How to Make Homemade Kombucha

Learn how to make kombucha at home and rejoice in the art of naturally fermented probiotic drinks!

How to make homemade kombucha at home - a tutorial on your favorite naturally fermented probiotic drink! | www.theroastedroot.net #kombucha #probiotics

On February 4, 2014, I released my cookbook, Delicious Probiotic Drinks, which includes the ins and outs of brewing kombucha as well as detailed instructions on brewing other probiotic drinks such as ginger beer, kefir, lactofermented lemonade, rejuvalac, and cultured vegetable juice. The book also includes 75 recipes for flavoring these probiotic drinks to make them absolutely delicious!

How I Started Brewing Kombucha:

I always thought it would be fun to be a home brewer. I have a friend who brews his own beer and my brother makes his own wine. How. Freaking. Cool. Fermenting is badass. No “ifs” “ands” or “buts” about it. Badass.

A few months years ago it dawned on me that I was buying kombucha almost every day. This little reality check lit the inspiration flame and I decided we needed to make it at home. Ferment at home. Brew. Be a badass kombucha home brewer.  We began researching how to brew kombucha at home and began collecting bottles and other fermenting tools.

About Kombucha:

If you’re new to kombucha, here’s the skinny: kombucha is a natural probiotic drink which can aid in digestion, increase energy naturally, manage hunger and can create PH balance in your digestive tract. Similar to yeast or yogurt cultures, kombucha is made from a living organism called a SCOBY, which stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast.  It grows, multiplies and ferments which means it is very important to make sure the SCOBY stays clean and healthy.

How to Make Homemade Kombucha - a tutorial on brewing your favorite naturally fermented probiotic drink at home! | www.theroastedroot.net

The photo above is what a healthy SCOBY looks like.

The Health Benefits of Kombucha:

What’s the buzz about probiotics? They help maintain healthy microflora in your gut, which ensure efficient digestion and aids in nutrient absorption. They help you get the most out of the food you eat.  Probiotics prevent bad bacteria from attaching to the intestinal wall, which starves them of the nutrients they need to survive. This strengthens your immune system and fights disease. People who suffer from digestive ailments such as Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, ulcers, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Candida, etc. may find their symptoms improve with regular consumption of probiotic-rich food and drink.

Kombucha has also been known to boost your immune system (since it populates your system with good bacteria and rids your gut of bad bacteria), your energy level, and even your metabolism.  Probiotics and kombucha have been linked to mental health, as new research shows your brain health is linked to your gut health. This fizzy beverage is also rich in folic acid, enzymes, amino acids, antioxidants, and Vitamins B1, B6, and B12. It also contains enzymesIn addition, kombucha contains small amounts of zinc, copper, iron, and manganese.

A Cautionary Note:

Making homemade kombucha can be risky if you are not careful. If you are new to making kombucha, please seek multiple how-to sources before making a batch. It is very important to keep all instruments used in the process of making kombucha clean and to keep the SCOBY healthy. Use common sense and make kombucha at your own risk. If you see a single spot of mold (from what I hear mold on kombucha looks similar to bread mold), abandon ship – throw out your whole SCOBY and discard all kombucha liquid. Please read instructions very carefully before starting a batch of kombucha.  Kombucha is not for everyone.

When you first read the how-to, it may seem long and complicated. The first go-round definitely requires attention to detail, but once you get the hang of it, it’s quick and easy and saves you a TON of money since buying kombucha from the store can cost between $2.50 and $4.00 per bottle.

