How to Brew Kombucha Tea
Kombucha is a fermented tea which is drank for it's amazing health benefits. These benefits include B vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, and most notably a lot of probiotics. Buying kombucha regularly can get expensive so here is a cheap and easy way to brew your own. Enjoy!
Things you’ll need:
1 gallon glass sun tea jar (no plastic or metal parts except the cap, which won’t be used)
1 gallon distilled water (yes distilled is ideal, reverse osmosis water will work, though)
1 kombucha starter (A.K.A. scoby)
1 cup of sugar (cane juice, sucanat, or coconut)
6-8 tea bags or 1 weighed ounce of any type of loose tea or herb (optional)
1 tea kettle (or a quart sauce pan with a lid)
1 rubber band
1 coffee filter or cheesecloth
Fill glass jar 2/3 full with distilled water, then add the sugar. Stir with a wooden spoon. Never use any metal utensils or let any metal touch the kombucha. A plastic spoon can be used but isn’t ideal.
Add the kombucha starter/scoby to the glass jar. It might sink or it might float. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s in there. Eventually they all float.
Fill the tea kettle with distilled water and bring to a rolling boil. As soon as the boil starts, turn off heat and add tea bags or loose tea/herb. Cover and let steep until the water is cool to the touch. When cool, remove tea bags or loose tea and pour the liquid tea into the glass jar.
*Optional alternative to Step 3 — If you prefer a plain, unflavored kombucha, skip Step 3. Only add more distilled water to the jar, so the jar is filled to about two inches below the brim.
Cover the opening of the jar with the coffee filter/cheesecloth and rubber band. Set the jar in a spot that is out of the way, at room temperature. You do not need sunlight or complete darkness, but either is ok.
Don’t touch it for at least 10-15 days. Your first batch of tea usually takes longer as the scoby grows. If you prefer sweeter kombucha, then stop earlier. If you prefer a more vinegar tasting (healthier) kombucha, then let it sit for up to 21 days or even longer.
From here people do different things. You can second ferment the tea by pouring into jars and adding fruit puree, coconut water, or more cane sugar. Then let sit at room temperature for a few days before refrigerating. Another option is to pour into jars or bottles, cap, and refrigerate to be enjoyed later. Lastly, you can pour from the big jar as you want a glass.
I suggest pouring all of the tea into another container(s) and to leave your scoby in the big jar. This allows you to start the next batch while you enjoy the previous. My scoby only leaves the big jar when it’s time to be culled or for the occasional cleaning of the jar. Should you not be using your scoby, for more than three weeks, it is a good idea to tear off a chuck and put in a small jar with water and a little sugar. Put this jar in the refrigerator and it will keep for many months.
Kombucha is difficult to screw up, so be confident and have fun!