My family has been drinking kombucha for years. My kids love it and drink it regularly. For those of you who don’t know what kombucha is it is a fermented tea beverage that has excellent health benefits. It is very easy to make at home and requires very little maintenance.
What you will need:
1. A kombucha scoby (scoby stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). If you have any friends who brew their own kombucha you can ask them for a scoby as they regularly multiply. Otherwise, you can order a scoby from Cultures For Health and they come with really great instructions as well.
2. Sugar (preferably organic)
3. Filtered or well water
4. Tea – Please go here to see what type of tea to use. It is VERY important you use the correct tea.
5. Starter tea or distilled white vinegar
6. A clean glass jar
7. A wooden or plastic spoon for stirring (NEVER use metal)
8. A tightly woven washcloth or coffee filter to cover the jar.
9. A rubber band
Brewing your first batch:
1. Wash your hands very thoroughly as you do not want to introduce other bacteria to your culture. Also, be sure all your equipment is nice and clean.
2. To brew one quart of tea you’ll want to combine about 2-3/4 cups of boiling water with 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tea bags in a quart sized jar. You can double those ingredients to do a half gallon or quadruple them to do a gallon.
3. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Remove the tea bags after about 10 minutes or so. LET THE MIXTURE COOL TO ROOM TEMPERATURE!!!
4. After the mixture has cooled add the Kombucha Scoby and 1/2 cup starter tea or distilled white vinegar. Again, for larger batches you’ll need to add more starter tea. The size of the scoby does not contribute to how big of a batch you can brew.
5. Cover the jar with the cloth or coffee filter and secure with the rubber band.
6. Let sit in a location out of direct sunlight for 7-14 days (you can brew longer if you so desire). Start tasting your Kombucha around day 7 and continue to do so until it has reached your desired flavor. I usually brew mine for around two weeks because I like it strong.
7. Once it has reached the desired ferment then you can pour it into jars or glasses and consume. You may want to use a plastic strainer when bottling your kombucha so you can remove any of the culture from your tea. Repeat the directions to start another batch with your scoby and be sure to leave out enough of your previous batch to use as the starter in your next batch.
This site has an excellent video with the process of brewing Kombucha.
Flavoring your kombucha:
What! You mean I can FLAVOR my kombucha? YUP! This is something I had no idea how to do until a few months ago. I LOVE drinking the yummy flavored kombucha, but I didn’t know how to achieve that flavor at home. Well, you can and it is SO easy! After you have brewed your kombucha just add fruit or fruit juice to your bottled finished kombucha and let sit at room temperature for atleast overnight. I usually leave mine out for a couple days, but a good friend of mine leaves her in the second ferment for a month or more. Both of our kombucha batches have good flavor, so it really is just up to what your preferences are. There are lots of good flavoring ideas here.
If you have any questions then check out the Q&A here.