Let’s learn how to make kombucha together. Kombucha is a fermented tea that is absolutely delicious, healthy for your gut and full of probiotics. Save money making kombucha at home with this simple tutorial!
What is Kombucha?
Kombucha is a yummy, tangy fermented drink that has been growing more popular over the years! We have been buying kombucha on every grocery trip and I was wondering if I could start to make my own at home. Turns out, it’s really easy and you can do it for a fraction of the price! It’s immune boosting, great for your gut, and detoxes your body. Kombucha also can be an aid to digestion. As it sits over time, the tea, sugar, and SCOBY work together to ferment! Fermentation is an anaerobic process in which microorganisms like yeast and bacteria break down food components (e.g. sugars such as glucose) into other products (e.g. organic acids, gases or alcohol). Other fermented products you might be familiar with are yogurt, kefir, sourdough bread, and sauerkraut.
You’re probably wondering what a SCOBY is too. It’s the slimy, mushroom-like cellulose disc that is formed by the bacteria during fermentation. SCOBY stands for symbiotic culture of yeast and bacteria. While you can definitely try to make your own and use store-bought kombucha for your starter liquid, I suggest checking out Yeabucha or Cultures For Health to get started. It’ll pay for itself within 2-3 weeks of home brewing!
There are so many combinations you can try. I’ve made strawberry pineapple, strawberry, watermelon, tropical blends, and then a triple berry. I usually use frozen fruit, because you’ll get more bang for your buck! Some other combos you could try are mango cilantro, fruit punch (apple, strawberry, blueberries and orange), apple cinnamon, lemon lavender & honey, peach, watermelon, blueberry mint, and the list goes on and on! Now let’s get to talking about the steps to make kombucha. For your first brew, you’ll need the SCOBY and starter liquid and then you just reuse that same SCOBY and your own starter liquid each time!
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Then add about 3tbsp of organic loose leaf tea to a reusable tea bag or ball. I buy this tea which is ethically sourced and regeneratively grown. Drop the tea into the water and remove from heat, and let it steep for 6 minutes. Remove tea bag.
- Stir 1 cup of organic cane sugar into the tea. (I know you’re thinking this is a lot of sugar, but after the fermentation process it does not equal out to 1 cup of sugar) Once dissolved, pour the tea into a a one gallon jar, which will be your brew jar, and add 8 cups of water. Mix the tea and check temperature; you want it to be between 68-84 degrees. You can add ice if you need to.
- Add the 2 cups of starter liquid to the brew jar and place the SCOBY on top. Cover jar with a cotton cloth and elastic. I then place my jar on the counter, out of direct sunlight and leave it undisturbed for 7-10 days.
After 7-10 days, the next step is to flavor and bottle the brew. BEFORE you go to bottle your brew, take out your SCOBYs (with more and more fermenting, you’ll have more SCOBYs to gift to family and friends!) and 2 cups of starter liquid. It’s best to start a new batch while you’re bottling your brew that’s ready to bottle.
- Gather some fresh or frozen fruits. There are so many combos, get creative with it! Chop the fruits small and drop them into glass bottles. I’ve used mason jars, thrifted Grolsch glass bottles, flip-top bottles, and old kombucha jars! The mason jars don’t produce much of a fizzy-drink, but I actually like my kombucha less-fizzy and so do my kiddos.
- Stir your brewed kombucha, then use a funnel to pour it into each bottle. Seal tighty and store in a pantry or cabinet for 2-4 days. The flavor will develop each day until it’s put into the fridge.
- After the 2-4 days it’s time to drink! You can strain off the fruit, but we prefer to eat it (hello more probiotics) or you can compost it, give it to your chickens or other animals. The refrigerated kombucha is good for up to 12 months.
There are so many benefits of drinking kombucha and other fermented goodies. Trust me, your gut and body will thank you! When you make them at home versus buying from the store, you’re saving money and they are filled with good bacteria and can help repopulate your gut with the good stuff! It’ll help your body significantly more than if it’s been sitting on a shelf at grocery store for weeks. It’s also a great alternative to giving your kids juice. There is a bit of alcohol in finished kombucha, but trust me, not enough to get you buzzed or anything. A couple of other ways to use kombucha tea are for dressings and condiments, meat marinade, frozen treats, soaking grains, cocktails, and hair care! So if you find yourself with an abundance of extra kombucha, don’t toss it.
I hope this tutorial was easy enough for you all to understand, but please leave me any questions or comments below! I’d be happy to answer them 🙂
Much love guys,