Kombucha at home, and enjoy this simple sweetened black tea that is a delightfully effervescent probiotic-rich beverage.
Prep Time30 mins
Course: Beverages
Cuisine: Eastern European
Keyword: Fermented Beverages
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Mary's Nest

Equipment

  • 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

Ingredients

  • 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.

Instructions

  • 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.)

Video

Notes

Find this recipe and video at https://marysnest.com/beginners-guide-to-kombucha-making/
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