How to Make Kombucha Tea - a Healthy Fermented Brew

by happynutritionist

Kombucha is a fermented tea that you can buy prepared, but why bother when you can make this tea brew with it's many health benefits at home? It's easy!

The image below of Kombucha that has finished the fermentation process looks exactly like what mine does when finished, right down to the type and size of jar.

I remember reading about Kombucha years ago when I was still new to the internet and my experience was limited to accessing forums through Compuserve. It was easy for me to believe the health benefits that were attributed to the brew because I already used many alternatives to traditional health, and have been for over 30 years.

Let me teach you a bit about how to make Kombucha, and the health benefits of this unusual and delicious fermented tea brew.

by Claudia aka happynutritionist
New on Wizzley - September 2011 - Updated 10/27/16

Intro Image Credit - Wikipedia Creative Commons, see below also

Kombucha Ready to Bottle and Drink
Kombucha Ready to Bottle and Drink

Have you ever made Kombucha?

Wiki Information about Kombucha

Kombucha is a tea-based beverage that is often drunk for its health benefits or medicinal purposes. There is limited scientific information supporting any health benefit and few studies are being conducted, although there are several centuries of anecdotal accounts supporting some of the health benefits attributed to the tea. Kombucha is available commercially and can be made at home by fermenting tea using a visible, solid mass of yeast and bacteria which forms the kombucha ...

First you need a Scoby

Some people call it a "mushroom"

A SCOBY is the leathery starter that you will need to ferment your first brew of Kombucha Tea. Some call it a mushroom.

SCOBY is short for "Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast" - and quite frankly sounds a little more fun and interesting than the phrase it is short for.  It is much like the "mother" that is used as a vinegar starter...in fact, if you let your Kombucha brew too long, it will become like vinegar, and can be used to make salad dressing.  The taste is a little different, but very similar.

You want to make sure that the source for your first Kombucha starter or Scoby is from a reliable source.  I have purchased them through the website of "The Happy Herbalist" in the past.  I have also purchased them on eBay and through other online sources. 

Complete Kombucha Starter Kit with Scoby

Or click through and search "Scoby"
Kombucha Brooklyn Home Brew Kit - simple and easy to use!
Only $49.99

I use black tea or green to make Kombucha

Prices for 6 Boxes
Celestial Seasonings Black Tea, Morni...
$24.36  $15.91
Celestial Seasonings Green Tea, Antio...
$18.34  $10.87

Kombucha is a Fungus some don't mind having among us

Kombucha Miracle Fungus: The Essential Handbook
$29.95  $3.81

Ingredients and Supplies for Kombucha Tea

Gather what you need first

You will need a starter kit like pictured above, or you can use what you have.  Here is what you will need:

  1. Tea of choice, for your first brew I suggest black or green tea bags, or a combination of the two
  2. Kombucha Scoby or Mushroom
  3. Sugar
  4. Water
  5. 1 T Apple Cider Vinegar - organic preferred
  6. Large Stainless Steel Pot - don't use any other type of metal
  7. Wood or plastic spoon - do not let metal utensils come in contact with brewed tea unless they are 100% stainless steel
  8. A large Glass Jar(s) - The recipe that I am giving you below is for a gallon of liquid.  I would not suggest a sun tea jar with tap because the sediment in the tea tends to clog the spigot.

 

9. Heavy Rubber Band and Coffee Filter or other material that will keep out fruit flies during fermentation, and at the same time allow for "breathing" during the fermentation process.

10. Smaller glass bottles for storage after the tea has fermented....remember, no metal should be in contact with fermented tea...you can use plastic lids or metal lids for storage if they are not in contact with the tea.

There are Scoby's available below, make sure the source is a good one!

Look for good reviews
1 X Organic Kombucha Scoby - Live Culture by Scoby Kombucha

You will receive one healthy Kombucha SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) approximately 2 1/2 - 3 inches in diameter and about 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick. The SCOBY will b...

View on Amazon

Poseymom Kombucha Scoby and 1/2 Cup Starter Tea

What You get will get a healthy KOMBUCHA CULTURE MUSHROOMs... plus STARTER TEA (about 1/2 cup) also detailed instructions on my web page how to start and re-brew your kombucha t...

View on Amazon

Kombucha Kitchen Genuine KOMBUCHA CULTURE (HUGE SCOBY with Strong STARTER TEA - Makes 1 Gallon)

This is from the same mother culture as our #1 best selling SCOBY on Amazon. The only difference is that this scoby is much larger and comes with more starter liquid. You will r...

