A Guide to Homemade Kombucha

Kombucha is an effervescent drink of fermented tea that tastes mildly sweet and tart. It’s exact origins are unknown, but records show it has been consumed around the world for thousands of years. The probiotics and antioxidants present in kombucha support good health, especially gut and immune system health. I’ve written a more extensive post What Exactly Is Kombucha? which you can read for more information as well as an explanation of scobys. If you’re already familiar with kombucha and wanting to brew your own, here is a guide to homemade kombucha.

A Guide to Homemade Kombucha

Homemade Kombucha

Supplies required:
-large glass jar
-elastic band
-plastic ladle (exposure to metal can hurt the scoby)
-plastic funnel (as above)
-5 glass bottles

Similarly to canning, you need to thoroughly sterilize all your supplies prior to beginning. The kombucha will be sitting at room temperature while it ferments, and you want to ensure there is no chance of bad bacteria spoiling the drink.

3 quarts (12 cups) water
1 cup sugar
4 tea bags (black tea is most common, but others work as well)
1 cup of a prior batch of tea*
1 scoby*

*I was lucky to have a friend start making kombucha before me, so I was able to use one of her baby scobys and a cup of her kombucha for starter and she taught me how to do this. While I haven’t tried it personally, you can grow your own scoby from nothing.

In a large pot bring water to a boil.
Once boiling, remove from heat.
Pour in sugar and stir to dissolve.
Add tea bags and steep until the water has cooled to room temperature.
Pour into a large glass jar.
Ensure that the starter tea from a previous batch and the fresh tea are close to the same temperature.
Add starter tea and scoby.
Cover the opening with a cloth and secure with an elastic band.
Place jar in a dark cupboard/pantry or wrap with a hand towel if it’s on the counter.
Allow to sit and ferment for 5-10 days.

Use plastic ladle to taste tea each day after 5 days until it is a balance of a sweet and tart.
Remove 1 cup of the tea along with the scobys (there should be 2 stuck together now) and place into a glass container to save for future use.
Pour remaining tea into glass bottles using the plastic ladle and plastic funnel.
If desired, now is the time to add fruit, fruit juice, herbs, flowers, etc to flavour.
Allow to ferment for 3 more days at room temperature somewhere dark.
Place bottles into the refrigerator and enjoy as soon as the follow day.

Teas I’ve used:
-orange pekoe
-green tea

Add-ins I’ve tried:
-ginger (I read that ginger makes it more fizzy, so I almost always add ginger in addition to the fruit)

Have you had kombucha? Do you make your own?

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8 Comment

  1. Reply
    Janelle @ Wholly Healthy
    November 12, 2015 at 1:46 am

    I love ginger kombucha! I do hate how expensive it is so I’ve been wanting to start making it on my own. Looking for a scoby!

    1. Reply
      November 12, 2015 at 10:43 am

      That’s awesome! It sounds like a lot of steps, but it’s really simple to make once you’ve gone through it the first time.

  2. Reply
    Sarah Grace
    November 12, 2015 at 6:57 pm

    wow wow wow wow wow this would save me SO MUCH MONEY. I absolutely LOVE kombucha but its just so expensive! Now with this post, it just comes down to finding the time to follow your steps in making it 🙂

    Sarah Grace

    1. Reply
      November 12, 2015 at 10:02 pm

      Woohoo! I’m all about saving money. It looks like a lot of time and steps all written out, but it’s actually pretty quick and simple once you’ve done it before. I encourage you to try it out!

  3. Reply
    Izabel @ 2dishingdivas.com
    November 16, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    Looking forward to giving this a try. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

    1. Reply
      November 17, 2015 at 11:18 am

      You’re welcome. I hope you enjoy it! It’s simpler than it looks all written out.

  4. Reply
    Linda @ thefitty
    June 25, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    I actually don’t drink kombucha but I’ve always been curious as to what it tastes like! I’ll stick to my fermented veggies for now just because I’m a low carber. 🙂

    1. Reply
      June 26, 2016 at 3:28 pm

      Oh man, I love it! That’s great you have fermented veggies, so healthy for you!

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