Making Home-brewed Kombucha

This is an easy kombucha recipe that you can use as a base. Add flavorings once the kombucha is bottled or try using different types of tea (green tea or black teas, although black teas are easiest to “feed” to your scoby.

Don't let the many steps deter you from making your very own kombucha. It's quite easy to keep up, especially if you've ever tried your hand at sourdough. Just set a reminder on your phone for when it's time to bottle and refresh your kombucha. Brewing your own will be far cheaper and taste a whole lot better. You'll have full control over all the ingredients. Plus you'll be able to easily modify your bottled kombucha by adding anything you like to the brewed kombucha, such as syrups, crushed berries, citrus fruits or grated fresh ginger. 

If you want to use roiboos, it's easiest to use one with black or green tea in it. For example, I have a green tea with roiboos in it which seems to work just fine. The SCOBY will have difficulty surviving with a roiboos tea.

Basic Home-Brewed Kombucha (Makes around 1L)

1/2 cup sugar
6 cups hot, not boiling, water
4 tea bags
1 cup of kombucha
1 active scoby

Importantly, don’t let your scoby touch metal, as the bacteria may die when it comes into contact with metal. 

Part I: Making the tea

In a large bowl or heat proof container, mix your sugar with your warm water. You may need to stir a little, just don’t leave your spoon in, especially if it’s a metal spoon. Add your tea and leave to steep for 15 minutes. Remove the tea bag after 15 minutes and leave to come to room temperature. Once at room temperature add a cup of kombucha (the one you’re about to bottle). Ideally, take it from the top, which is usually more vinegary. Carefully add your scoby to the mixture so it stays hydrated.

Part II: Bottling your finished kombucha

Sterilize your bottles by pouring boiling water over and into them. Empty them safely and let them come to room temperature. With a sieve and funnel, start bottling your finished kombucha. Leave in the fridge for a few days where it will create bubbles. Beware of the pressure buildup inside your bottle. It might be wise to open the bottle once in a while to let the pressure out. Finished kombucha will keep for about a month.

Part III: Making your new kombucha

Carefully put your scoby aside on a plate for a few minutes, while you transfer the tea from part I to your brewing container or jar. You may need a funnel to help with this. When all your tea is in the container, add your scoby. Leave your container uncovered, except for a cloth, due to pressure buildup. Find a safe spot to leave it where it won’t be disturbed. Ideally somewhere at a constant room-temperature, undisturbed and dark. Leave it to brew for about a week, when your next batch of kombucha will be ready. Depending on the temperature and your taste, your kombucha could be ready anywhere between 5-10 days.