View on Amazon

Kombucha Tea Recipe - How to Make Kombucha Tea

It's so easy! This recipe is for a 1 gallon jar
  1. Fill your stainless steel pot with the amount of water needed to fill the jars you are using to the top of the widest point in the jar, this recipe is for a 1 gallon jar.
  2. Bring the water to a full boil to sterilize, then allow it to cool to a bit under the boiling point.
  3. Add 1 and a half cups of sugar, stir with your wooden or plastic spoon until all sugar is dissolved.
  4. Steep 5-6 tea bags of choice in the liquid for about 10 minutes, until it is nice and dark
  5. Remove the tea bags, put a lid on the pot, and allow to cool to room temperature -or- when cool enough so that it will not break the glass, put it in the jar up to the top of the widest point in the jar.  Cover the jar with your coffee filter or other material of choice (to keep out fruit flies and dust) and secure well with the rubber band...allow the brew to cool to room temperature.
  6. When the liquid is room temperature, put a Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar on top of the liquid to help adjust pH.
  7. With clean hands, add your Scoby gently to the top of the liquid.  It may float, it may not, but as it ferments, it will form a NEW Scoby on the surface of the liquid, attached to the old if it floats, or above it if it sinks.  RE-COVER with coffee filter and rubber band.
  8. Allow to sit undisturbed on a high shelf if it is a cool time of year, if warm, any shelf will do, or cabinet, any place it can sit for over a week undisturbed.
  9. The fermentation can take a week to 10 days...maybe a few more days...depending upon conditions. 
  10. When it has finished the fermentation process, you will see the a nice healthy new scoby on top, and will want to keep the Scoby's for future brews.  Store them in a jar or zip lock bag not completely sealed with a couple of cups of the fermented tea in the refrigerator until you are ready to start a new brew...some get their next brew started right away.  You will use both the Scoby and tea to start your next brew. Now that you have some starter tea, you will not need the Apple Cider Vinegar for the next brew.
  11. Put your newly fermented brew into very clean bottles for storage in the refrigerator until you use it.  Keep it refrigerated so that it does not continue to ferment.

CAUTION #1:  On very rare occasions, mold may form on top of the brew...if you see any "fuzzy" looking moldy spots, green or otherwise, you will have to discard the brew.  I have never had this happen.  Make sure your jars and all things that come in contact with the liquid after it is room temperature are VERY clean.  MAKE SURE you make under CLEAN conditions.

CAUTION #2: When you first start drinking Kombucha Tea, take small amounts, a few ounces a day to start, and see how your body responds.  The good bacteria in the tea will want to overtake the bad, and some go through a cleansing detox. from the tea...you want to do this slowly. You will want to be familiar with the symptoms of detoxification

Health Benefits of Kombucha Tea

Other than being delicious

Many health benefits have been attributed to the drinking of Kombucha Tea.  I cannot attest to whether all of them are true or not, but can share with you what some of them are.  You can research further on your own through reading research that has been done. 

The biggest benefit attributed to the tea is cleansing the liver.  The liver is an organ in the body we often take for granted, but it does more than it's share of work in keeping our blood pure of toxins, the more toxins you take in, the more filtering the liver, as well as the kidneys, have to do. Claims have also been made that it aids in cancer prevention and building the immune system.  These are only a few of the many claims.

The medical community will tell you that there are few health benefits that have stood up to studies, but they've said that about other alternatives to medicine over the years that they now use themselves, so I'll allow you to decide.

A Guide to the Medicinal Benefits of Kombucha Tea

Kombucha Rediscovered!: A Guide to the Medicinal Benefits of an Anc...
$10.95  $2.95

Links to other Kombucha Sites of Interest

Some different tips on brewing Kombucha Tea

And flavoring the tea too!
Updated: 10/27/2016, happynutritionist
 
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?
9

What is your favorite tea? Have you ever tried Kombucha? Any questions?


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happynutritionist 18 days ago

@katiem2 Thank you SO much for the info about the sugar, I didn't know you could lessen the amount, and I wish you lived closer, could use a good scobie right now. Thanks for your comment.

katiem2 18 days ago

I love Kombucha, I have two gallons on top of my fridge at all times. I like to mix it with ginger. I always have fresh Scopy's if anyone living near me wants one they are free to a good home, other wise I have to toss them out, a girl can only drink so much Kombucha. Love this article very informative and helpful. Note: I do not like sugar so I add 1/2 cup of sugar to one gallon, it works just as well and ends up being near sugar free.

happynutritionist on 10/27/2016

@frankbeswick It appears that I have done an equal job of missing your comment! I'm so sorry, glad you enjoyed this.

frankbeswick on 01/09/2016

How did I miss this article! It is really informative.

happynutritionist on 09/03/2014

Yes, it is one of the fermented health drinks that you can make inexpensively at home if you have a starter, and they aren't all that expensive...or can be passed on by someone who makes their own kombucha.

Mira on 09/03/2014

Since I last read your article, I heard about kombucha on TV, on a cooking show. I forget what it said about it though :). Something about its health benefits. Your recipe sounds interesting. Thank you again for the article :)

Rose on 09/25/2013

It sounds interestingly different. I'll have to surprise my husband with it one day!

Mira on 09/20/2013

I've heard about kombucha but don't know anything about it other than what I've read in your article. Interesting article with useful tips, by the way!

cazort on 02/25/2013

I have only tried Kombucha once, in Austin, Texas, and it was something I bought pre-made, not something I made myself. It was really odd and I'm not sure I would be very interested in drinking it again. I am a huge tea lover, but I'm not a big fan of sour tastes, so I think I prefer just normal tea. However, I do think kombucha is an interesting concept and I find it interesting to read about.

terrilorah on 03/23/2012

Well thought out article, although I've never tried this type of tea before.


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