How to Brew Your Own Kombucha
If you already love kombucha and you’re constantly spending loads of mula on your favourite bubbly drink, it’s time to learn how to brew it yourself!
It’ll save you some dough, AND it’ll allow you to control exactly how sweet you want it and what flavour combos you go for!
If you’re not drinking kombucha yet, here’s a few reasons to start:
1) Kombucha is an excellent dietary source of probiotics, which help to support the balance of your gut microbiome
2) Those probiotics can help to improve digestion as they work to help you break down and absorb your food more efficiently.
3) Those probiotics produce neurotransmitters in the gut, which can contribute to improved mood and overall mental health.
4) The tea itself contains polyphenols, which feed your pre-existing gut bacteria, further restoring the balance of the gut microbiome.
5) Tea contains anti-inflammatory compounds that may help to reduce pain, headaches, acne and other inflammatory symptoms
6) Both the antioxidants and polyphenols in tea as well as the probiotics of kombucha may play a part in increasing metabolism and aiding in weight control.
Convinced? Great! A few words to the wise before we start our home brew:
- Use smoked or roasted tea (SCOBYs don’t like it!)
- Use teas with oils (SCOBYs don’t like it!)
- Use brown sugar, molasses or honey. Your brew will not ferment as efficiently, SCOBYs tend to want the real stuff. Regular sugar, coconut sugar and sucanat tend to work best!
- Touch the SCOBY with metal (They don’t like it!)
- Brew with herbal teas only. The SCOBY needs the caffeine from black tea and oolong tea for the fermentation process. Green tea works, but not as efficiently. I recommend always having SOME black or oolong tea involved.
- Use a moldy SCOBY. It is unsafe and can’t be saved. Start again with a fresh SCOBY!
- Allow your SCOBY to be coloured by the tea (no prob!)
- Allow your SCOBY to float at the top, middle, sideways, however she wants to live! (no prob!)
- Experiment with flavours by adjusting the type of tea, fermentation length and flavouring you use! The options are endless!
- HAVE FUN WITH IT!
Ok, I think you’re ready. Let’s get brewing!
First, here is everything you will need:
- 1 L filtered water
- 2 tbsp loose leaf black tea or 2 tea bags
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup starter tea
- SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria/yeast) — comment below if you need one! I’ve got you covered!
- large glass brewing jar
- cheesecloth, coffee filter or old cut t-shirt
- plastic funnel
And, here’s what we do for the first fermentation!:
1) Boil the water and remove from heat
2) Add sugar and stir until dissolved
3) Add tea and steep for at least 3 minutes or until infusion is at room temp
4) Once your tea is at room temperature, remove the tea leaves and pour your sweet tea into your brewing jar. If you haven’t already, add the SCOBY and your starter tea to the jar.
5) Cover the jar with a coffee filter, cheesecloth or old cut t-shirt (really any breathable material will do!), and secure it tight with an elastic band.
6) Place the jar in a warm, dark place for 7-14 days. The longer you leave it, the more it will ferment, the less sugar there will be left and the more probiotics!
7) Once the tea is fermented to your liking, remove your SCOBY (you may have a new SCOBY baby too! that’s great! remove it them both and proceed!) and filter your kombucha into a stoppered glass bottle or another mason jar.
8) Store in the fridge to enjoy as is or continue on tot he second fermentation!
If you’re ready to add some flavour and some fizz, let’s move on to the 2nd fermentation together!
First, lets pick from your favourite fresh flavours. Here are some options to choose from. You can go with 1 or you can play with combining 2 or more!
- berries: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries
- stone fruit: apple, pear, cherries, apricots, peaches, plums
- tropical fruit: mango, pineapple
- citrus fruit: orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit (WARING: these tend to create some extra fizz & sometimes explode, take extra care!)
- herbs: mint, basil, rosemary
- spices: cinnamon sticks, cloves, ginger, turmeric, cayenne
- extracts: coconut, vanilla, almond
The possibilities are endless! Experiment and have fun with it!
Here’s what we do:
1) Add 1 or more of your favourite flavours to an empty stoppered bottle or mason jar.
2) Pour the filtered kombucha over to fill your bottle or jar.
3) Store sealed at room temperature for 2-14 days, depending on how fizzy you want it.
4) When it’s just how you like it, strain the flavouring out with a plastic strainer and fennel the kombucha into another stoppered bottle or mason jar.
5) Store in the fridge and enjoy your probiotic-filled super drink!
If you’re using a mason jar top, you will know it is fermenting when you can no longer push down on the cap. When this happens, either release and store because you’re done, OR let some air escape and continue to ferment. The longer you leave it, the more fizzy it will be!
If you’re using a stoppered glass bottle, you will want to burp the bottle daily to ensure it doesn’t explode. Again, the longer you leave it the more fizz you will get!
Good luck getting started! If you have any questions at all feel free to comment below! The process can be totally intimidating, I’m here for ya!
If you want a step-by-step video of how to do this thang, check out my instagram stories @realistic.holistic - kombucha brewing has it’s own highlights section! Please feel free to DM me there as well and tag me in your kombucha making journey! #realisticholistic
SHARE this with someone who you want to get brewing with and needs to start reaping those probiotic benefits!
As always, thanks for stopping by!
Kisses & kombucha,