Making your own kombucha doesn't have to be difficult! All you need is a little patience and some creativity. Here is my favorite recipe. Once, you are comfortable with the process you can start to experiment with a variety of teas, herbs, fruits ect., to achieve various flavors.
First of all you will need:
1 kombucha culture with 1 cup starter liquid( strong kombucha tea) ¾ -1 cup of organic cane sugar (use ¾ cup if using a gallon sized jar) 4-6 organic tea bags or 2 tbsp loose leaf tea 1 large glass jar with cloth cover and rubber band (should be at least 1 gallon size) Muslin tea bag or strainer for straining your tea 1 gallon spring water or filtered water
Bring 4 cups water to a boil and remove from heat. Put your loose leaf tea into the muslin tea bag, if using. Close tea bag and drop into the hot water. Steep 4-6 minutes. Remove the tea bag and pour the tea into the glass jar. Add ¾ -1 cup sugar and stir to dissolve. Now fill the jar with cool water, leaving enough space for the culture and starter liquid + 1 ½ - 2 inches headspace. Make sure the tea is cool before adding the starter culture and liquid . Hot tea will kill your culture. After you have made sure that the tea is cool, you may place the culture(scoby) into the now cool tea. Pour the starter liquid on top. Cover the jar with a cloth and secure with a rubber band. Place the jar in a warm area (78-82 degrees Fahrenheit) with good air circulation.
Now for the hard part- the waiting. I know you will be tempted to disturb the brew but it’s important that you leave it alone for the first 5 days. By now your scoby mother should have produced a baby. This will appear as a thin whitish film on top of the kombucha. It may look funny, but that’s okay. Every scoby is unique and different. Allow the new baby scoby to remain for 2 more cycles of brewing. At that time you can gently pull the layers apart. Now you have 2 kombucha mothers! You may use the additional one to make more kombucha or pass it on to a friend. After 5-7 days, take a straw and insert it beneath the scoby and taste the kombucha. If it still tastes pretty sweet, allow it to ferment a bit longer, tasting each day until it suits your liking. If it tastes too sour remember to check it sooner next time. Sour kombucha can be diluted with juice or water to taste. Kombucha is done when is has a slightly sweet/tart flavor. You can check the ph of your brew if you wish. It should test between 3.2 and 2.8 acidity.
When your kombucha is ready, take the scoby out of the jar with clean hands and place it in a bowl with 1-2 cups kombucha from the top of your brew. This is for your next batch. You can pour the kombucha into bottles with tight fitting lids and place in on the counter to carbonate a few days. Check it each day and put it in the fridge once it’s fizzy.
You may choose to flavor your kombucha. If you wish to do so, place a few pieces of fruit or a bit of fruit juice to taste and maybe some herbs in your bottles before capping them. Try a combo of berries, fresh ginger and mint or lemon. Yumm!
For each 16 oz bottle put 1 tsp cacao nibs, 1&1/2 tsp fresh or frozen raspberries, 1/4 tsp dried or 1 tsp fresh mint in the bottle. Fill to the top, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Cap tightly, set on counter top for 2 days and then refridgerate.
For each 16 oz bottle put 1 tsp chopped cucumber, 1/2 tsp lavender and 1/4 tsp dried or 1 tsp fresh mint in the bottle.Fill to the top, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Cap tightly, set on counter top for 2 days and then refridgerate.
For each 16 oz bottle put 1/2 tsp dried hibiscus flowers, 1/4 tsp dried lemongrass, 1/4 tsp orange peel in the bottle. Fill to the top, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Cap tightly, set on counter top for 2 days and then refridgerate.
Here are some tips to make sure you have a successful brewing experience:
- The brew needs to be in a well ventilated area out of direct sunlight. The ideal brewing temperature is 78-82 degrees.
- Do not wash your utensils or hands with soap when handling the scoby. You can use vinegar to rinse utensils if there is any soap residue. Soap will kill a scoby so make sure to rinse everything well.
- Use glass, stainless steel, or food grade ceramic for brewing kombucha. Metal can leach into your brew and will kill the scoby.
- Never refrigerate extra scobys. You can store them in a glass jar with enough kombucha to cover them. Cover the jar with a cloth cover and place a rubber band around it. Feed them every few months with sweet tea and they will be very happy.
You can find lots more recipes, extensive tips and help as well as plenty of flavoring ideas and other ways to use kombucha on my pinterest boards. Just search for pinterest.com/lappitup.