Start Brewing Your Own Kombucha

 

Stop putting it off and finally get your own kombucha going. You can get started without having a SCOBY and instead grow your own!

I mix things up by adding a cup of juice to my kombucha once it’s finished bulk fermenting.

I know it’s kind of silly, but I have a lot of regrets, and one of them is not starting to brew kombucha earlier. Brewing your own kombucha is simple and easy. Not only does it save money, but I always have a kombucha on hand! Bonus: it doubles as a host gift! Your friends and family will be much more excited to try your homemade kombucha instead of that mediocre bottle of wine that you picked up at the store.

I put off brewing my kombucha for years. I was afraid that it would make my apartment stink. I was worried that my roommate would be upset by having a big ugly jar out on our kitchen counter. I had been scared off with horror stories from friends, relatives, and strangers that told me second-hand stories about what would happen if a brew went bad.  I thought that I wouldn’t be able to tell if a brew went bad. I second guessed myself each time I saw a SCOBY at the health food store. Why would I pay $20 for a slimy mass when I just buy a bottle for $4?

My fears were unfounded. Brewing kombucha does not stink. I keep the jar off the kitchen counter and tucked in the living room corner where it’s out of sight and undisturbed. If a brew goes bad, it’s immediately obvious and I just chuck it and restart. If I’m worried about it, I do a google search or just chuck it and start again. I don’t buy SCOBYs, and instead grow my own from a bottle for $4. It costs me pennies to make a batch. I love brewing kombucha, and I wish I had tried it sooner.

Now is the time to start brewing your own kombucha! Grab a large glass container, a bottle of kombucha, and a kitchen towel to get started. It’s easy, and you won’t regret it.

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Brew Kombucha without a SCOBY

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Nutrition per portion

    Ingredients
    • 3 liters Water (tap water works)
    • 4-5 Unflavored Black or Green Tea Bags (preferably organic)
    • 1 cup Granulated White Sugar (regular table sugar works)
    • 3 tbsp White Vinegar
    • Large Glass Vessel for Fermenting (make sure that it can hold at least 3 liters)
    • 1 Bottle of Store Bought Unflavored Kombucha (GT's and local brands are my go-to)
    • Clean Dish Cloth (I use a tea towel, flour sack type)
    • Large Rubber Band
    Method
    Bring the water to boil in a large pot on the stove. Once boiling, turn off the heat and add the tea bags. Allow to steep for 10 minutes. If using loose leaf tea, I make my own tea bags using coffee filters and kitchen twine.
    When the tea bags are finished steeping, remove them and stir in the sugar to completely dissolve.
    Place a lid on the pot and allow it to cool completely. This can take a few hours. To speed things up you can put it outside if it's cooler, or fill a sink with cold water and place the pot in the sink.
    Prepare your fermenting vessel by pouring the vinegar into the jar, along with a cup of water. Swirl the water and vinegar mixture around the jar, being sure to get in contact with all the inside surfaces. Dump out, and rinse with water. This is a quick sterilization that helps to ensure that only the SCOBY will be growing in the vessel.
    Once the tea is room temperature, pour into your fermenting vessel and add your bottle of store-bought kombucha. Place a clean dishcloth around the opening, and secure well with a rubber band. You do not want any gnats or anything else to get into your brew!
    Taste the batch once a week by dipping a clean spoon into the kombucha. It may take 4-6 weeks for the brew to ferment fully. The longer it ferments the less sweet it becomes and the more it will develop a vinegary flavor. I like to have mine less sweet and more vinegary, so I let my batches go for about 4-5 weeks. The first batch will take the longest, and as your SCOBY continues to grow the fermenting process will speed up.
    Once your kombucha is to your liking, you can bottle it and keep it in the fridge or another cool place. When bottling you can add a couple tablespoons more of sugar (I add 2 tablespoons per liter) to make it sweeter or bubblier. You can also experience with adding juice, I add a half cup of juice per liter. Avoid using citrus juices, as they will not taste as good. Make sure to burp the bottles once a week! Remember: the kombucha will continue to ferment and build up gases. Don't forget about your kombucha, if left unattended for weeks it will explode!

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