Ingredients for Original Kombucha:

  • 1 Kombucha SCOBY (we bought ours online)
  • 1 Gallon spring water (we buy ours from the store in gallon jugs). Don’t use water from your faucet because it probably has chlorine and/or fluoride in it
  • 10 black tea or green tea tea bags (choose straight-up black or green tea that doesn’t include any additional flavors, orange peels, oils, etc).
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar

Other things you will need:

  • Large pot for boiling water
  • Large (1-gallon or 2-gallon) glass jug/container
  • Distilled White Vinegar
  • Long-handle spoon for stirring
  • Stick-on or floating thermometer
  • Cheesecloth
  • Stretchy rubber band
  • Some type of heating device, such as a heating pad (if your house does not stay above 70 degrees)
  • Space blanket (again, only necessary if your house does not stay above 70 degrees)
  • A large pitcher or an efficient method of transferring the kombucha from the jug to bottles or the dispenser you will be using to drink the kombucha out of.
  • Small fine metal strainer (we use a metal coffee strainer)
  • Sealable glass bottles, such as EZ Flip Cap Bottles

How to Make Homemade Kombucha:

  1. Sanitize EVERYTHING you’re using to make kombucha. You can do this by running it through the dishwasher, handwashing in very hot water, or by coating it in distilled white vinegar.  We keep the jug we use for brewing sanitized by handwashing it and pouring about ½ a cup of white wine vinegar in it and sloshing it around.
  2. Boil water.  If you are making 1 gallon of kombucha, you do not need to boil the entire 1 gallon….just enough (1/2 gallon or so) to brew the tea.
  3. Once water has reached a boiling point, remove it from heat and add tea bags.
  4. Steep for 15 minutes
  5. Remove tea bags
  6. Add the cane sugar and stir well
  7. Allow the tea to cool to roughly 75 to 80 degrees (or if you only boiled half a gallon of water, add the remaining half gallon of cool water so that the hot water cools faster).
  8. Once the tea is in the 75 to 80 degree range, add the SCOBY (if this is your first time making kombucha and you bought your SCOBY online, simply remove it from its package and slip it in).
  9. If you have a flat sticky thermometer, stick it on the outside of the jug.
  10. Cover the jug with cheesecloth so that the kombucha can continually breathe.
  11. Secure the cheesecloth with a stretchy rubber band
  12. Place jug in a dark place (closet) that stays relatively warm and is not disturbed by people and light.
  13. Allow kombucha to brew for 5 to 8 days (the longer it brews, the stronger it is)
  14. Continually check the temperature of the kombucha. It needs to stay in the 70 to 80 degree range for best results. If it falls below 70, it’s not a huge deal, it will just take longer for the kombucha to brew. If the kombucha reaches above 85-degree temperature, you’re running the risk of growing mold on your SCOBY.  If you see any mold (it will look like bread mold…green/white and fuzzy circles), discard the SCOBY and the whole batch of kombucha.
  15. When your ‘bucha is ready, remove the cheesecloth.
  16. You will notice your SCOBY is bigger – it will grow to the width of the container it’s in and a second SCOBY will form. SCOBYs will always continue to grow.  Once a SCOBY gets to be a couple of inches thick, you need to cut off slices in order to keep the SCOBY healthy. You can give these slices to your friends (who are super jealous that you’re making your own ‘bucha) to start their own batch, or you can discard them.
  17. OPTIONAL: Now you can get creative with your method of bottling the kombucha or you can simply leave it in the same jug you brewed it in and ladel it out when you want to drink some (either way, it will need to be refrigerated).  We use a soup ladel to ladel the kombucha from the jug into a water pitcher. We then add juice (organic pomegranate blueberry 100% juice is my favorite), stir and fill the bottles about an inch from the top.  Seal the bottles well.
  18. Leave the SCOBY in the jug with enough kombucha to barely cover it (or if you want to clean the jug, remove the SCOBY and place it in another container while you sanitize the jug. The jug does not need to be sanitized between batches unless your SCOBY becomes unhealthy). Cover the container with cheesecloth.  The SCOBY is fine to sit like this until you make another batch – just make sure you check the SCOBY before starting another batch.
  19. Now you have a choice to make.  If you would like, you can simply refrigerate your bottled kombucha now and be done with the process.
  20. Or, you can leave the bottles of komucha at room temperature in a dark place, which will initiate a secondary fermentation process.  During this process, the cultures eat the sugar you just added (fructose from the juice) and continue to ferment. This makes the kombucha a little stronger and a little fizzy (“effervescent” is what the industry calls it).  We allow our kombucha to go through the secondary fermentation every batch.  Allow the kombucha to stay out and ferment another 1 to 3 days. **See note below
  21. Place kombucha in the refrigerator.  Enjoy your super badass homemade kombucha and revel in the fact that you get to consume healthy probiotics.

