It’s very easy, and quite fun, to brew kombucha at home. You don’t need any special equipment and the basic recipe is quite simple.
What you need to brew a gallon of Kombucha at home:
- 4 quarts water
- 1 cup sugar
- 4-6 tea bags
- 2 cups Kombucha (or vinegar)
- A SCOBY
Water quality is important when you brew Kombucha at home. I’ve got pretty good water, but I usually set the water out the night before to remove the chlorine. You can also filter your water, or buy filtered water at the store.
Heat 1 quart of water to boiling, add the tea bags and sugar, stir and let it steep it for 5-15 minutes, depending on how strong you like it. I use a wooden slotted spoon to hold all the tea bags, which makes it easy to remove them. Experiment with how much tea you use (and how long you steep it) with each batch based on your favor preferences. More tea and longer steeping results in a fuller-flavored batch.
The temperature of the tea needs to be less than 100 degrees before you can add the SCOBY, so I add the other three quarts of water to a glass jar and then pour the sweet tea into that, which causes it to cool to the correct temperature.
Once the tea is cool, I put the SCOBY into the jar and add two cups finished Kombucha (or vinegar). I use a drink dispenser with a spigot as it makes bottling really easy. Adding the already fermented Kombucha makes the batch acidic, which prevents bad bacteria and things from growing. If you don’t have any Kombucha at home, you can use two cups of vinegar. After you make your first batch, you’ll use some of that Kombucha for the next batch.
Cover the jar with a couple layers of paper towels and secure with a rubber band. Let it sit for at least 7 days and then sample it (another advantage of the spigot!). If you like it more tart, let it sit for a few more days, tasting it each day until it’s to your liking. I bottle mine after 7 days, as I like it to be a little sweet.