As far as how to make kombucha at home, you’ll need to start with a quality kombucha SCOBY. I recommend purchasing a Brew Now Kit from Hannah at Kombucha Kamp, rather than growing your own from scratch (which I tried previously). The kit is great for beginners because it takes out a lot of the guesswork, and it also comes with enough kombucha starter liquid to make your first batch.
Here are a few of the reported health benefits of kombucha (according to the Kombucha Kamp website):
Please note that this information is for educational purposes only. It’s not intended to replace the advice or attention of health-care professionals.
Health benefits aside, I also happen to like the slightly acidic, apple-cider-vinegar-like flavor. There’s something addictive about it. And in addition to saving nearly $4 every time a kombucha craving strikes, one of the great parts of making your own kombucha is that you can play around with the sweetness and also the flavors (for example, a longer fermentation period will yield a less sweet, more acidic kombucha). I went with a blueberry kombucha this time, adding in just a couple of tablespoons of frozen berries before I bottled it. I also really like strawberry and mango, and I’m looking forward to making a ginger version soon.
The fruit creates this awesome natural carbonation, making the kombucha extra fizzy and fun to sip. And if you’re worried about the strands of yeast (you’ll often see them at the bottom of the liquid), it’s really easy to strain those out, rinse them down the drain, and pretend they never existed. I also like to pretend the SCOBY never existed.
Garnish your kombucha with a few mint leaves for a pretty, non-alcoholic, and good-for-you beverage. Or add a shot of tequila, vodka, whatever. Sometimes, that can be good for your soul.
How to Make Kombucha
Prep Time: 10 - 15 days
A simple step-by-step guide for how to make kombucha at home. This kombucha recipe is easy, promise!
If you ordered a SCOBY, it should come packed in enough starter liquid to brew your first batch. Use all of that liquid. It may be less than 2 cups if it’s strong starter liquid (and that’s totally fine).
I use and recommend these bottles for kombucha. They have rubber stoppers at the top that create extra fizzy kombucha. Mason jars with screw-on plastic lids will also work (don’t use metal lids because they will react with the kombucha), but a lot of the carbonation escapes and it’s much less fizzy.
If at any point during the process you notice green mold forming in the mixture, toss it and start over. This can happen when the liquid isn’t acidic enough, which is why it’s so important to add enough starter liquid.
The time it takes for the kombucha to ferment is very much dependent on environmental factors and it’s not an exact science. If you find, for example, that the kombucha tastes acidic enough at 6 days instead of 7, go ahead and move on to the bottling process. I live in Boston and personally find that 10 days is about how long it takes to get the right flavor.
Each time you brew kombucha, a new scoby will grow on top. It’s a good idea to save a few as back-ups in case something happens to your original scoby. To do this, simply add your leftover scoby to a glass jar, cover it with finished kombucha liquid, and close the jar using a lid (not a towel) to prevent the kombucha liquid from evaporating (a metal lid is okay as long as the liquid isn’t touching the lid). Store the jar in a warm, dark place.
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