Wednesday, August 13, 2014

How To: Make Kombucha (fermented tea)

So, if you follow me avidly on Facebook you will know that lately I've had some comical occurrences at my local health food store. Where I live, specific bottles of kombucha require that the purchaser be over 21 years of age (since they contain over 0.5% alcohol). Apparently, I look young to some people so I had to show my ID to buy my weekly supply. Over and over and over again. Although the people selling these bottles of fermented goodness to me were the same faces that I would interact with on a weekly basis, they assumed I had Benjamin Button syndrome and my age was actually reverting to a pre-21 year old state. Long story short, I decided to make my own kombucha. 1. Because everything made at home is generally better. 2. I can quality control what goes into my brew. 3. It is going to save me about $120 a month vs buying the bottled kombucha.

First, what is kombucha? Simply put- it's fermented tea. Basically you make sweet tea (using *gasp* real sugar) and add this thing called a scoby to it. Then the scoby eats up the sugar, making the tea fermented and full of lots of beneficial stuff. After 7-14 days the final brew is known as kombucha. Most people do a second brew of 2-3 days by adding fruit juice or spices to the kombucha. After this second process the kombucha becomes carbonated and can be viewed as a "soda" of sorts.

What does it taste like? Surprisingly delicious. I have always hated sweet tea. I was thusly ridiculed growing up in the South, but kombucha tastes less like sweet tea and more like hard cider. Depending on the flavor and length of brew, it's sweet and has a slight bite at the finish. It's good. More importantly, it's good for you.

How to make kombucha:


A large container made of ceramic or glass (I use this one)
A cloth to cover the top of the container that will keep pests out, yet allows the brew to breathe (I use a dish towel, secured in place by a rubber band or if you get the above container it comes with a plastic piece that hold it appropriately)
8 tea bags per brew
1 cup sugar per brew (real sugar, not honey or stevia or anything else)
2 gallons of filtered water per brew
1 scoby, to start (you will only need to purchase/ located this once, after that you can continue to use the same scoby for future batches of kombucha)
1 cup white vinegar (for initial brew, to keep out mold)
Glass bottles with plastic or other non-metal caps
Fruit juice or spices like ginger for second brew


1. Boil water and steep tea bags. (I boil 1 gallon of water because it's easier and steep all 8 tea bags in it. After step 3 I add the other gallon of filtered water)
2. Discard used tea bags and add sugar to tea. Stir until dissolved.
3. Let tea completely cool and add to brewing container. Add vinegar.
4. Gently place scoby into tea, it should float to the top (eventually).
5. Place towel over the top of the container and secure.
6. Wait 7-14 days, check periodically to make sure that the scoby is growing and there is no mold.
7. When the brew is complete, bottle.
8. Leave about 20% room in each bottle to add spices and/or juice for second brew. Secure caps tightly and let sit at room temperature for 2 days.
9. Place in refrigerator when second brew is complete. The kombucha should be carbonated.
10. Enjoy.

For further details and how to keep a perpetual kombucha brew going see this article here and here.


  1. I love seeing people get hooked on the wonderful refreshing drink, Kombucha! Great info here - thanks for sharing!

  2. Do we have the right to use sugar when on the scd diet? thanks

    1. It's very important that you use real sugar cane sugar or else the kombucha most likely will not turn out correctly. If you are new on SCD or using it for healing I would suggest not drinking kombucha; taking the risk that some sugar still remains in the drink would not be worth sacrificing your progress and health for.

  3. Whoaaa, I always thought kombucha had yeast in it! I'm definitely going to give this a go then.