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Quick and Easy Guide To Brewing Kombucha

 

Here we go, my friends. Quick and easy!

I recently posted a photo on my Instagram of the process of 'harvesting' my kombucha when it was done fermenting. I received so many questions about this and as I too was once digging around for a simple method, I felt it was time to offer some quick and easy directions.

Now I know there are several variations on brewing kombucha -- some people brew for a few weeks, then add more sugar to further carbonate. Some like to add fruit or other flavored teas.

The ones you buy in the store are often enhanced with forced carbonation, sugar and sometimes 'natural' flavours.

For right now, what I'm sharing is my most basic, almost foolproof method for brewing. I say 'almost' because when it comes to fermentation, there are no guarantees. We're working with living cultures, here!

Kombucha making

The hardest part about making this is actually waiting the weeks for it to be ready!

The Tools You'll Need

  • 1 gallon glass jar (holds about 3-4 litres)
  • 1 cup measure
  • 1 pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Cheesecloth
  • Rubber band
Easy Kombucha

Rating 

A simple guide to brewing your own kombucha.

Ingredients
  • 1 gallon of clean water (preferably not straight from your tap)
  • 1 cup organic white sugar
  • 8 organic caffeinated tea bags (I recommend an organic Earl Grey)
  • ½ cup kombucha (optional*)
  • 1 SCOBY (get one online, at your local health food store or from a health loving friend!)

Make It Like So
  1. Fill your gallon jug with water and then pour that into your pot. (This is an easy way to measure the volume you need.)
  2. Bring water to a boil and remove from heat. Add sugar and tea. Stir and allow to steep with the lid off. You want your water to cool to room temperature.
  3. Once water has cooled to where you can stick your finger in and it's neither too hot nor too cold, transfer it to your clean gallon jar. Stir in the ½ cup of kombucha*. Use your wooden spoon to add your SCOBY.
  4. Cover with cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band. Keep in a slightly warm spot, like beside your oven or on top of your fridge. By the window in the winter would be a bad idea as the cooler the area, the longer it will take to ferment.
  5. Be patient. Let sit for 2-4 weeks. Start tasting it after two weeks and then every few days until it's to your desired taste.
  6. *If you don't have a ½ cup of kombucha, it's okay. This simply acts as a starter. It just might mean your kombucha will take a little longer to ferment.

Notes
I personally like to leave my kombucha for about four weeks. I want that sugar digested fully by the SCOBY so my brews are fairly strong and not that sweet. Usually ¼ cup is all I can sip on at one time. This is truly healing kombucha.
If you like your kombucha sweeter, that's cool too. Just know that when you're buying the storebought kind, if it tastes super sweet, that's because it is. I'd recommend fermenting until it's no longer sweet and than sweetening as you like, for example, by squeezing in a little fresh orange or blueberry juice.

Additional Notes
You can add flavoured tea bags to your brew by using 4-6 black tea bags and then adding, say, 2-4 peppermint or ginger tea bags.

It's best to keep your SCOBY away from direct contact with metal. I don't know why, but I remember someone telling me this.

It's best to use a plain organic white sugar. It's the sugar the SCOBY wants, so adding a whole coconut sugar or sucanut can interfere with the process. Once you've done it a few times with organic sugar, I invite you to play with other sweeteners. Let me know how it goes!

I know that kombucha brewing can be a personal thing. If you have your own preferred methods or tips, I invite you to share them below.

Happy brewing!

 

78 Responses to “Quick and Easy Guide To Brewing Kombucha”

  1. Maite Bou said…
    Hi Meghan! Can I ask you what temperature is your kombucha brewing? I let mine brew for about 8-9 weeks but still tastes a bit sweet. Thanks!
  2. Simone said… July 31, 2020
    Hi Meghan, so we tried our hand at kombucha recently, my husband got the scoby from a co-worker. Everything was going well but we had a lot of fruit flies interested in it. We set traps but my husband found a couple that snuck in through the cheesecloth. He removed them, but last night we saw some larvae on the surface. The kombucha is actually ready but we were really bummed out. Has this ever happened to you? He removed the scoby, and it was just a few larvae on the top skin like surface. Do you think we can salvage it?
    • My motto is always, when it doubt throw it out. I know it can be a bummer to toss anything for sure, but you also don't want to ingest something that could put you at risk. Setting fruit fly traps are a good option. You could also try double/tripling the layer of cheesecloth so the flies can't get in, or use a tea towel - there will be enough fabric to block the flies, but still allow for air circulation.
  3. Susie said… August 28, 2020
    Hey there! I have brewed in the past, but not in about 4 years. I never stuck to the caffeinated tea rule and my kombucha always turned out beautifully. I just make mine a mint tea 99% of the time. Do you know why caffeine is always recommended, if it is the sugar that the scoby feeds on? Thanks!
    • Hi Susie! The SCOBY will also feed on the caffeine, but you can also make great kombucha with herbal teas too. So if mint works for you, then use it!

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