Secondary Fermentation:

While secondary fermentation is not necessary in brewing kombucha, this extra step is what enables you to flavor your kombucha as desired, and makes the drink “effervescent” or fizzy.  Once your batch of kombucha has brewed, you can add a small amount of 100% fruit juice (I use 1 cup of juice per 1 gallon of kombucha), or fresh fruit and sugar. I love stewing fresh fruit with a little bit of water, sugar, and fresh herbs to flavor my kombucha.  See below for flavoring ideas.

When you add sugar (juice/fruit/cane sugar), and allow the kombucha to brew a second time, the probitoics continue to grow as they feed off of the added sugar. It is during secondary fermentation that kombucha becomes fizzy! Once you have added your ingredients for secondary fermentation, pour the kombucha into glass sealable bottles (I use flip-cap bottles) and allow the bottles to sit in a warm, dark place for 3 days. When ready to drink, refrigerate to chill and open the bottles carefully, as the additional fermentation creates gasses that build pressure in the bottles. Note: Your kombucha will continue to ferment while in the refrigerator, although refrigerating it slows the fermentation process significantly.

If you put the kombucha through a second fermentation, more sediment (and likely a hunk of SCOBY) will grow inside of the bottles.  I recommend straining the kombucha before drinking it, or else you will get a quarter-sized SCOBY in your mouth which has a strange and somewhat unsettling texture.  Straining the ‘bucha with a fine strainer will avoid the ‘bucha booger interaction. We use a metal coffee filter to strain our kombucha before drinking it.

For secondary fermentation, I add either 1 cup of 100% fruit juice per 1 gallon of kombucha, OR 1 to 2 cups of fresh fruit (berries are especially divine) plus 1/2 cup of cane sugar (heat the fruit and sugar together on the stovetop in order to dissolve the sugar and release the fruit juices prior to adding it to the kombucha). I also enjoy adding herbs and spices.

Here’s a simple photo tutorial on How to Brew Kombucha:

Fill a large pot with spring or well water and bring it to a boil.

How to Make Homemade Kombucha - a tutorial on brewing your favorite naturally fermented probiotic drink at home! | www.theroastedroot.net

Add the tea bags and allow them to steep.

How to Make Homemade Kombucha - a tutorial on brewing your favorite naturally fermented probiotic drink at home! | www.theroastedroot.net

Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Allow the tea to cool to 75 to 80 degrees F

How to Make Homemade Kombucha - a tutorial on brewing your favorite naturally fermented probiotic drink at home! | www.theroastedroot.net

Pour the tea in a large glass jar and add the SCOBY.

How to Make Homemade Kombucha - a tutorial on brewing your favorite naturally fermented probiotic drink at home! | www.theroastedroot.net

Cover with cheesecloth bound by a rubber band and place in a warm, dark closet for 7 to 10 days.

How to Make Homemade Kombucha - a tutorial on brewing your favorite naturally fermented probiotic drink at home! | www.theroastedroot.net

Flavoring Your Homemade Kombucha:

As already mentioned above, you can add 1 cup of 100% fruit juice per gallon of homemade kombucha prior to bottling it for secondary fermentation.  For the longest time, I used 100% pomegranate juice in order to flavor my kombucha.  You can also use fresh fruit, herbs, and additional cane sugar in order to flavor the kombucha.

Here are some recipes to flavor your kombucha:

How to store your SCOBY after a brewing a batch of kombucha:

After you have brewed a batch of kombucha, you can start the process again by following the same steps!  This ensures you have a continuous supply of kombucha and ensures your SCOBY stays active and healthy.

