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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!

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

  1. Todd Young said… December 14, 2017
    just wondering if you filter the liquid once it has reached the fermentation level desired? You mentioned the settling of the SCOBY so i wondered if that is to be filtered out or consumed? thanks.
  2. Alastair said… March 9, 2018
    Can the scoby be used multiple times? If so, how many times can it be used? His much scoby is needed per jar? Thanks
    • Yes, the scoby is meant to be used over again. How many times you can use it depends on how often you brew and what condition your scoby is in, but it should last for a while. You'll only need one per jar - sometimes your scoby will produce a 'baby' scoby, which you can use as well (or give to a friend).
  3. Hi Meghan! I just made my first batch of kombucha using organic "raspadura" sugar, a very artisanal sugar with all the molasses in it that is very easy to find in my country. I let it ferment for 10 days (I made a small batch just in case it didn't work) and it was not sweet at all so I added it to some fresh lemon juice and made a delicious kombucha lemonade. Thanks for the inspiration!
  4. Diana Martin said… March 30, 2018
    Hi Meghan! How do you store the SCOBY after you have made a batch of kombucha? Thanks!
  5. Brandon said… April 19, 2018
    How do you share a SCOBY? If I break apart the one in my crock, can I share that?
    • You can share the scoby in a few ways - peel it apart horizontally, give away the baby scoby that appears, or cut it with clean, sharp scissors. Happy sharing!
  6. Sandy pressley said… June 17, 2018
    Can one use decaf tea to make kombucha?
    • I have found that my kombucha works better with caffeinated tea, because the scoby feeds on the sugar and caffeine. Very little caffeine remains once the scoby has done its work. However, there are people who have had success with using herbal teas.
  7. Bianca said… June 30, 2018
    Hello, my brew has formed a layer on top. Is this normal or have I not incorporated the sugar thoroughly?
    • Hi Bianca. I'm not entirely sure what you mean by a layer - it sounds like the scoby is forming on top, but I'm not sure. You should be able to see clearly if it's mold and not the scoby developing.
  8. Rebecca Digges said… August 3, 2018
    Can you make a Scooby? Also does the water need to be distilled or just filtered?
    • I've never made a scoby from scratch, but it can be done: https://www.culturesforhealth.com/learn/kombucha/obtaining-a-kombucha-scoby/. I find it easier to get one from a friend or purchase one. And once you start brewing, you'll get baby scobys growing that you can keep or share.
  9. Fraser said… September 14, 2018
    Hey, thanks for the recipe, but I'd really caution against using Earl Grey tea as the oils added to it are not good for the scoby.

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