Kombucha Newbie

6 16 oz bottle
240 hr 20 min

I am a newbie Kombucha maker. I found inspiration to try it after learning about milk kefir then water kefir; all great sources of probiotics and fermented food. Kombucha is great for digestion so added it to my list of beverages to try making.

Here is the bottling and making new batch counter chaos.

This is my scoby sourced from a local maker, it came with 1 cup starter tea which is just as important as the scoby itself if not more so.


The other 2 bags are kefir; milk and water. I will be sharing these soon.

This is my first batch of kombucha made in a half gallon jar. All the ingredients below were halved for this first brew to get things going.

Be sure to get pressure rated glass bottle. I am a huge sucker for blue glass so I chose the cobalt blue ones. This company is less then an hour from me so I did pickup but they sell on Amazon too.

The flip top lids are perfect for this product and the pressure it creates when fermenting.


  • Reusing store bought kombucha bottles and Grolsch beer bottles are a very economical way to bottle your beverages. 

I saw these at the dollar store but was warned DO NOT use these for kombucha, they are far to thin and most likely explode!!! Definitely not worth the risk even though they are pretty :)

YUMMY!!! my first batch; raspberry ginger :)


Another good idea is to open in a bowl to catch the explosive contents if they should do so. This one did :)


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Recipe details

  • 6  16 oz bottle
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 240 Hours Total time: 240 hr 20 min
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Ingredients

Kombucha ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. loose black tea
  • 3/4 - 1 cup sugar (I mix white and raw sugars)
  • 4 cups boiling water
  • 2 cups starter tea (from previous brew)
  • 8 cups cold water
  • 1 scoby

Kombucha supplies

  • steeping vessel for tea
  • 1 gallon glass jar
  • food thermometer
  • strainer (if using loose tea)
  • cloth cover
  • large rubber band or string

Instructions

Prep your sweet tea

In the steeping vessel add 2 - 3 tbsp of loose tea or equivalent tea bags and 4 cups boiling water. Let steep 15 minutes. Strain into gallon jar and add sugar swirling or stirring to dissolve. You can add sugar to steeping tea if prefer.
Add approx 8 cups cool water, mix and test to make sure the temperature is between 70-90 degrees.

Add a healthy scoby

Once the water is the right temperature add 2 cups of previously brewed starter tea to the mix and your scoby.
Cover jar with a tight weave cloth secured with a large rubber band or string. This prevents fruit flies and other insects from getting in and allows the liquid to "breath"
Place in a warm dark spot with good airflow for about 1 week. Test for flavor about day 5 and once it reaches your desired taste you can bottle this batch and start all over.

Bottling your brew

Once the tea is to your taste it is time to bottle. Remove the scoby and set in a measuring cup.
Stir the kombucha well, remove 2 cups of the liquid adding to the scoby in the measuring cup to start your new batch.
Some people like the kombucha at this stage. I prefer to ferment a second time adding flavor. Flavors are limitless and totally whatever you prefer. I used frozen berries and fresh ginger mixing in my Vitamix to puree.
Add your flavoring puree to the sterilized bottles - approx 1/4-1/3 cup per bottle. Fill bottle with brewed kombucha to top leaving a bit of headspace. Wipe tops clean and seal.
Let the bottles sit in a dark area for a few days then move to the fridge to chill before opening and enjoying your beverage.

Tips

  • Do NOT substitute honey or other sweeteners
  • Do NOT disturb the mixture for first few days. This is when the scoby is starting a new layer.
  • The longer you ferment the brew the more acidic it gets.
  • Store bottled kombucha in a cooler just incase they leak or explode from pressure then all is contained.
  • Do not place different fermenting beverages (AKA water kefir and kombucha) near each other as they may cross contaminate bacteria/yeast
  • If using fruit juice choose pure 100% and from the fridge section if you can. The ones on the shelf have a shelf stabilizing ingredient that is not the best for our health or fermenting but it will work.
  • Flavors are limitless, I like ginger/lemon or berry/ginger but plan to try so many more. I would love to hear your favorites below and any tips you may have.

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