Learn how to make your own homemade kombucha, a bubbly fermented beverage, with a video and specific & detailed instructions from start to finish
Who's excited about kombucha?! I am! And I'm here to show you how to make it!
I spent a few months buying kombucha daily and realized that despite it being a great fermented beverage added to my day, it was taking quite the toll on my bank account, so I decided to try making it myself.
I've been making my own kombucha with much success for about 18 months now and love it.
Anyone who has been to my apartment knows about the science experiment that is my kombucha, and they also know that I'll rave about kombucha until you ask me to stop.
It might smell a little weird, but I love the end result. Unfortunately for my sister and her family whose counters I am currently borrowing to brew my 'buch, they aren't really loving the smell.
I have received countless kombucha jokes, but I love it too much not to make it.
I usually flavor my kombucha, but for the sake of fitting in all the steps for how to make kombucha in a video that is less than 2 minutes, I decided to only show how to brew an unflavored batch.
Next week, I'll have my all time favorite flavor recipe for you 🙂
In case you aren't a fan of watching videos or you cannot watch right now, I included the transcript of the video below plus the printable recipe and all my tips.
Be sure to read it from start to finish before you get going. And feel free to ask me any and all questions! Like I said, I'll talk to anyone and everyone about kombucha I love it so much.
- 12 cups water
- 1 cup sugar not artificial
- 5-6 bags tea either black or green, not flavored
- 2 cups unflavored kombucha from a previous batch also referred to as "starter tea"
- 1 SCOBY
- Bring 4 cups of water in a medium pot to a boil. Remove from heat.
- Add 1 cup of sugar to a heat-proof container and pour in about 2 cups of the hot water. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
- Add tea bags to remaining hot water. Let cool.
- Once the tea and sugar water have cooled to room temperature (do not add until cooled!), pour the tea and sugar mixture into the gallon jar with the SCOBY and reserved kombucha. Add enough water to fill the jar (about 6-8 cups). Stir well.
- Make sure the jar is dry and cover with a few coffee filters or cheese cloth. Secure tightly using rubber bands.
- Move to a cool, dry area to ferment for at least 1 week and up to 6 weeks.
- When you think you're ready to bottle, remove the cover and test the kombucha using a straw. Dip a clean straw into the kombucha and cover the top of the straw with you finger. Transfer into a cup to taste. If it is to your desired taste, you're ready.
- Carefully remove the SCOBY to a bowl. Set aside for your next batch, along with 2 cups of unflavored kombucha.
- Pour the kombucha into a glass or plastic pitcher.
- *You can transfer this to the refrigerator now or bottle*
- To bottle, place your bottles close on the counter. Using a funnel, carefully pour in the kombucha. At this point, you can flavor your kombucha if desired.
- Carefully close the bottle and transfer to the counter to ferment a few more days for extra bubbly kombucha or transfer to the refrigerator immediately.
- Using the reserved SCOBY and kombucha, make another batch (using instructions above).
- When ready to drink, carefully pop the lid making sure it's away from your face and pour. Enjoy!
*You'll use about 14 cups of water total.
*Use real sugar; I prefer organic sugar. Do not use artificial sweeteners or honey or maple syrup.
*Do not use flavored or caffeine free tea. Black or green tea work best.
*Make sure to completely cool the tea and sugar-water because heat can harm your SCOBY.
*Wash your hands before handling the SCOBY and after transferring it.
*Use glass or plastic utensils. Using metal can cause harm to your SCOBY. Glass is preferred, but plastic is ok as long as it is not keeping for extended periods of time.
*Fermentation time is 1 to 6 weeks. The longer you ferment the more acidic-tasting your kombucha will be because the sugar will be more broken down & it won't be as sweet.
*You can transfer the pitcher of brewed kombucha to the refrigerator or bottle it. Bottling is helpful because you can take your kombucha to go. The pitcher is convenient because all you have to do is pour your kombucha into a cup. It's up to you to decide. I prefer bottling, especially when I am flavoring the kombucha.
