Kombucha tea is a popular option that is made from sweetened tisane that is produced through fermentation, and today we are talking about how you can make it yourself by using the basic kombucha recipe below. Typically, Kombucha that is plain has an acidic or vinegar-like flavor that pairs with the sweet tea flavor that it is combined with. You can adjust the kombucha recipe by changing the strength of the tea flavor to your liking simply by adjusting the number of tea bags that you brew before making the Kombucha.
Kombucha can be found at many different health food stores, as well as in some grocery stores in the organic section. Below you will find a Kombucha recipe with step by step instructions regarding how to make Kombucha at home. Scroll all the way down to the bottom for a more compact recipe.
So, what do you need to make Kombucha Tea? The first and most important ingredient is the Kombucha mushroom, also known as SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast). You can’t have a kombucha recipe without the SCOBY. This can be found in many places online and if you preserve it correctly, you will never need to purchase another one.
Next, you will need a sample of Kombucha tea to use as a starter or brewed vinegar.
Third, you will need tea. You can choose either loose tea or tea that is in bags, but sometimes less expensive versions wind up tasting the best. You should also avoid using teas that have oils, like Earl Grey because they can do damage to your mushroom. This will mean that you will need to brew for a much longer period of time in order to receive satisfactory results. Some of the most popular tea options are: Green, Lemon balm, black and Echinacea
Finally, you will need some form of sugar. While you can easily use refined white sugar or organic cane sugar and receive amazing results, you may want to experiment a bit in order to find your favorite taste. The Kombucha recipe below is a simple recipe without any extra flavoring. That step usually happens in a so called second fermentation. We will talk about that in another article.
Kombucha Recipe – Step One
Wash Your Hands
The first thing that you must do is to wash your hands thoroughly. You should make sure that you do NOT use antibacterial soap because this can damage your Kombucha and destroy the good bacteria that are provided by the culture. Instead, you can use plain vinegar or apple cider vinegar to wash your hands instead of antibacterial soap. It is also recommended that you use non-latex gloves while you are making the tea as well, especially when you are touching the culture.
Fill Your Tea Pot
Boil The Water
Add Tea Bags
Cover the tea mixture and allow it to sit until it comes to room temperature. It is important that you allow it to completely cool because if you add the culture to tea that is too how, you will kill it.
Adding the Culture
Sanitize The Jar
The first thing that you must do when preparing to combine your tea with your Kombucha culture is to make sure that the jar that you are using is sanitized carefully. Place the jar in a sink that is filled with very hot water, rinsing it thoroughly. Another option is to place your jar in the oven at 285°F for about 10 minutes, but the jar must be made out of class or ceramic.
Pour The Tea
When the tea is cooled, pour the tea that you brew into the jar along with the starter tea or vinegar. Keep in mind that the vinegar should be about 10% of the overall liquid in the jar. (Use ¼ cup of vinegar per gallon of tea)
Place The SCOBY
Photo source: Wikipedia “Kombucha Mature” by Mgarten
Next, you will gently place the SCOBY into the jar, cover the top with cloth and use a rubber band to secure it tightly.
Dark And Undisturbed
Put your jar somewhere that is dark where it won’t have the chance to be disturbed. You will need to make sure that it consistently stays at a minimum 70ºF even though 86ºF is preferred. This will help make sure that there will not be any organisms that will begin to grow that are unwanted.
You will need to wait at least one week before the tea is ready to complete. It will be ready when the pH level reaches a 3. You can test it by tasting it once it begins smelling like vinegar. Test strips are available for testing. If it is very sweet, it will probably require more time so that the culture can consume the sugar. Now, lets move on to the final phase of this kombucha recipe.
Final Steps – Getting the Tea Ready to Drink
Remove The SCOBY
Before the tea is ready to drink, you will need to remove the SCOBY from the mixture. In order to protect it, you should place it in a bowl and pour a little of the Kombucha over them. Cover the bowl in order to keep them protected.
Pour Into Containers
Photo source: Wikipedia “Kitchen Funnel” by Donovan Govan
Now you will need to use a funnel in order to pour most of your tea into a container to store it in. It is best if you can fill it all the way to the top so that it will not take as long to get fizzy. If you need to, use smaller containers so that there isn’t a gap or pour a bit of plain tea or juice in to make up the difference.
Cap And Let Sit
After the tea has been completed, it is best to store it in the refrigerator. It tastes much better when it is cold. After you have completed this cycle, you are ready to begin again so that you will have another batch ready after you finish with the first.
And that’s how you make kombucha! Hopefully you found this Kombucha recipe easy to follow, but if you have any questions or simply want more information, check out our social media sites at the top of this page, above the logo. Good luck brewing!