- Kombucha scoby (can be found dehydrated online or locally at Gourmet Warehouse on E. Hastings or Cultivate Tea House on Main St.
- 14 cups of water
- 1 cup of granulated organic cane sugar
- 8 teabags or 2 TB of black or green tea (or a mix of both)
- 1 cup of starter tea (from the last batch of kombucha)
- 1 gallon glass jar for first fermentation
- tightly woven cloth (like a tea towel) + rubberband
- bottles for second fermentation
** Note: avoid prolonged exposure to metal during the cooking and fermentation process, this can potentially flavor the tea and will weaken the scoby over time **
Make the kombucha tea base: Bring water to boi. Stir in sugar. Add tea. Cool to room temperature. Filter out tea leaves if using loose leaf tea. Pour into the glass gallon jar
Introduce the scoby to her new home Add the scoby and the starter tea. Always be sure to use clean hands when handling the scoby. Cover the mouth of the jar with the tea towel and rubberband
First Fermentation: Allow to ferment for 7-10 days at room temperature in a place that is out of direct sunlight and where it is not likely to get jostled or moved around. Check on your kombucha periodically to see how your scoby is fermenting (always using clean utensils). Taste it in the 7-10 day window to get it to your taste. The longer you ferment for, the more vinegar-y it will taste.
** It is not unusual for your scoby to develop a personality all of its own (I've named mine Scoby Doo!) Sometimes she will float at the top, bottom or sideways. She may develop green or brown tendrils that seem alien and quite frankly, a little gross. She might be a little gassy and develop bubbles around her. Not to worry, all that is normal.
Time to Bottle: Once it gets to a balance of sweet and tart that tastes good to you, it is time to bottle. Make another batch of kombucha tea base following the instructions above. With clean hands, gently place the scoby and some starter tea in with the new kombucha tea base.
Adding the Flavor: If you prefer a straight kombucha flavor, you can skip this step entirely. I love adding seasonal flavors to my drink by adding fresh fruit and herbs. Simply add your flavoring ingredients and allow to ferment in the cloth-covered jar for 1-2 more days Give these flavors a try!
- Cherry and vanilla bean
- Raspberry and mint
- Blueberries and basil
Second Fermentation: The second fermentation is the part of the process that gives your kombucha that distinctive carbonation and fizz. All that needs to be done is the tea neesd to be strained and poured into air-tight bottles. Clean growlers or mason/weck jars work great for this. Allow to ferment for 1-2 days in room temperature before moving them to the fridge to be chilled and enjoyed.