Since we typically brew 1 to 2 gallons of kombucha at a time, we don’t need to continue brewing batch after batch.  When I take a kombucha brewing hiatus, I simply leave the SCOBY in the same jar I use for brewing along with plenty of kombucha liquid (I leave about 3 inches of liquid per 1 inch of SCOBY). I keep the jar covered with cheesecloth bound by a rubber band, place a bath towel over the jar, and store it in a warm dark place (just like I would do if I were brewing a batch).

If you take a break between batches of kombucha, it may take slightly longer for your next batch to brew because your SCOBY may take a little time to come out of hibernation mode.  I have taken breaks up to 2 months between batches, although I wouldn’t recommend taking much longer than a month off in order to ensure your SCOBY stays alive and happy.

If you’d like more flavoring ideas for your kombucha, and/or if you’d like to learn how to brew other types of probiotic drinks, check out my cookbook, Delicious Probiotic Drinks!

Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions! Good luck on your kombucha brewing and remember: fermenting drinks at home is fun, easy, affordable, and healthy!!

Put it in a cool glass and sip!

How to make homemade kombucha at home - a tutorial on your favorite naturally fermented probiotic drink! | www.theroastedroot.net #kombucha #probiotics

For more tips, tricks, information and recipes on kombucha and other probiotic drinks, check out my book, Delicious Probiotic Drinks!!

 

 

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Comments

  1. Om Livin

    Ok so I have read another how to blog before this one & she said to keep it in the light (but not direct sunlight) & keep it there for 2-3 weeks. However she didn’t mention anything about the mold or being cautious which worries me. So a closet or pantry WILL be fine to keep it in??

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hey there! Everything I’ve read about brewing kombucha has said putting it in sunlight kills the bacteria. This is why many kombucha companies use the dark, non-transparent bottles for bottling the kombucha – to ensure the bacteria doesn’t die. I have always brewed mine in a dark room for 7 to 10 days (I truly think 2 to 3 weeks is far too long unless your house is below 65 degrees F. It will end up too strong to drink and/or the probiotics will starve). I would say go with your instincts..if you trust the source you read, you can give it a try, but I would caution against sunlight as well as over-brewing. You definitely do need to keep an eye out for mold, although as long as you follow all instructions regarding sanitation, the risk of mold is very, very low. Good luck and thanks for your interest!

      Reply
        1. Allison

          Hi! I’ve been taught to never flavor the scoby. Brewing is good for the scoby, flavor (juice, fruit, etc.) is not. I’m interested to see what other people say!

          Reply
          1. Julia Post author

            Hi Allison. I never recommend for people to combine their SCOBY with any other ingredients besides tea and sugar. I state in my instructions that for secondary fermentation, you mix brewed kombucha and juice/fruit together and leave the SCOBY in its jar. Thank you for your input – it’s always good to have a second pair of eyes when it comes to brewing something as sensitive as kombucha.

            Reply
  2. Karen

    Hello! I just finished my first initial brew of my first ever kombucha. But my SCOBY does not appear to have grown at all. Is he sick? I live in FL, pretty hot and humid here, I was taught to let the first brew go for 7-8 days. Any thoughts on where I went wrong?

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Karen! Hmmm.. 7 to 8 days should have done the trick. How much water, sugar and tea did you use? Where did you get your SCOBY from? Do you know roughly what temperature the brew was on average? SCOBYs are pretty resilient – it could just be in shock, and may still be completely fine!

