The Simple Guide to Making Kombucha at Home

In Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Recipes | Delicious and Quick Recipes for Real Food by Lisa Soldo-Johnson2 Comments

how to make kombucha from scratch

Some years ago, kombucha became a popular beverage that was showing up at Wholefood stores and other co-ops. Since I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, I decided to give it a try. My initial reaction was a tug of war between hating it and liking it. The more I sipped on this bubbly effervescent tea, the more my taste buds adjusted and before I knew it, I was hooked.

The only problem was at that time; kombucha retailed for close to $5 per bottle. When the trend took off, the price went down, and now you can buy it for closer to $3 per bottle and most grocery stores. But better yet, you can make kombucha at home for much cheaper and in my opinion, much better tasting too.

homemade kombucha

Kombucha is a fermented beverage made from brewed tea, cane sugar, filtered water and a pancake looking (good) bacteria called a SCOBY, or Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. The Scoby sucks up the sugar during the fermentation process and releases live probiotics and enzymes into the tea, leaving you with pure, fresh, health in a bottle. The fermentation process takes between 7 to 45 days depending on how you like your kombucha to taste.

kombucha being made in a jar

You could call kombucha a Superfood since the number of health benefits your body gets from drinking this tea are extensive. Kombucha is an immunity-boosting tea, which can strengthen the body against many ailments.

Originating over 2,000 years ago in the Far East, they considered kombucha to be a cure-all that detoxifies the body, aids digestion, boosts the immune system and in recent years has even been touted by some as a powerful beverage that can help to reverse the symptoms of cancer.

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Home Made Kombucha Yum
Immune boosting Kombucha tea is packed with healthy live enzymes and probiotics and is easy to make. Enjoy it plain or add a flavor to create your own favorite kombucha.
1-liter bottles
1-liter bottles
Brewing Kombucha
  1. In medium pot, bring 12 cups of water to a boil. Remove pot from heat and stir in tea leaves. Let steep for 5 minutes.
  2. While tea is steeping, add sugar to a clean glass 2 gallon jar.
  3. Place mesh strainer over top of the glass jar, pour the tea into strainer allowing liquid to drain into glass jar. Using spoon, press down on tea leaves to extract any remaining liquid. Discard tea leaves.
  4. Stir sugar and tea together until sugar is dissolved. Pour 20 cups cold water into the jar and stir contents. Allow the tea to cool to 78 degrees or cooler before adding Scoby to the jar. Be sure to add at least 2 cups of kombucha starter into the jar. You can begin by using a store-bought plain kombucha.
  5. Cover jar with cloth and elastic band. Place jar in a cool room to ferment for 15-45 days depending on how you prefer the taste. Taste test the kombucha to decide when to bottle your brew.
Bottling Kombucha
  1. When your kombucha is ready to bottle, create a clean work space on your counter top near the sink.
  2. Wash your hands to remove any dirt or oil. Using a large glass or wooden bowl, (not metal) remove the scoby from the jar and set into bowl. Pour 2 cups of kombucha over the scoby for later use.
  3. Using a large 4-cup measuring cup with spout, carefully pour the kombucha from the 2 gallon jar into the measuring cup to just below the top.
  4. Place one glass bottle into the sink with the funnel in the top of the bottle. Slowly pour the kombucha from the measuring cup into the funnel until the bottle is almost full. Allow the fizz to settle down before filling the bottle just 2-inches below the top.
  5. Cap the bottle and set it aside, repeating the same process until your kombucha is bottled.
  6. You can choose to do a second ferment by leaving the bottles on the counter for one week. This will continue to ferment your kombucha, or you can refrigerate immediately if you like the taste as it is.
  7. Clean out your 2-gallon jar, and prepare it for a new batch.
Recipe Notes

Recipe Notes:

  • You can flavor your kombucha when you bottle it, by reserving 1 cup of kombucha, adding your favorite flavor and pouring that into the empty bottle before topping it off with the plain kombucha.
  • I like to use ginger, tart cherry, mango, or any fresh fruit I may have on hand.
  • Aldi grocery store sells a bottled lemonade. Those bottles are inexpensive and perfect for bottling your kombucha.

Note: The longer kombucha ferments the less sweet it will become. Taste test your batch and bottle when the taste is to our liking. Some people bottle their kombucha after only a few weeks of fermenting.

Recipe by Laurie Kerkinni for


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