Step by Step Guide On How To Make Your Own Kombucha
Kombucha is everywhere these days. If you go to Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, or any other local natural foods store you will see shelves of different brands of Kombucha. I feel like I see a new brand every few months. GTs, High Country, Health Ade,and LIVE to name just a few. Why all the hype? Drinking Kombucha on a regular basis can help naturally detoxify your body, it contains many beneficials acids that aid in digestion, and it is full of probiotics which are good for gut health. The downside is that Kombucha you buy in the store can run you as much as $5 per bottle which is a lot especially for those on a tight budget! The good news is that making your own Kombucha is SUPER easy. All you need is some filtered water, organic cane sugar, organic tea ( black or green), a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of yeast) the SCOBY is what actually ferments the tea, and a large glass jar to ferment the tea in. You never want to ferment in plastic or metal. You can easily get a SCOBY from a health food store or online. If you have a friend who makes their own Kombucha then ask them if they have an extra one because the the SCOBY's multiply. If you like flavored Kombucha you can do a second fermentation adding in some organic fresh fruit juice or I find it easy to add in some organic frozen fruit which I always have on hand in my freezer. It may seem like you are adding a ton of sugar to your tea, but the SCOBY culture eats the sugar leaving very little sugar content in your finished product!! I'm a Kombucha junkie and always have some brewing. I drink it, my husband drinks it, and all my kids drink it. Locate a SCOBY and start brewing!!!
Servings: Makes 1 Gallon
- 1 Gallon of Filtered Water
- 1 c Organic Cane Sugar
- 8 Tea Bags ( black or green tea DO NOT use herbal tea as it can kill the SCOBY)
- 1 SCOBY along with some tea from the last batch (you can also sub in 2 bottles of plain Kombucha from the store if you are not able to get a SCOBY I like GTs brand!)
Directions: Boil approximately 1 Gallon of water on the stove in a large pot. When the water has come to a boil add in your sugar let simmer for about 30 more seconds until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and add in your tea bags. Let the tea seep until the tea mixture has come down to room temperature. This may take a couple hours. You DO NOT want to add hot tea to the SCOBY because this will kill it. Remove the tea bags, put your SCOBY in a large glass jar and add your tea mixture to the jar with the SCOBY.
Cover the jar with a dish cloth or paper towel and seal with a rubber band so that bugs do not get into your tea. Make sure you thoroughly wash your hands before handling the SCOBY, and the jar is clean so that you do not contaminate. Now your tea is ready to ferment so place it somewhere away from sunlight such as a closet. After about about 5 days to a week you can begin to check your tea. When it is done it should have a slightly vinegary taste, it will not be sweet anymore, maybe just a slight sweetness, and it should not have a tea taste to it anymore. The longer you ferment it the less sweet and more like vinegar your tea will taste. The ideal temperature to ferment your tea is around 70-80 degrees F colder temperatures will take longer before your tea is done. I have had times in the summer where my tea is done after just 4-5 days!
When you feel your tea is ready remove the SCOBY and place it in a new batch or store your SCOBY in some of the tea (make sure the tea is covering it completely) in a mason jar. Then put your other tea in glass containers and store in the fridge. If you decide to flavor your tea you can pour your tea into a few smaller jars and add some different berries or juice. Play around to what you like. When I use 16oz jars I will use maybe 2 strawberries and 4-5 blueberries/1-2TBSP juice. For a half gallon jar I will add more like 1/2 c of fruit or 1/4c of juice. Make sure to top your jars with an actual lid for the second fermentation, and place your flavored tea back into the closet for 2-3 more days. After 2-3 days your Kombucha will be flavored and probably a little bubbly. If you added fresh or frozen fruit you can just strain the fruit from the tea. It is perfectly normal to see some stringy/cloudy stuff in your Kombucha those are some small parts of the culture!!