      Reply
      1. Karen

        Oops the rest of my post disappeared (twice!) Anyhoo, I was taught to steep 4 bags if tea in a quart of water, bring to room temp, add a cup of sugar, 2 more quarts of room temp water, SCOBY dude, cover with cloth & Lid and let brew for 7-8 days. I let him brew for 8 . I do live in FL but we did have a few cool days last week. I wonder if my house got too cool…low 70’s during the day – mid 60’s at night.
        THANK YOU so much, any and all advise is welcome!!
        Karen

        Reply
        1. Julia Post author

          All of that sounds perfectly fine except for maybe the tea-to-sugar ratio and the lid part. for a quart, I would have done more like 1/2 cup of sugar, although I would say it’s better to have added too much sugar than too little, so I can’t be sure this was the issue…

          Was the brew able to breathe, or was the lid air-tight? If the lid was air-tight, I’d say that’s the issue, as kombucha needs to breathe in order to ferment. I typically cover my jugs with cheesecloth and then bind the cheesecloth with a rubber band. But the rest of what you described sounds like it should have worked. You’re very welcome, and I hope your SCOBY bounces back!

          Reply
          1. Karen

            THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, I am running to the kitchen to take the lid off my second batch right now!!!!
            If for whatever reason, my SCOBY dude does not survive, do you have any recommendations for where to buy a new starter culture?
            I received mine in a class. But looking at pictures online, it really doesn’t look the same, so I am questioning the quality of my dude.
            Again, thank you for your time!
            Karen

            Reply
            1. Julia Post author

              No problem at all, Karen! I’m glad to be of help! And huge kudos to you for starting your own kombucha – you’re going to love it! I got my SCOBY from here: http://www.organic-kombucha.com/kombucha_starter_kit.html, and have been using the same one ever since. I also trust this site: http://www.culturesforhealth.com/kombucha-tea-starter-kit.html. You may be able to get another SCOBY from your friend in class, but if it looks questionable, don’t chance it. If you do end up ordering one online, just be sure you start a batch right away because SCOBYs don’t like hanging out in plastic, I’ve come to realize 🙂 GOOD LUCK and feel free to give me a shout if you have any more questions!!

              Reply
              1. Karen

                Thank you AGAIN!!! I think a good idea will be to PH test my first batch. That will give me an idea if it worked….do you agree?

                Reply
                1. Julia Post author

                  No problemo! A Ph test would be a good idea, but I would also give it a little taste test (if you trust it enough). If it still tastes like sweet tea, it didn’t work, but if it tastes more vinegar-y, then it may have brewed a little in spite of the fact the SCOBY didn’t grow. How is your SCOBY looking now? Is it laying flat on the surface of the tea?

                  Reply
                  1. Karen

                    Hello again!! You have been incredibly helpful! No the SCOBY has sunk to the bottom and kinda folded over. For my first batch I have already added some strawberries for a second brew so can’t tell if its sweet from that or if it didn’t work . Its delicious though! Thank you once again!

                    Reply
  3. Karen

    Thank you so very much for your quick reply!! I soooooo want to be successful at this. And not have to get another SCOBY dude.

    Reply
    1. kaitm

      This is my first time brewing kombucha and I am trying to make it fizzy so during the second fermentation, should I cover the bottles with an air-tight lid, or a breathable cloth?

      Reply
      1. Julia Post author

        Hi there! You’ll need to seal the bottles for secondary fermentation in order to make the kombucha fizzy 🙂 Fermentation produces gasses that when trapped in a bottle create pressure, giving the drink the effervescence. Let me know how it turns out!

        Reply
  4. Christina

    I discovered a local store has a starter batch and I’m thankful to find your detailed instructions on-line. I’m also going to start juicing. Is it ok for fresh juice to go through the second fermentation for 3 days? Or does it need to be pasteurized/store bought? Thanks and good luck with the book!

    Reply
  5. Katie

    Do you have to seal the jars after the initial fermentation before the second fermenation? And how do you sanitarily ‘cut the scoby’ after the first ferment? Do you put the original scoby BACK in the kombucha after you cut pieces off? How do you store the pieces you cut off so they can be used by friends?

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Katie, kombucha scobys always need to breathe, so avoid sealing them – always keep them covered with cheesecloth/towel bound by a rubber band.

      I don’t cut SCOBYs, but I have heard some people do. I simply peel the layers off. To do so, wash your hands well, and have one or two sanitized bowls ready by you. Remove the scoby from the jar using your hands, peel the amount of layers off you would like, and place them in a bowl.

