Although I have been a fan of Kombucha for a long time, only recently did I take the plunge to start my own brew at home…a half dozen batches later
I wonder what took me so long.
It’s easy to do and fun to experiment with…you’ll see.
So here is a step by step guide to help you get started. The Glass Jars needed to get started can vary from shallow bowl type to a tall jar and all proportions used here relate to a 1 gallon Jar. I bought jars at Target for $7.99. (See below)
1) Using a 2x3 inch cotton bag fill with loose black Tea (or tea of choice) to be brewed in boiled water equating to 1 quart to 1.5 quarts in your pot of choice. Alternately you can use 4 to 6 tea bags of Tea if not using loose Tea. Once the Tea has steeped covered, remove the tea pouch or bags and add 1 cup organic sugar and stir to dissolve. Put cover on pot until ready to pour into your Kombucha fermenting Jar.
2) Your Tea will be added along with cold filtered water into your Jar to reach about 2 to 3 inches from the top of the Jar. The temperature should be somewhere in the range of 66° to 86° before you add the Starter tea and SCOBY… (Symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). One of best parts of making Kombucha is each time you brew it gives you another baby scoby to use for your next batch brewed.
Kombucha has been brewed for centuries in many different parts of the world.
the temperature has been checked the starter tea can be added and the PH checked. PH needs to be under or at 4.5.
You can use PH strips or a PH meter to determine this. If still too high a small amount of white
vinegar can be added to drop the PH.(1 tsp) When PH is under 4.5 you can add the scoby
to the Jar. (Always sanitize hands with vinegar and water…Not Soap) before
handling the scoby. Likewise all equipment used should be properly sanitized as
not to risk the batch becoming infected or susceptible to mold. The proper PH is instrumental in protecting
from mold as well.
4) Using cheese cloth or a clean cotton cloth cover the top of the jar and secure with a rubber band. Now that the scoby is in the jar with all the ingredients and the proper temperature and PH it should thrive undisturbed out of direct light for the next 7 days undisturbed, except your good vibes and wishes being shared.
5) At day 7 you can start to test the tea for taste and PH to see if it is ready for the next step in the process. The PH range should be in the 3.0 to 3.5 range for bottling perhaps slightly lower. So far it seems that when the PH goes into the 2 range the vinegary taste becomes pretty strong. Taste is totally a personal gauge. Here is where the experimenting gets fun. If you are going for original and do not want to flavor the Kombucha you can go right to the bottling stage. If you really like a fruit flavor you can go for a secondary fermentation from here.
6) Secondary fermentation with fruit: Remove the scoby and enough starter tea to support it and place in your desired container for future batch use. Now you can add approximately ½ pound of fruit to the jar with your brew put the cheese cloth back on and secure with lid to cut off the oxygen for this part of the brewing. I used a guide of 48 hours or less for this stage then strain off fruit filter the Kombucha and bottle.
7) For bottling I also used a 48 to 72 hour guide before refrigerating. Many folks let the bottling stage go on much longer before refrigeration. It’s a check and see how it goes situation at this stage. You may need to burp your bottles to reduce pressure build up. Bottles have been known to explode so the above ranges are what I have experiences with thus far.
* special Note* Since employing the second fermentation stage carbonation has improved greatly. Being a Tea Lover I have also started introducing more Tea loose along with the fruit and it gives a bolder body and great taste to the finished Kombucha.
8) Carbonation is the main reason that you may want to experiment with going longer in the bottle. There are also a few tricks to try to get more carbonation. Ginger juice creates some fizz and adding a couple teaspoons of juice to a 32 oz bottle can give it a big boost.
Whatever you decide to try will bring you one step closer to having fun with this brewing process and saving lots of money in the process. Enjoy!
The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific ailments or conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.