How to Make Kombucha at Home (6 Easy Steps)

What is Kombucha? In simple terms, it is fermented sweet tea. It is gaining popularity due to its health benefits such as improving our digestion, protect us from heart diseases, cancers and more. Kombucha is a refreshing, healthy drink that is slightly fizzy, with a hint of sour and sweetness. The good news is, kombucha can be easily made at home again and again, so you will never run out!

How to Make Kombucha at Home

What you need:

  • A large jar between 3-7 liters, ideally made of glass or ceramic (NO plastic or metal as the acidity of the kombucha will release toxins in the materials)
  • A kombucha SCOBY with some starter liquid. SCOBY stands for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast”, some people call it “mushroom” or “Mother”. The starter liquid and Scontains good bacteria which will turn tea into fermented goodness. You can easily buy them online or from your local health store.
A SCOBY in starter liquid
  • Sugar. You can use any types of sugar, white, brown, red, etc. The good bacteria in the SCOBY uses the sugar as fuel for the fermentation process.
  • Water. Make sure to use clean water, ideally bottled water, cooled boiled water or filtered water. The water should be enough to fill the 4/5 of the jar.
  • Jar cover such as disposable kitchen wipes, cloth napkin or a pieces of t-shirt material. The jar needs to be covered but not sealed, because fermentation process releases air and the jar needs to be breathable.
  • Rubberband or string to secure the jar cover.
  • Tea! You can use any type of tea, white, black, red, green or floral, tea bags or loose leaf. Avoid using tea that has added flavouring, added essential oils or spices, as they can affect the bacteria balance and lead to mould growth.

You can also buy a whole kombucha brewing kit, easy peasy:

Kombucha Brewing Kit with SCOBY, starter liquid, 4l glass jar, cane sugar, tea, reusable cotton tea bag, temperature gauge, cotton cover & rubberband and more

Recommended Ingredient Ratios

Jar SizeTea bagsLoose leaf teaSugarWaterStarter Liquid
1 Litre21 1/2 teaspoon1/4 cup2.5 cup1/2 cup
2 Litre41 tablespoon1/2 cup6.5 cup1 cup
4 Litre82 tablespoon1 cup13 cups2 cups
Complied by EZ Dietitian

STEP 1

Brew a concentrated batch of tea. If you are hoping to make 2 litres of kombucha, use about 4 tea bags. Refer to the ingredient ratio table above for guidance.

Then Wait for the tea to cool down to room temperature. Brewing a concentrated batch with about 500ml of water will help the tea to cool faster than making litres of tea at once.

STEP 2

Add sugar to the tea. Stir well to ensure sugar is fully dissolved.

STEP 3

Pour the sweet tea into your brewing jar, top up with room temperature water (bottled, filtered or boiled & cooled water). Make sure to leave enough room in the jar for the tea to aerate during the fermentation process.

STEP 4

Add kombucha SCOBY and starter liquid into the jar, cover jar with cloth and tighten with rubberband/string.

STEP 5

Leave the jar in an area away from direct sunlight. Let it sit for 10 days. After 10 days, have a taste and see if you like the degree of sourness. Kombucha can ferment from 3-30 days depending on how hot/cold the climate is, the longer you let it sit/the hotter the climate, the more sour/vinegary the kombucha tea will taste.

Final Step

Decant the kombucha into glass bottles and refridgerate them immediately. If you prefer a fizzy kombucha, put it into an airtight bottle and leave in room temperature for a few more days before refridgerating/drinking.

What to do with the SCOBY? You can make a SCOBY hotel. Scoop the SCOBY out, put it in an airtight glass jar and top it up with kombucha tea. This will be your SCOBY and starter liquid for the next batch. You can leave the hotel in a room-temp, dark area until you want to make another batch of delicious kombucha.

Conclusion

Making kombucha at home is as easy as “make tea – wait – mix everthing together – wait – enjoy”! Always have clean utensils and clean hands when you make kombucha. Welcome to the world of refreshing, bubbly, health goodness in a bottle!

Do you have any questions about brewing kombucha? Leave a comment below.

Published by EZ Dietitian

Elena Zhang​ is an Accredited Practising Dietitian (APD) based in North Brisbane, Queensland.

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