      Place at least one SCOBY back into the jar you’re using for brewing so that you can continue brewing. Place the SCOBY(s) you’re giving away in large ziplock bags and add some of your kombucha liquid to the bag – enough to keep the SCOBY very hydrated. Seal the bag(s) well and maneuver the SCOBY so that it lays flat. When you transport it to the person you’re giving it to, try to keep it flat and tell the person to begin a batch right away. SCOBYs don’t like to be confined without air, so it’s best to get the brew going ASAP.

      Let me know if you have any more questions and good luck!

      Reply
  6. Allison

    Hi there, I was given several scoby-jacks, and I’m ready to start my own batch but I have some questions. My husband is sugar-free (by choice) and is concerned about drinking the kombucha and all the sugar. I was instructed to do two fermentations, once with plain tea, and once with flavorings. What can you tell me about the sugar content after two fermentation cycles? Also, I was instructed to use only plastic tools with the processing and fermentation (i.e. straining with plastic mesh, funneling with plastic, and bottling with glass bottles and plastic tops), so can you shed some light on that for me? Lastly, how do you ‘seal’ the finished product? Just tighten the cap?
    Thanks!!

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Allison,

      First off, welcome to the wonderful world of kombucha brewing! To answer your question regarding sugar content: The residual sugar changes per batch based on several factors: 1. Length of brew time 2. Temperature of the brew 3. The health/hunger of the probiotics 4. Amount of sugar you add for both the first and the second fermentation. With that said, I don’t consume cane sugar, myself, but I do drink kombucha every single day. I’ve never measured the amount of sugar that’s left in my brew, but I imagine it is less than store-bought kombucha, which usually has roughly 4 grams per 16 ounces (minimal). If you’d like, you can make Jun instead of Kombucha, which is brewed in the exact same way, except you use a different type of SCOBY, and you use honey instead of sugar. Personally, I much prefer the flavor of kombucha 🙂

      The plastic suggestion is valid, because some older metal strainers leech metal into the kombucha, although most metal strainers are now made with stainless steel, which is fine to use with kombucha. It’s what I use, in fact, but if you’re concerned, stick with plastic. Yes, definitely bottle using sterilized glass bottles with plastic/rubber caps. I use flip cap bottles, which I note in my post. Unlike beer, you don’t need to seal the bottles with a special sealer. Simply twist the cap on, or insert the flip cap.

      Let me know if you have any other questions!! I hope you have lots of fun brewing your ‘bucha and feel free to reach out any time! Happy brewing!

      Reply
      1. Allison

        Thanks for the additional insight! I’m looking forward to starting my first brew, but I keep hitting obstacles! I’ve been told that the water I use is very (VERY) important, that only a trusted source of reverse osmosis water was to be used, not purified drinking water, not distiller, and certainly not tap (even boiled tap) water. We have a Walmart nearby that sells Primo brand water in 2, 3, and 5 gallon jugs. According to the Primo website their water goes through an extensive filtration process, including RO, then minerals are added back in for “taste.” Would Primo water be acceptable to use?

        Reply
        1. Julia Post author

          It’s great that you’re taking such a detailed approach! From what you have described, using the Primo water should work marvelously. It sounds like you’re taking all the right steps to brewing some excellent kombucha! Best of luck!

          Reply
  7. Sable

    I am making komucha for the first time. I bought a hydrated one on line and it’s brewed for 8 days , followed all the previous directions. The scoby is still on the bottom of my jar. I tasted the tea and it’s still really sweet. Is my scoby working? Please help. I really want this healthy drink for my family and I.

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Sable, does your kombucha taste vinegary at all? Or just sweet? It could be that your SCOBY needs more time to ferment, because it could still be in shock from travelling. I find the first batch with a new-to-you SCOBY sometimes takes longer than sequential batches. I’d say continue to let it brew a couple of more days and see how it tastes. Also, it’s normal for your SCOBY to settle at the bottom for the first batch – typically the new SCOBY forms at the top, while the original SCOBY stays at the bottom. Is there a new SCOBY forming at the top of the liquid?

