Kombucha is one of my absolute favorite beverages and something I’ve been brewing myself for four years. I use the deluxe brewing kit from The Kombucha Shop and love it. I’ve used this same brand the whole time I’ve been brewing kombucha. It makes home brew simple and easy which I love.
I know a lot of you feel intimidated when it comes to brewing your own kombucha, because fermented foods can get tricky. I promise you kombucha is fairly simple to brew.
A few rules to keep in mine when brewing kombucha
There are a couple big rules you need to know when making your kombucha.
1. Don’t use metal containers or spoons when preparing your kombucha to ferment. Metal can damage your scoby.
2. Don’t use antibacterial soap or harsh cleaners to wash any of your kombucha brewing supplies. Warm water and vinegar are all you need!
How to do the first ferment
Okay so you’re ready to ferment some tea!
1. Start by boiling 4 cups of water. Remove from heat and add 3 tablespoons organic black, oolong or green tea (or any of these delicious blends!) to the cloth bag that comes in the brewing kit and steep for 7 minutes. If you do not have the brewing kit or a cloth tea bag, use 6-8 tea bags instead.
2. Remove tea and add one cup organic sugar. NOTE: kombucha in the first ferment is very low in sugar. That is because the SCOBY feeds off the sugar.
3. Add tea to your large jar for brewing, then add 8 cups cold filtered water. Check the temperature, it should be between 68-86 degrees.
4. Gently add in your SCOBY and starter tea. This will come with your brew kit, if you do not have a kit, you can make your own scoby, get one from a friend, or buy one. Gently stir once.
5. Test the pH of your kombucha. It should be 4.5 or below. If it’s too high, add a teaspoon of white vinegar and test again.
6. Cover your jar with the cotton cloth and secure with rubber band. Ferment for 7-9 days.
7. Do a taste test at day 7 to see if the batch is ready. You may even notice a new SCOBY growing on top! That’s really good!
How to choose the best place in your home for fermenting your kombucha
The place where your kombucha can ferment needs to have all these requirements:
- no direct sun light
- low traffic
Do not choose a cabinet or small closet. At our new house, I chose to leave mine in our master closet. There is no window, its really big with no door, so airflow is great. Plus, it is really warm. It isn’t low traffic, but we have a shelf up so close to the ceiling (as you may have been in my stories!) that I feel like it’s okay. The new house is so bright with soo much natural light, that this was the only real option that didn’t have direct sun light all day!
How can I tell if my booch is ready?
Start doing a taste test at day 7 and then every few days after. If the booch is too sweet, you still have a few days to go. If it is tart/tangy it’s all done! If it’s sour af, it fermented too long and try a shorter time next time.
I do not have and cannot buy the kit from the kombucha shop, what do I need?
I definitely recommend buying the kit. The basic kit is $48, but I do understand that many can’t do that. Here is a list of the basic items you need to brew:
organic granulated sugar
SCOBY with starter tea
breathable cotton cloth and rubber band
pH test strips
I also recommend using simple mason jars, or saving old kombucha bottles for the second ferment and drinking your kombucha. That saves a bit of money too and is a great use for those store bought bottles.
In a couple weeks, I will be sharing all about the second fermentation so stay tuned! In the meantime, if you have any questions on kombucha, message me on Instagram!
*product was gifted to me by the kombucha Shop, a company I have been investing in and loving for four years.