Making Kombucha has quickly become a fun activity our family gets to enjoy throughout the week. It sounds silly, but the process is somewhat therapeutic for me. In this post I will be covering EVERYTHING from first ferment to second ferment. Making homemade Kombucha is so easy and I hope this post inspires you to give it a whirl!
To start off some of you might be wondering, what exactly is Kombucha? Essentially, it is fermented tea that can be flavored and carbonated to your liking. Kombucha is a living colony of bacteria and yeast that contains tons of probiotics which aids in digestion and a ton of other things. The only downside of Kombucha is how expensive it is if you want to buy it to drink everyday. This is exactly why I decided to start making my own at home.
Here are a few things to know before starting off:
- Use glass for you booch! Metal can react with the acidity of the Kombucha and plastic can grow bad bacteria and mold too easily.
- Fermentation happens easier in a dark warm place. The warmer your environment, the shorter amount of time you will need to ferment.
- During your second ferment make sure to “burp” your glass bottles by opening them once a day to relieve any pressure that has built up. They could explode if you dont!
Before I get started with what you’ll need, I already know I am going to get a ton of questions about what a SCOBY is so here’s my best answer: it’s an alien looking culture that is essentially the “mother” of your booch. The SCOBY is what provides the tea with bacteria and yeast to ferment this drink and also protects the tea from bad bacteria. You can often find a SCOBY from a friend or you can make your own .
You will need:
-2-3 cups of starter Kombucha
-Roughly 12 cups of water (6 cups are for making the tea. The rest is just to fill up the remaining space in your jar)
-A cheese cloth or some other very breathable material to cover it
-6 green or black tea bags (make sure its caffeinated)
-1 cup of raw sugar
-2-3 sealed glass bottles for your second ferment (This is what makes it fizzy during your second ferment)
-Fruit to flavor
Place your SCOBY in your glass gallon jar with your starter booch. Start boiling 6 cups of water with the tea bags and cup of sugar in the pot. Boil the remaining water in a separate pot. We are boiling the water to make sure any contaminants from the tap are out. If you have a reverse osmosis filter you can skip this step and just make the tea.
Let your tea and water sit until they are at room temp. This part can take a while so I sometimes will stick my pots in the freezer to speed up the process. The water has to be at room temp, if it were too hot it could hurt your SCOBY.
Once tea and water are cooled, remove tea bags and pour you sweet tea into your glass jar first, then water on top until you have about an inch of space from the top of the jar. Place cheese cloth on top of the jar and secure it with a rubber band. Place this jar in a dark warm place (mine is in my laundry room) to keep everything growing.
Your booch can sit and ferment for 7-21 days. I always let mine ferment for 10 days, then start my second ferment and let that go for another 3. So 13 days of total fermentation is what I prefer. Feel free to test this out and see what amount of time works for you and your taste buds!
Once my 10 days are up I remove 2-3 cups of the Kombucha from the top of the jar and place this into a glass bowl with my SCOBY. I then strain the remaining Kombucha into my glass bottles with whatever fruit I am planning on flavoring my drink. I then seal the bottles, let them sit for 3 days (burping them once a day), then stick them in the fridge! Putting your kombucha in the fridge will stop the fermentation process.
Use the 2 cups of Kombucha and SCOBY in your glass bowl to start all over again!
If you have any questions or hesitations about brewing booch, don’t hesitate to comment below and I’ll help ya out! Happy brewing!