Updated: Oct 19, 2020
Gray and I have come to love Kombucha. But, we do not love buying Kombucha--$$$! It actually is easy to make, especially if you get into a rhythm of it. This post is not to convince anyone to drink or love kombucha. If you are like Kom-bu-what?!?!? Google, "what is kombucha?" Ask Siri, "why do people drink kombucha?" "What are the benefits of kombucha?"
I am just sharing our recipe! Here is how we do it at our house!
Step 1: Get a scoby! Make the Kombucha!
1. You can buy a scoby online to get started (even Amazon!).
If you live near us, we will gladly give one to you!
You should have some kombucha (liquid) that comes with your scoby.
Put the scoby and the kombucha in a glass jar.
2. Make a gallon of sweet tea.
Boil 14 cups of water.
Steep 9 tea bags in water for some time, then remove.
Add two cups of sugar and stir.
3. Add the tea to the kombucha in a glass jar and cover with a coffee filter or cheese cloth so it can breathe! It's alive!
4. Let the Kombucha sit for 7-10 days. The caffeine and sugar feeds and grows the scoby and the *probiotics* in the tea. We keep ours on the top of our refrigerator.
5. Drink and enjoy! You can be done right there if you want to drink kombucha in the simplest, easiest way--you will get the probiotic and gut-health benefits! Your kombucha is ready to drink. I recommend straining it and chilling it.
Step 2: Double Fermentation
This is where our recipe/method might be different from others! I must give credit to our friends Dave and Mary, who originally shared this recipe with us in 2018! Actually, while visiting them during a furlough in 2018, we tried their homemade kombucha--our first kombucha--and we watched them make it. Still, credit also goes to my friend Torie, who left a scoby on my doorstep one day last fall--she knew I liked kombucha, had made it in the past, yet had not taken the plunge to begin making our own. We made some a few days later, and we have been making if ever since! Here ya go:
My recipe is for 2 gallons of kombucha, which will make 12-16oz bottles.
You can half that if you are only doing one gallon, or you can make extra puree to freeze--you will only need about half cup if you are making 6-16ox bottles. That will mean you only do this big step once every 2 months!
On Day 7-10...
Here is what you need: frozen berries, ginger, lemons, limes.
Peel about 500g of ginger and cut into smaller chunks and put in your blender.
Squeeze 4 lemons & 2 limes until you have about 1 cup of juice, & add to blender.
Add 500g of frozen berries to blender.
You will need about 1 cup (a little less) of mixture to fill 12 bottles. Store the rest in freezer bags and it will make kombucha the next 4 weeks so quick and easy!
Put about 2 heaping teaspoons of this mixture into glass bottles. ***You can use any glass bottles, glass jars, or other glass bottles that you are able to seal.
*Thanks to my friends that keep me stocked up on bottles--especially Lori and Mom Gainor!
Pour the kombucha (I recommend straining, but not necessary) into the glass bottles and seal.
Leave out 3-4 days for double fermentation--it will get fizzy like a carbonated drink! ***Leave less days if your house is warmer, more days if it's cooler.
Put the Kombucha in the refrigerator to stop the fermentation process. Drink after it is chilled.
Last, but NOT least!!!
Drink and enjoy!
***See "other things to know" below to see how I quickly make a large batch of ginger, berries, and lemon-lime mixture so that I do not have the long process except for one time a month. This amount I've listed above will make about 2 gallons/12-16oz bottles 4 different times--a month's worth.
Step 3: Tips for getting ready for your next batch
Put your scoby back in your gallon jar.
Reserve 2 cups of kombucha and put it in the jar with your scoby.
Restart the process with Step 1.
Other things to know:
Your scoby will grow and multiply. When it multiplies, you separate the scoby and share with a friend, start a new gallon and double the recipe, or toss it. You don't want to keep too many scobies in your one gallon--the kombucha will be SO strong!
If you need more than a week or 10 days, travel, or just don't want to make kombucha every 7-10 days, you can leave your scoby in the kombucha for up to 3-4 weeks, pour out your kombucha, only reserving about 1-2 cups (less because it will be strong) for your new batch of tea--it will be fine. We have done this a few times. Another option is to make a scoby hotel, but I have never kept that many or chosen to do that.
I actually make a large batch of ginger, berries, and lemon-lime mixture at a time and I pour it into bags and freeze it. I only do that step once a month. I usually make 4 bags and that will last 4-5 weeks, which means most of the time we just make the tea and fill the bottles--the process is much shorter. I only do the entire process listed above in this post once a month.
Shorter process (3-4 times a month):
Thaw ginger, berry, lemon-lime mixture and add to jars
Pour tea into jars and store
Last but not least--here is a list of what you need for getting started:
scoby with kombucha liquid
large stock pot
coffee filter or cheese cloth
strainer--large (though optional)
ginger (500g or 1 lb)
frozen berries (500g or 1 lb)
freezer bags (I like the thick portion size)
sealable glass bottles
Enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions!