Sunday, February 27, 2011

How to make your own kombucha

Two organic apples, one organic beet, one organic swiss chard leaf and some walnut butter.

This was my snack at work. It's just cantaloup, chia seeds and coconut milk. 

This was my lunch. It is a sandwich packed with almond butter, cashew butter and strawberries. So tasty!

For dinner, I had a sandwich with fresh red pepper hummus, avocado and nutritional yeast along with some boiled brussels sprouts. 

Now, on to the kombucha. This was fun to make! I will try to give you all the instructions and just let me know if you have any questions. 

Rahjah always wants to be in all the pictures :)

This is a picture of the SCOBY growing.

This is the best picture I have of the SCOBY right now. It is suppose to be kept in the dark for another three weeks, so I didn't want to bother it too much. 

SCOBY instructions:

1. Buy a bottle of Original Synergy Kombucha. Make sure it is original, no juice added. Also you will need a large glass jar (I had an old milk jar), caffeinated green tea (black is also ok), organic cane sugar, cheesecloth (or something of the like), and a rubber band.
2. In glass jar, pour two cups of boiling water, two teabags of your choice of tea and one Tbsp sugar. Let it steep for at least 10 minutes. 
3. Remove tea bags. Allow your mixture to cool COMPLETELY to room temperature and then add bottle of kombucha. (I like to let my bottle of kombucha reach around room temperature first.)
4. Cover your glass jar with cheesecloth and rubber band. Now, place your bowl somewhere warm and dry. Let this sit for two weeks! After the two weeks has passed, if you do not plan on brewing kombucha with your SCOBY right away, then store your SCOBY in the fridge.

How to brew kombucha with your own live SCOBY:

1. In stainless steel pot, boil half a gallon of water.
2. Remove from heat and add about 3/4 cup of organic cane sugar. Stir it in with a METAL spoon. Unfortunately, substituting anything for sugar does not work well with kombucha. So no agave, honey, stevia, splenda, etc. 
3. Add your choice of caffeinated tea. You can use any kind including flavored for this step. I use loose snap dragon green tea, but you can really use anything as long as it's caffeinated. If you use loose tea, make sure to have some type of mesh infuser so that there are no tea leaves inside your kombucha.
4. Now, steep your tea for at least 4 hours. You want it to get really strong. 
5. After the 4 hours, pour your sweet tea into a glass jar large enough.

*Do not use metal beyond this point. It reacts poorly with the SCOBY.*
*Also, if you plan on touching the SCOBY at all, make sure that your hands are VERY clean.*

6. Pour your starter SCOBY into the jar with your sweet tea. You are going to want most of the liquid from the SCOBY jar to be drained out before plopping the SCOBY in the the sweet tea. 
7. Place the cheesecloth over the top of your jar and make it tight with the rubber band. Now, tuck your kombucha away in a warm dark spot. NO DRAFTS OR SUNLIGHT.
8. You can brew it between 3 weeks to a month. It all depends on how strong a flavor you want. Also, keep in mind that if you live in a warmer climate, it will brew faster so cut the brewing time in half. 

After a few weeks:

9. First off, you need to remove the SCOBY. Every time you brew, the "mother" (which is the original SCOBY) grows a "baby". These two are actually identical in every way, so you will not be able to tell them apart. They will be stacked together looking like two pancakes. You can leave them together and just have a double thick SCOBY or carefully separate them. If you take them apart, you can brew a new batch with both the mother and the baby. Reminder: each time you brew, the mother makes a baby. Which is awesome if you love kombucha like me, because you will have a continuous flow of kombucha. 

10. You will need to hold your SCOBY somewhere while you are brewing a new batch of tea. Make sure that the jar that your live SCOBY is in is glass and the lid is either plastic or glass. NO METAL. Carefully fish out your SCOBY with CLEAN hands, and place it into a clean jar and pour enough of the new brew to completely cover it. This is going to be your starter for your next batch. You can store this in the refrigerator. 

11. Your kombucha can be stored in the fridge for 6 weeks. The SCOBY can can be stored in the fridge indefinitely. 

12. ENJOY!!!

Important notes:

  • Sometimes your SCOBY will become contaminated. If your SCOBY looks like it has mold, smells funny or tastes funny, throw it away! Contamination happens. So throw it away if you think it is contaminated. 
  • Only use vinegar to clean you equipment. Do NOT use bleach. 
  • Do NOT add juice before fermentation! If you want juice added to your kombucha, wait until after fermentation. 
  • Start off drinking a little at a time. Home brewed kombucha is WAY stronger than store bought. It has lots of B vitmamins too!

PS guys, today is the last day to get your 10% off on Dark Chocolate & Tulips jewelry! Please take advantage of it! The code is a couple posts down :)


  1. i like your dinner sandwich! and the lunch one is so different but still sounds really good! much healthier than sugar loaded jam you know? good idea.

  2. I love the cantaloupe, coconut milk, and chia combo, and the strawberry and nut butter combo, they are really interesting and sound delicious. I'm marking both down so I don't forget to try them.

    Making your own kombucha, very cool! You sound like a master brewer; thanks for the instructions, it sounds like something fun to try. Scooby Dooby.

  3. Homemade kombucha sounds really rewarding, once you get past the work in getting started. I'm still on the fence about kombucha.

    I do like the strawberry/almond butter sandwich - I may be having one of those for lunch today! Brilliant, I can't believe I hadn't thought of that before.

  4. I would have never thought about trying to make my own kombucha. Sounds like I may have to try that some day though.
    Stawberry and almond butter sandwiches rock! Never tried it with cashew butter though.

  5. I've been looking for a Kombucha recipe for over a year. I will need to study this and get back to you.

  6. Wow, making yr own kombucha is intense! I'd love to try it...maybe, maybe. Other than that, all your meals look AMAZING! Avo/hummus is a favorite of mine too but those strawberries look great in the sandwich.

  7. I admit, I'm very freaked out by kombucha. I pored over every word of your instructions, though. I am highly interested. I'm just still freaked out to try it. I have this obsessive compulsive thing about not eating any food that is over a few days old, so in my head I can't imagine eating something that has been sitting out for that long. I even tried sprouting my own beans the other day, and I ended up throwing them out because it was freaking me out too much to watch them sit out. I know...I'm totally weird. I will eat store-bought fermented foods - I love kimchi - I just can't watch the process.

    Give me some time. Maybe I'll come around. Like I said, I'm highly interested. And, as always, I'm so in awe of how great you are at all of this stuff.

  8. I've never had kombucha, but I hear so much about it. How did you figure out how to make your own?

  9. Awesome! The Hubs has been wanting to make some of his own for awhile.
    <3, New Follower

    Serving up laughter & inspiration all at A Taste of T

  10. I've never tried to make my own kombucha.
    That strawberry sandwich looks amazing.

  11. Michelle- I love fruit over jam. I still eat jam, but If I have the fresh fruit, why not :)

    Rose- Haha scooby doo! Ya I like to try different food combos :) I am glad you guys like my ideas, because my family and people I work with think I am crazy!

    Jess- Thanks for the shout out on your blog with the strawberry and butter sandwich! Simple and good. I was like you at first with kombucha. I tried it and hated it! I thought it was rotten! Now, a few years later, I have learned to love it!

    Michelle-I love cashew butter. I got a bunch of different butters that I am going to blog about soon.

    Shen- Yes, read up on it. It some awesome stuff! Home brew is super strong too! Let me know if you do it!

    Mahl- Thank you! And you should def try making your own! If you do or have questions just let me know!

    Jenny- Haha, you are funny :) I don't think kombucha is for you maybe. I think it would really hard for you to drink this stuff with your phobia. My brother would be freaked out every time he looked at it and kept saying, I just don't understand how this is good for you!

    Blessed mama- You have to try it. The benefits are amazing! It's so good for you! I did A LOT of research online. It turns out it's easier than I thought!

    Tanya- Thanks for following! Try it out! It's actually easier than you think. The hard part is the waiting :)

    Dreaminitveg- Thanks! I love fresh fruit in sandwiches over jam any day!

  12. The sandwich looks yummy,thanks for sharing your recipe,I love your taste in food:)


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