You know you want to try this. It’s not that much work, you can customize whatever flavors you want, and it costs waaaaay less than buying factory-style kombucha at Whole Foods. How much less? Check it out:
Photo Credit: dvanzuijlekom via Compfight cc
A 16-ounce (500 ml) bottle of GT’s kombucha is $3.49 USD, while a 16-ounce glass of home-brewed kombucha is approximately 29 cents. Wow! I told you it was waaaaaay cheaper!
Those numbers are an average based on prices at the Whole Foods in Nashville, where I do most of my shopping. Your list of ingredients and local prices may vary, but there’s no doubt this stuff will cost you less and bring you more joy by doing it yourself.
By the way, if you’re new to kombucha, learn more about what it is and how insanely beneficial it is for your body.
The Joy of Kombucha
I have been brewing kombucha on a consistent basis for more than 6 months. I drink about 16 ounces every day. It’s FANTASTIC!
Yes, most people think it’s weird, but they are missing out. Kombucha is where it’s at.
In order to have a glass every day I brew three different batches in alternating periods of time in order to always have something fresh and ready to drink.
Considering it takes 14-21 days for one batch to complete a brew cycle, you could start a batch today, another one in a 7 days, and another one 7 days later.
There are about a billion different methods to make kombucha. Experiment. Try out a few different recipes for yourself and customize what works for you.
My recipe and methodology is listed below. I highly recommend it.
If you follow these instructions fairly closely, you should end up with some really stellar kombucha. If you don’t, let me know. I’m all ears.
Collect Your Supplies
- 1-Gallon Glass Jar
- 1 Cheese Cloth, Tea Towel, or Large Coffee Filter
- 1 Rubber band
- 1 Wooden or Stainless Steel Spoon
- 1 Large Stainless Steel Pot
- 6-8 Leak-Proof Glass Jars ::: you could use mason jars, glass soda bottles with resealable lids, or another glass container that seals
Prepare Your Ingredients
- 1 SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), also known as a mushroom, mother, mother ship, or mother culture ::: see instructions below on how to get your first SCOBY
- 6 ounces of kombucha from a previous batch or store-bought brew
- 1 Gallon of Distilled Water
- 1 Cup of Organic Cane Sugar
- 6 Bags of Organic Green or Black Tea Bags (must contain caffeine)
- OPTIONAL ::: 1/2 pint of fresh, raw, and ripe fruit ::: your choice of raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, etc.
How to Get Your First SCOBY
- Get one from a friend who has an extra SCOBY for you to use
- Order one online
- Create your own SCOBY using a store-bought kombucha
- Buy a 16-ounce or similar-sized kombucha from a local store
- Drink 2/3 of the kombucha and leave the remaining 1/3 in the jar
- Remove the lid of the jar and place cloth and rubber band on the top of the jar
- Place jar in an undisturbed spot for 10 days
- Inside the jar you should now find a small SCOBY and a little kombucha that you can use for your first batch
- Heat up distilled water in large pot to nearly boiling
- Mix in sugar and tea bags
- Remove from heat and let stand for 6-8 hours or until tea is room temperature (you can cover the pot with a lid during this time if you desire)
- Pour the tea, SCOBY, and kombucha from previous batch into the 1-gallon glass jar
- Cover the jar with the cheese cloth, tea towel, or coffee filter
- Seal the cloth onto the jar with the rubber band
- Place jar in an undisturbed spot for 10-14 days
- Remove SCOBY and 8 ounces of kombucha from jar, placing in a separate container for use in the next batch
- Pour remaining tea into smaller glass jars and seal closed so no air escapes (The goal here is to create a carbonated beverage, but don’t be surprised if you end up with little or no carbonation. That process takes skill).
- Place small jars in an undisturbed place for 3-4 days
- Place small jars in the refrigerator until cool (OPTIONAL: add fresh fruit to jars before placing in the refrigerator)
- Drink 1-2 jars of kombucha per day
CAUTION: if kombucha is new to you, start slow and drink more over time. The probiotics could cause you to experience some crazy intestinal issues. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
- Brew multiple batches in alternating time periods so you and your friends and family can all enjoy kombucha every day. I personally have three different batches at any given time.
- Try many variations of tea. The only requirement is that the tea is caffeinated so the SCOBY can grow.
- Add fresh fruit, chia seeds, or green vegetable juice to the mix.
- Create a stellar brew and persuade your friends and family to try it out. They will think you’re crazy. That’s okay. Make them try it anyway.
- Share your first kombucha experience in the comments below. I definitely want to hear about your first brew.
- Kombucha is full of nature’s wonder. There are many probiotics and other goodies in the brew that may cause you to experience side effects. Drink a small amount at first and then slowly drink more over time. Do your research if you have any concerns. Kombucha is a health food and you could experience detox symptoms similar to drinking large quantities of vegetable juice.
- Kombucha is potentially alcoholic, depending on how you brew it. If you have concerns about children consuming alcoholic beverages, do your homework BEFORE you brew anything. The average brew will not contain significant amounts of alcohol, but your results may vary.
Question: Have a better recipe than mine? Share it with the group in the comments below.
My wife, Tessa, and I live in Nashville, TN with our pug, Benny.