*The second ferment is optional but will give you extra bubbly kombucha. It is common to have a second ferment when flavoring your kombucha. Ferment at room temperature for only 1 to 2 days then transfer to the refrigerator.
*The refrigerator stops fermentation.
*Each batch makes one gallon (16 cups) but you will save about 2 cups of kombucha for the next batch, leaving you with about 14 cups of kombucha to enjoy.
Here's what I use to make the Kombucha:
How to Make Your Own Kombucha
1 cup of real sugar. Not artificial sweeteners or honey or maple syrup.
5-6 bags of tea either black or green. Don't use flavored or caffeine free
2 cups unflavored kombucha from a previous batch
a glass gallon jar
glass is preferred but plastic is ok for utensils or containers that are not keeping the kombucha for extended periods of time
coffee filters and rubber bands
bottles are optional
Bring a pot of water to almost a boil.
Add 1 cup of sugar to a heat-proof container and pour in some of the hot water. Stir until the sugar dissolves.
Add tea bags to remaining hot water.
Once the tea and sugar water have cooled to room temperature, pour the tea and sugar mixture into the gallon jar with the SCOBY and reserved kombucha. Add extra water if needed.
Stir well, making sure not to use metal. Metal can cause harm to your SCOBY.
Make sure the jar is dry and cover with a few coffee filters or cheese cloth. Secure using rubber bands, making sure it is on tight.
Move to a cool, dry area to ferment for at least 1 week and up to 6 weeks.
When you think you're ready to bottle, remove the cover and test the kombucha using a straw. Dip a clean straw into the kombucha and cover the top of the straw with you finger. Transfer into a cup to taste. If it is to your desired taste, you're ready.
Carefully remove the SCOBY to a bowl. Remember to always have clean hands and use clean utensils. Set aside for your next batch, along with 2 cups of unflavored kombucha.
Pour the kombucha into a glass or plastic pitcher. You can transfer this to the refrigerator or bottle.
To bottle, place your bottles close on the counter. Using a funnel, carefully pour in the kombucha. At this point, you can flavor your kombucha if desired.
Carefully close the bottle and transfer to the counter to ferment a few more days for extra bubbly kombucha or transfer to the refrigerator.
Using the reserved SCOBY and kombucha, make another batch.
When ready to drink, carefully pop the lid making sure it's away from your face and pour. Enjoy!
Sonali- The Foodie Physician says
Thanks for the awesome info Meme! Believe it or not, not only have I never made my own kombucha, I've never even tried it! That's finally going to change soon, thanks for the inspiration!
What?! You really need to try it 🙂 I got hooked after it significantly helped my stomach issues improve.
Yay! I think I had a cookbook that taught how to make your own kombucha but I...left it in California (sigh). Thank you for this! 😀
Bummer!! Hope this helps ease the loss of that cookbook 😉 xo
Kelli Shallal says
This looks amazing I need to get on this homemade train!
Yes you do!! It's surprisingly easy and feels so good when you realize how much money you are saving! 🙂
Kombucha is a favorite of mine, but yes it does break the bank to drink it everyday. And at 30 calories per serving, how can you go wrong? I do buy it at the Big, big box store for about $2.50 per bottle, but that is too much. I am excited to try this. I will need to invest in some equipment though it looks like. Thank you for your amazing recipes and sharing!
Carol Traub says
How do you make the SCOBY?
You actually have to get one from a previous batch of kombucha or you can buy one. I bought mine (from amazon), but if you know anyone that makes their own kombucha, they can give you one (a new SCOBY forms with every batch).
Question...if you are making kombucha for the first time how can you add some from a previous batch? Just wondering
Good question! Most SCOBYs come with a cup or two of kombucha. You can also use a plain store-bought kombucha (just be sure that it is unflavored).