Brewing Booch 101

Supplies Needed:

  • Tea (black or green) 3-4 tea bags, or about 15 grams loose
  • 1 cup white sugar (evaporated cane juice)
  • Filtered or distilled water (No Cholorine!)
  • Kombucha starter
  • Kombucha Mother
  • Open top wide mouth glass jar (1 Gallon)
  • Tightly woven cloth to cover
  • Large rubber band or elastic
  • Thermometer

The Hard Part (which is not that hard)

Boil water and pour over tea, let steep for 20 minutes or more, and remove tea. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Let tea cool to 70-82 degrees, no warmer…no cooler.

Pour into a clean, glass wide mouthed 1 gallon (or larger) jar.

Add starter (plain unflavored kombucha from a previous batch.)

Add the mother to the batch, and say a few nice things about how nice she looks, and wonderful of a job she will do. 

Cover the jar with a tightly woven cloth (do not use cheesecloth) and secure with a rubber band around the jar, making sure there are no folds in the material. This is to keep out fruit flies and vinegar gnats. They are very small, fast and crafty, so make sure not to use cheesecloth and to make sure the rubber band is tight.

Place the jar out of direct sunlight (ultraviolet light kills our little probiotic friends) and in a warm space. 70-85 degrees.

Say a few more nice words, telling your kombucha how proud you are of it, and what great times you’re going to have together in the near future.

​Let the waiting game begin

After a couple of days a very thin film should have formed on the top.

After about a week the film will become more opaque, and you might even start seeing bubbles on top from the fermentation.

After about 10 days you may take the cloth off and dip a straw down the side with your finger on top, let your finger off for a second or two, put it back on the end and remove the straw. It should be full of kombucha.

Taste and see how it is. If still tastes very similar to sweet tea, the kombucha is still really young. You should let it go for a bit longer.

Wait a few more days.

Taste again. It should turn from sweet, to less sweet, to bland, to dry to tart/sour. Stop it at any one of these points according to taste. Most kombucha brewers find that over time, they begin to prefer their kombucha more and more tart. Many commercial brewers ferment for around 20 days, we ferment for over 25.

Harvest Time

Pour off 90% of your kombucha, and add the same amount of fresh, ROOM TEMPERATURE sweet tea back in. Replace cover, say a few nice words and put back to rest.

Pour your kombucha into a carafe or other container or bottle it, and then refrigerate.

Over the next several batches your scoby will get stronger and thicker, and generate new “daughters”. Layer by layer you may peel these away and start other batches, give them away, compost them or dry them and make unique gifts to give to friends and family.

​After More Fizz are you?

You may have a second fermentation by adding anything containing sugars to your bottled kombucha. This might include; honey, fruit juices, fresh fruit, or just more sugar. Then seal tightly, let sit at room temperature for a couple of days and then refrigerate. The yeast will digest the sugars, giving you little bubbles as well as a little alcohol kick, around 1-3%. Be careful not to let sit too long at room temperature as your bottles may explode. Open them every day or so to let the pressure off to avoid this.