Brewing kombucha at home can be fun and rewarding. Kombucha is a fermented form of black tea that contains probiotics and antioxidants. When you allow the tea to ferment with the right cultures of bacteria and yeast, it will enchance the health benefits of the drink. It will take a small investment to get started brewing at home, but if you drink it regularly it will pay for itself in time.
For Home Brewing You will Need :
- 1-Gallon Glass Fermenting Vessel
- 1-Gallon water (well or distilled water preferred)
- 1 French Press
- 1 Tea Kettle
- 1 small cloth and rubber band
- 1 Bottle Funnel (stainless preferred)
- 6 16-oz Bottles
- 1 Medium Container for storing SCOBY between brewings
- 1-SCOBY plus starter tea
- 8-Tablespoons Black or Green Tea Leaves (Organic preferred)
- 1-Cup Sugar (Turbinado or Evaporated Cane Juice preferred)
For this guide I will explain brewing the kombucha first and then bottling.
First start by gathering the fermenting vessel, tea kettle, tea, and sugar. Fill the tea kettle to capacity and bring to a boil. While the water is warming, fill the french press with the tea leaves. Place the sugar inside the fermenting vessel.
When the water warms to boiling, pour it into the french press til full. Let the tea steep for 10 minutes, and when done, pour the tea into the fermenting vessel. Stir the warm tea and the sugar together so it dissolves. Take the remaining warm water in the tea kettle and pour it back onto the already steeped tea for another 10 minutes. Pour the 2nd batch of tea into the fermenting vessel.
Now that you've steeped the leaves twice, fill the remainder of the fermenting jar with cool water. Stir the tea and sugar mixture together, cover the top of the fermenting vessel with a small clean cloth, and secure it with a rubberband.
The tea mixture will need to cool to room temperature before placing the starter tea and SCOBY inside. The SCOBY and starter teas can be found online for purchase, or you can ask a friend to share one. Every time you brew kombucha a new SCOBY will form on the top so don't worry about giving them away.
When the tea mixture has cooled down, remove the cloth and rubberband, and place the SCOBY and starter tea inside. It is very important that the tea mixture is not still warm when you do this or it may damage the SCOBY. After the SCOBY is in the tea mix, you can top off the vessel with cool water if it is not full. Do not fill the water past the part of the bottle where it narrows. When the water level drops during the fermentation process, it may cause the SCOBY to become stuck.
Now your komucha should be ready to start the fermentation process. Find a nice dark area like a pantry or cupboard to store the brew. It will take 10-14 days for your first brew. Taste the kombucha after 7-10 days to see how it is progressing. Some people like it sweeter, and some like the sour taste. The less it brews for, the sweeter it will be. Brew longer for a stronger sour taste. Do not harvest your kombucha until a health new SCOBY has formed.
Now to bottle your brew
After your brew is ready to be consumed, gather the brew, the bottles, a container for the SCOBY, and the bottle funnel. Wash your hands well, and transfer the SCOBY into another smaller container. Pour a small amount of tea onto the SCOBY to keep it moist and submerged.
Now, line your bottles up with the bottle funnel in one. Gently pour the brew into the funnel, slowly. There may be some bubbling so pay attention when it gets close to the top. Fill the bottle so that the liquid is level with the last indentation about 1" from the lip. Keep filling until all bottles are full.
When you are done, close the caps on the bottles. Some people choose to let them stay out for a secondary fermentation process, but this is not necessary. You may also place the bottles directly in the fridge, which will slow the souring process.
Well that's it guys, I think this will contain all the information to get you started on brewing your own Kombucha at home. If you have any questions on the ingredients or equipment necessary, please leave me a comment below. Thanks!