Kombucha is the perfect replacement for soda or juice if you’re trying to find a healthier alternative. I can’t pronounce most of the ingredients found in a can of soda, let alone know what they actually are! If you’re ready to get on the kombucha craze this guide is for you! Let me show you how easy it is to make kombucha at home.
What is kombucha and why should we drink it
Essentially it is a tea drink that has gone through a fermentation process. The health benefits of drinking this refreshing fizzy drink include: liver health, immune system booster, body detoxifier, good gut health, and many many more!
My kombucha story
I first tasted kombucha a couple of years ago when my grandma gave me a taste of her home brew. At this point I had never even heard of kombucha and wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but the look of what she had in that jar (the SCOBY) made me have a preconceived idea that I was NOT going to like it. I took the tiniest taste, made a sour face and decided I was not going to try THAT again!
Fast forward a few months and I was once more offered to try another homemade kombucha at a friends house. Not wanting to be rude I accepted the drink and I’m so glad I did. It was delicious! This time it was ice cold, fizzy, and full of flavor. I later learned my grandmas kombucha was only in its initial ferment (more on that later), therefore it was at room temperature and not quite ready for consumption.
As time passed I started learning about making healthier more natural choices for everything I was bringing into our home, from cleaning products to food and everything in between. I slowly started making small changes beginning with the food we were eating and making kombucha at home became one of the things I knew I needed to learn.
A quick word of caution: If you tend to have a lot of allergies I recommend starting with a small taste to make sure you don’t have an adverse reaction.
Supplies/Ingredients you will need
Medium sized pot
12 cups of filtered water
1 cup of sugar
SCOBY and starter liquid. You can get one from a friend since they reproduce every time you make a new batch of homemade kombucha, or you can purchase one from The kombucha shop
cotton cloth and rubber band
stainless steel funnel if you choose to bottle into swing top bottles for individual servings.
How to make kombucha at home
- Bring 4 cups of filtered water to a boil, then turn off heat.
- Add 3 Tbs. of loose leaf organic black tea or 6 tea bags, and steep for 8-10 minutes. Discard tea after.
- Add 1 cup of sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Pour the sweet tea into a one gallon glass jar and add 8 cups of cold filtered water.
- Add your SCOBY with its starter liquid.
- Cover the jar with the cotton cloth and seal with the rubber band.
- Place the gallon jar in a warm dark place for 10-12 days.
At this point you are done with your first ferment. You will see the SCOBY has about doubled in size, you can use it again for your next homemade kombucha batch. Remove it from the jar and store it in a covered glass jar with at least one cup of your current kombucha, this will keep the SCOBY alive while in storage and will serve as the starter liquid for the next batch. You can leave the SCOBY in the covered glass jar at room temperature for up to 4 weeks, at which point it will need to be fed.
If you like your kombucha to have some fizz and you want to add different flavors to it, now is the time to experiment with it. Try adding a handful of your favorite fruit or some raw ginger. Cover the jar with an airtight lid and let it sit for an additional 2-4 days tasting it as you go until you have the desired amount of fizz. That’s what is called the second ferment
You can add the fruit flavoring directly into gallon glass jar or you can use glass swing top bottles and add a different flavor to each bottle. Whichever way you choose make sure to let the kombucha sit at room temperature in a dark area for an additional 2-4 days then put in the fridge and enjoy wonderfully good for you probiotic filled refreshing kombucha!
flavor combination ideas
apple and cinnamon
cucumber and mint
mango and pineapple
blueberry and strawberry
you can also add 2-3 Tbls of your favorite juice concentrate
these are just a few ideas, the combination possibilities are endless! My favorite thing to do is to add whatever fruit scraps I have on hand that day.