      Reply
  8. Ermioni

    Hi!
    Thank you for your post! I have some questions… I hope you can help me!

    It took about 15-25 days for my Kombucha to grow. I think it was too close to the stove in the beginning, I moved it to a cooler place around the 15th day. When I checked it around the 35th day, I had 3 layers. I was too scared to taste the liquid. It has been 40 days now. I finally got the courage to taste it- it is very vinegar-like. I think it is good. There is no mold, no green spots. The babies are very white and thin. However the mother is very thick (1/2 inch) and a little brown on some side spots.

    What do I do now? Do I make a new batch of tea&sugar, put a baby scoby, wait 8 days, then drink it normally? And then follow the steps for the 2nd fermentation process?

    Can I leave all the other scobies in my initial batch? Should I make a new batch for the hotel? Or do I keep it as is? So, whenever I need a scoby I take one with some liquid (even though it is very vinegar-like) that has been there for over 2 months?

    I am scared to get sick. Or to ruin it. Please reassure me!
    Thanks!

    Reply
  9. Susan

    Julia, I am very interested in trying to brew kombucha, but the recipes all call for tea, which has caffeine. Would it be possible to brew kombucha using Rooibos (herbal tea)? Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Susan, I’m so happy to hear you’re interested in brewing kombucha! I wasn’t sure if it was possible to make it using rooibos, but I just googled it, and it looks like you can! In fact, one page I read recommends using rooibos for caffeine-free kombucha, as it comes out with a good flavor. Now I’m thinking I need to give this a try!

      Reply
      1. Susan

        Thank you very much for the information, Julia! I need to look around to see if I can find some ready-made kombucha so I can try it before I start buying the stuff to make it.

        Reply
        1. Julia Post author

          You’re welcome! Most grocery stores carry kombucha now – definitely a great idea to try store-bought kombucha first, prior to brewing it yourself 😀

          Reply
  10. littledove

    What size tea bags do you use.? family size or the smaller size? I have always been concerned about the tea bag size. Do you let the sweet tea and scoby sit for about 7 days then remove the scoby, and add ginger and etc and let it sit for a few days and then strain it and put more fruit and etc in it again? Mine does not bubble so we have been drinking it plain after about 7 days

    Reply
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  12. Anne Kaenel

    Hi there, I would like to give it a go! Sounds very interesting and exciting and my kids just gulp down the expensive bottled kombuchas in Germany as well. I checked on Amazon and they seem to have different sizes of these scobys. The classic premium is for 3L and is 11 cm wide. There is also a smaller one. Which one are you using? Does the brand matter at all?
    Thanks for your help and advice in advance. Gratefully, Anne

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Anne, I’m so happy to hear you’re venturing into the world of homebrewed kombucha! The size of the scoby matters when you brew your first batch, as you want to be sure you use the right amount of water according to the size. For smaller scobys, you’ll want to start out brewing just 1 gallon (or even less), whereas if you have a larger, thicker scoby, you can bump it up to 2 gallons. Most scobys that are purchased over the internet come with instructions that tell you the amount of water, tea, and sugar to use on your first batch. I’m a huge fan of Cultures for Health scobys (and other probiotic starter kits): http://www.culturesforhealth.com/ Let me know how your first batch goes!!

      Reply
  13. Judy

    Iam getting yeast infection which iam not sure if it has any thing to with the kombucha.Has any one else experienced this.And what could I be doing in my fermentation process.

    Reply
    1. Julia Post author

      Hi Judy,

      I would think the two would be un-related, but I’d check with your doctor. I do know changes in your body’s PH can result in infection, so if your kombucha is very strong and your body is sensitive to pH changes, it could be the kombucha. Still, I’d recommend giving your doctor a call 🙂 Hope all is well and best of luck!

      Reply
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