When I first started making kombucha I started small, with this Basic Kombucha recipe. However, I quickly realized I needed more kombucha, more frequently and wanted to try the continuous method, which is so much easier!
Since we are only 2 people in the house at this point, I didn’t need to make 5 gallons at a time (see this method for larger amounts you can find here by a blogger with a large family). I purchased a 2 gallon glass container with a spout and that is where my SCOBY lives.
SCOBY = Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast
What does SCOBY stand for? Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. It looks like a mushroom – also known as kombucha mushroom and kombucha mother.
You may have noticed in your store-bought bottles of kombucha, vinegar or water kefir, a film may form on top or at the bottom – that is also a SCOBY – a community of bacteria and yeast.
Part of the function of the SCOBY is to seal off the top of the liquid and protect it from outside bacteria. A healthy SCOBY will form a new layer each time it is fed. The SCOBY will get thicker over time – remember, it’s alive. You can keep it thick as long as it doesn’t start to take up too much space in your container, or you can thin it out periodically.
What to do with the extra SCOBY’s? Well, start a SCOBY hotel next to your main container – just in case something goes wrong with the main SCOBY you have a backup. Feed it whenever you fed the main SCOBY.
Share your SCOBY will friends and family.
According to Hannah at Kombucha Kamp, you can remove some brewed kombucha every 7 – 10 days, depending on the temperature of your home. Slip a straw under the covering of your container to taste test. If it is too sweet, leave it a few more days. If it is too tart, next time test it sooner.
- 1 SCOBY mother and starter liquid
- 4 - 6 tea bags – I use 2 white tea, 2 black tea and 2 green tea
- 4 cups of filtered water + 3 quarts to equal 1 gallon
- 1 cup organic cane sugar (use only this type of sugar)
- Boil the 4 cups of water
- Add the tea bags to pot or brewing vessel
- Steep 5-7 minutes, then remove tea bags
- Add sugar and stir to dissolve
- Set aside to cool
- Fill smaller half gallon jar 3/4 with filtered water
- When the brewed tea is cool add it to each of the half gallon jars
- Now add this to the 2 gallon container
- The SCOBY will drop to the bottom – that's fine, during the brewing process a new, thin SCOBY will form on top and the older SCOBY will eventually join it
- Cover with cloth cover and secure with the rubber band
- Place it in a warm location out of direct sunlight unless container is opaque or you have a cover for the container
- Let brew for 7 days and then check it
- I tend to let it go longer as I like it less sweet but that is something you have to figure out for yourself
- 1 – 2 gallon glass container (where to buy)
- stainless steel pot to make the tea in
- Plastic funnel (for bottling)
- Distilled white vinegar for rinsing the jars
- Clean cloth (like muslin) to cover the top of the jar with
- Rubber bands to secure the cloth to the jar
- PH strips if you want to be technical and test the acidity of your kombucha
- Clean the containers and jars you are using, but do not use soap as that will kill the SCOBY — just rinse with hot water and rinse again with white vinegar
- Of course whenever you are handling the SCOBY or jars be sure your hands are clean
- It loves to be at around 70º F so if it is warmer it will go faster and if it is cooler it will go slower
- It will be slightly tart when it is ready
- You could also check the PH level if you happen to have PH strips handy – it should be around 3.0
- Using a plastic straw, stick it into the liquid and taste your kombucha — if it is still sweet, let it go another day and keep checking it until you think it is ready
- The brewing time will vary for each home and each person’s taste and may differ at different times of the year
The next step is to flavor the kombucha. Of courser, we can drink it plain if you like, but flavors add interest.
- Check out this post for how to make Flavored Kombucha.
- Here is an amazing Pineapple Ginger Kombucha.
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These recipes are suitable for Paleo, SCD, GAPS and all grain free eaters.