Kombucha is a fermented tea drink rich in probiotics (healthy bacteria) – needed for a healthy gut! Probiotics provide the healthy bacteria needed to maintain a healthy gut and a healthy gut is needed for a healthy body. The intestines are where all the food nutrients are absorbed, and maintaining a healthy gut is key for proper absorption. All you need is a SCOBY, which stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, and a few simple ingredients. You can either buy a SCOBY online or from a healthy food store, or get one from a friend because every time a batch is brewed, a new SCOBY is formed. Properly research homemade kombucha before experimenting with it!
14 cups water
8 tea bags (I used a combination of 6 black tea bags and 2 green tea bags)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups brewed plain kombucha
1 gallon glass jar
clean cotton cheese cloth
3-4 1 liter glass bottles (swing top works well)
1. Properly clean all tools (especially glass jar and glass bottles). If using soap, be sure to rinse very well. If worried about residual soap, rinse with white vinegar.
2. Bring the water to boil in a large pot. Remove from heat and add tea bags, allowing to steep for 30 minutes. Remove tea bags, add sugar, and allow to cool to room temperature. I let mine cool over night.
3. Pour the brewed sweet tea into the cleaned/sanitized 1-gallon glass jar. Add the brewed kombucha and SCOBY. Cover the jar with a clean cotton cheese cloth and secure with a rubber band. Set the jar in a safe location away from direct sunlight for at least 7 days an up to 1 month. I let mine sit for 2 weeks. The longer it sits, the more vinegary it becomes – if you would like, after 1 week you can sample the kombucha to reach your desired flavor.
4. When done, remove the SCOBY and place into a clean glass jar. Use the funnel to transfer the kombucha to the glass bottles. Reserve 2 cups of the kombucha with your SCOBY in the jar for your next batch. (you can start your next batch right away or wait a week)
5. If you would like, at this time you can add a small amount of fresh fruit to the bottles to add flavor. Close the bottles and let sit for a few more days. Beware, if you add too much, the contents may become too carbonated and your bottle may explode! I like to add different flavors of berries – raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc… To be safe, “burp” the bottles occasionally to let out any excess carbonation.
6. After the kombucha sits at room temperature in the jars for a few days and is properly carbonated, store in the refrigerator and consume within a month.
Note: if you want to take a break from making kombucha, you can go through the whole process of making the gallon of sweet tea and let the SCOBY sit in there for up to 4-5 weeks. The tea will be undrinkable, so just dump it out (reserve 2 cups) and start over when you are ready to start brewing kombucha again!
If you have extra SCOBYS (every time your make a batch, another SCOBY forms!), you can store in a glass jar with a lid to prevent the liquid from evaporating. Store away from direct sunlight or in the fridge to slow down the fermentation process
If at any time you notice mold growing on the SCOBY, throw all of it out! Or if it has turned black, it has died.
Adapted from Taste & See