So you’ve decided to make kombucha. Congratulations. Your gut is thanking you from within. But how is it done? And what ingredients do I need? This article aims to impart every step you need to take to make fizzy, delicious kombucha. Before we get into the kombucha recipe - there’s some background and tips plus the things you’ll need.
What is Kombucha and why is it so good for you?
Kombucha is a fermented tea drink. It’s made from sugary black tea and a kombucha culture or SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) that eats away the sugars - creating a rich, tangy drink filled with vitamins, probiotic yeasts, and antioxidants. This live culture, along with its many nutrients, is excellent for gut health. The best thing about making kombucha is that it’s a never-ending cycle of goodness: you can reuse the SCOBY after each batch to make another batch - thus ending up with a constant flow of the good stuff.
Step 1. Get a Kombucha making kit
Just do it. Your life as a brewer will instantly become more productive and the whole process will be easier. Having all the right stuff will always be better than just using the ‘next best thing’ you find in the bottom draw. You’ll want to get your hands on one of our Kombucha Kits which contains everything you’ll need to get this started:
- 5L Handmade Kombucha ceramic brewing jar
- Handmade Kombucha cotton cover
- Instructions and ongoing support
- 1 x 750ml Flip Top Glass Bottle (for safe second ferments)
- 1 x Organic Kombucha Starter Culture
- 1 x Organic Rapadura Sugar (200g)
- 50 x Planet Organic Black Unbleached Tea Bags
Step 2. How to make a SCOBY
Making the SCOBY is your first part before you start ‘brewing’ your kombucha. If you’ve already got a SCOBY or starter culture, scroll to the kombucha recipe below. It’s the essential part of any kombucha ferment - it makes the magic happen.
- 1.6L filtered water
- 235mL unflavoured, unaltered store-bought kombucha (look in local organic store)
- 100g organic Rapadura sugar
- 4 black tea bags
- Ceramic container
- Cotton cloth
- Rubber bands
- Boil the water and remove it from the heat. Dissolve the sugar into the water
- Steep the tea bags in the water until the water is back to room temperature (usually takes a few hours)
- Once at room temperature, pour the tea into your ceramic container and add the store-bought kombucha
- Cover with your cotton cloth and fasten with a rubber band or two
- Place in a dark space - at 21-24C for 1-4 weeks. (Don’t touch it!)
- The SCOBY should form over time, only when it is half a centimetre thick should you take it out and drain the tea. You’re now ready to start brewing kombucha!
*Only remove the SCOBY when you’re actually ready to start brewing your first batch, otherwise you might kill it.
Step 3. The Kombucha recipe
With your SCOBY ready to go - you’re now ready to start brewing!
- 1 SCOBY
- 1/4 cup organic sugar
- 1L water
- 2 organic black tea teabags
- Boil the water and add tea bags and steep for 5 minutes
- Once cooled slightly, dissolve the sugar by stirring it in
- Leave to cool until your brew has reached room temperature and pour into your fermentation jar
- Add your SCOBY to the kombucha jar and cover the jar with the cotton cloth and fasten with a rubber band
- Leave to ferment for 7-10 days until a new SCOBY has formed
- After a week - taste your kombucha and note how sour it is. If you prefer - leave it another few days to increase the tanginess
- Remove the new SCOBY along with 100mL of kombucha for your next batch and repeat
- The remaining Kombucha is now ready to drink! Refrigerate or go for a second ferment by leaving it for a further 1-2 days in a (tightly) sealed second ferment bottle
Hints and Tips
Once you’ve completed your first batch by following the kombucha recipe closely, and got the hang of the process - you can start to get creative with adding spices or fruits for extra flavouring during the second fermentation. Some fun and delicious flavouring ideas are adding:
- Fruits and berries such as a slice of orange or strawberries
- Sweeteners: honey or candied ginger
- Chia seeds, cinnamon fresh mint, basil