5 quarts water
2 cups raw organic sugar
12 tea bags organic black or green
2 cups starter tea, kombucha store-bought (unpasteurized-natural flavor)
1 scoby per fermentation jar
Optional flavoring extras for bottling: 1 to 3 cups chopped fruit, 2 to 3 cups fruit juice, 1 to 2 tablespoons flavored tea, ¼ cup honey, 2 to 4 tablespoons fresh herbs or spices.
Equipment: Stock pot, a large jar 1 gallon or bigger, glass bottles with plastic lids (keep store bought kombucha bottles and wash), clean plastic bottles with lids (keep large water bottles).
Note: Avoid prolonged contact between the kombucha and metal both during and after brewing. This can affect the flavor of your kombucha and weaken the scoby over time.
1. Make the Tea Base: Bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in sugar to dissolve. Drop in the tea and allow it to steep until the water has cooled. (I usually make the tea at night and then leave it to steep over night).
2. Add the Starter Tea: Once the tea is cool, remove the tea bags and strain out any loose tea. Stir in the starter tea.
3. Transfer to large jar and add the scoby: Pour the mixture into the glass jar and gently slide the scoby into the jar with clean hands. Cover the mouth of the jar with a few layers of cheesecloth or paper towels secured with a rubber band.
4. Ferment for 7 to 10 Days: keep the jar at room temperature, out of direct sunlight and where it won’t get jostled. Ferment for 7 to 10 days, checking the kombucha and the scoby periodically. It’s not unusual for the scoby to float at the top, bottom, or even side ways. A new cream-colored layer of scoby should start forming on the surface of the kombucha within a few days. It usually attaches to the old scoby, but it’s ok if they separate. You may also see brown stringy bits floating beneath the scoby, sediment collecting at the bottom and bubbles collecting around the scoby. This is all normal and sighs of healthy fermentation. After seven days, begin tasting the kombucha daily by pouring a little our of the jar into a cup. When it reaches a balance of sweetness and tartness is pleasant to you, the kombucha is ready to bottle.
5. Remove the scoby: before proceeding, prepare and cool another pot of strong tea for your next batch of kombucha, as outlined above. With clean hands, gently lift the scoby out of the kombucha and set it on a clean plate.
6. Bottle the finished kombucha: Measure out your starter tea from this batch of kombucha and set it aside for the next batch. Pour the fermented kombucha through a strainer into a water pitcher or something with a pour spout. Add any juice or additional flavoring to the strained kombucha and transfer into plastic bottles
7. Carbonate and refrigerate the finished kombucha: Store the bottled kombucha at toom-temperature out of direct sunlight and allow 1 to 3 days for the kombucha to carbonate. Until you get a feel for how quickly you kumbacha corbones, it’s helful to keep it in the plastic bottles, because the carbination expands the platic until it is rock solid.
8. Transfer and refrigerate: the carbonated kombucha into glass bottles (you may want to strain again, as a new scoby might have started forming) and refrigerate.