Make Your Own Kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been consumed for thousands of years.
Not only does it have the same health benefits as tea — it’s also rich in beneficial probiotics.
Kombucha also contains antioxidants, can kill harmful bacteria and may help fight several diseases.
Kombucha is a probiotic-rich tea with many potential health benefits.
You can purchase it in stores or make it yourself at home. However, be sure to prepare it properly.
Contaminated or over-fermented kombucha can cause serious health problems and even death. Homemade kombucha may also contain up to 3% alcohol.
The safer option is to buy kombucha at a store or online. Commercial products are tasty and considered alcohol-free, as they must contain less than 0.5% alcohol.
Try a local producer and even grab your own starter kit from our friends at Hoochy Booch!
However, check the ingredients and try to avoid brands that are high in added sugar.
Make your own kombucha using our simple recipe.
Prep time: 10 minutes to boil tea, 30 minutes to bottle kombucha between each batch
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: 8 litres of kombucha
Special equipment: 8 L glass jar (or equivalent in smaller jars)
- 1 Kombucha SCOBY
- 8 black or green tea bags
- 1 cup of organic granulated white sugar
- 16 cups/4 L of water
- 1 cup of kombucha
- Boil 16 cups/4 L of water in a large pot on the stove.
- Once the water boils, add all 8 tea bags and allow them to steep for 20 minutes. Remove the tea bags.
- Add your sugar and stir to combine.
- Cover the pot and leave to cool (I leave mine overnight.)
- Once the tea has cooled, pour it into your large glass jar. Dilute tea by half by adding water… this can also be done to cool tea quickly before adding your SCOBY.
- Place the SCOBY into the jar. If you are using multiple jars, make sure there is a piece of SCOBY in each jar. DO NOT let your SCOBY touch metal…this will kill the culture. Use a wooden spoon or your hands to transport it between batches.
- If you have already have kombucha at home, also pour 1 cup of kombucha into the jar. If this is your first batch, you can omit this step or add some from a bottle of store-bought kombucha.
- Leave the lid off of the jar but cover with a clean dishcloth and secure with a rubber band. This step is to keep the critters out of your kombucha.
- Leave the kombucha to ferment for 7-14 days in a dark cupboard. You can test the taste to see when it’s ready. Once the sugar is fermented it will lose it’s sweet flavour and start to become sour or vinegary.
- Fermenting kombucha is a temperature sensitive process, so it will ferment more quickly if you live in a hot apartment (>20 C). It will also ferment more slowly in the winter or if your house is cooler (<18 C). To keep your kombucha a more constant temperature, keep it in lower cupboards in the warmer weather. If your house is cool you can either wrap your jars with additional dish cloths/towels, or get a reptile mat to place under the jar.
- For extra probiotic goodness, bottle/jar your Kombucha with a lid after 7-14 days and return it to the cupboard for another 3-5 days. This will allow your Kombucha to ferment further, carbonate and become fizzy. This is called the second ferment period.
- Mix it up during the second ferment by adding berries, shredded ginger or real fruit juice to your bottles/jars before filling with Kombucha (these are the jars without the SCOBY).
- Once your Kombucha has fermented in bottles/jars for 2-5 days, place it in the fridge. Your Kombucha will keep for up to 30 days. Enjoy about 1 cup (250 mL) of Kombucha per day, best served with breakfast.
- Don’t forget to repeat the recipe so you never run out! You will notice that your original SCOBY will have grown a new top layer. Separate the two and KEEP the NEW TOP SCOBY. Discard or give away the older, bottom SCOBY. Be sure to add about 1 cup of Kombucha to your new batch.
We hope you enjoy making your own kombucha at home!