This week has been crazy busy for both Carrie and I, so I decided to get the instructions for batch brewing your kombucha down here and then we will have to make our video later. I know. Sad. But we’ll get to it!
So this is actually really easy. Super easy. And fun. You can use whatever teas you want and get creative with flavors before you even begin to think about bottling!
For flavoring your kombucha, see our post HERE.
Now, to begin – you will need to decide how much kombucha you are wanting to drink every week or two. We brew 2 gallons in gallon containers. So I have 2 jars brewing at the same time. Before I found my gallon containers – I used 4 half gallon containers. Which was actually kinda fun because then I could experiment and use different teas for each container. But it did take up a lot more space.
So let’s get started! Let’s break it down!
Ok… maybe not that kind of breaking it down… ahem…
I’m assuming you have your scoby and starter liquid/kombucha already. If you don’t you can buy one online. However, I usually recommend just asking around and finding a friend that already brews and getting a scoby and some kombucha from them! Friends are cool. If you don’t have cool friends that already brew kombucha you can find a starter kit HERE.
- Brew your tea! Your tea MUST contain caffeine. The caffeine is “eaten” by the scoby – it keeps your amazing scoby alive. So if you want to use an herbal tea that sounds tasty to brew your kombucha, you have to use a mix. For 1/2 gallon containers you want a minimum of 6 tea bags that are caffeinated. For 1 gallon, I use 8. Then you can add in any other teas that aren’t caffeinated that you want. I usually use 4-6 herbal tea bags depending on the size of the container I am using and get good flavor. SO – brew your tea. Add in boiling water, then add in 3/4 cup sugar. Mix well. Let this tea/sugar mix cool completely. You DO NOT want to put your scoby in hot water – even warm water. This will kill the scoby and all the probiotics. So keep your scoby and starter liquid/kombucha to the side. Do NOT mix yet.
- Once your tea/sugar completely cools, remove the tea bags. If you used loose tea, you’ll have to strain it out. I use a large bowl and cheesecloth whenever I use loose teas.
- Pour in your scoby and starter liquid.
- If your containers are not full – top with cool water.
- Cover your containers. Your covers need to be breathable. So a cloth with a rubber band works really well!
- Place in a dark spot – I put mine in a large cupboard.
- Now here’s where personal preference comes into play. Brewing time. I brew mine for 10 days. I think it’s perfect. The normal recommended brewing time is 7-14 days. I think 7 days still tastes mostly like tea – not really kombucha. The longer you let your kombucha brew – the more vinegary it will taste. As long as there is never any mold, your kombucha is always safe to drink but it will continue to get “vinegary” the longer you let it sit. So no worries if you go on vacation or simply forget about it or don’t feel like drinking kombucha every once in a while. (That happens over here.) My original point – I brew mine for 10 days.
After your 10 days (or however long you choose) are up – it’s bottling time! Again, read our flavoring post HERE to read all about flavoring and bottling your kombucha.
You have to remember to SAVE at least 1 pint (2 cups) kombucha to go into your next batch – this becomes your starter liquid for the next round!
Before bottling, wash your hands, then remove the scoby – you might even have 2 by now! (Yep – they grow! Which means – more kombucha!) I place mine in a pint or quart jar then cover with kombucha. That way it stays safe and I’ve already set aside my starter liquid!
Once you’re done bottling – go back to step ONE! Time to do it all again! Choose different teas, a plain green or black tea so you can flavor when bottling, have fun!