making my own kombucha: starting from scratch

August 9, 2011 · 14 comments

in ramblings

i’ve hinted about a “new project” that liz and i have been working on several times in the past couple weeks. i’m excited to show you the finished project today, as we just finished it last night! :)

we made our own kombucha!

both of us have been loving kombucha all summer, but at $3.50 per bottle, it is definitely a special once-a-week-tops kind of treat. however, i knew you could brew your own, so first i kept my ears and eyes open for a friend/acquaintance who brewed their own and i could beg for a scoby* baby from. but no luck.

*scoby stands for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast and can also be called a “mushroom” or “mother”. it’s the thing that you put in with the tea to ferment it and turn it into kombucha.

after some google searches, i found this tutorial from food renegade on how to make your own scoby…. hooray!

first, i gathered my supplies:

-some black tea and an unflavored 100% kombucha

-a jar

-plus sugar and filtered water.

i brewed my cup of tea using the filtered water.

after steeping the tea for 3-5 minutes, i stirred in a heaping tablespoon of regular granulated sugar.

then, i waited forever for about 3 hours for the tea to cool to room temperature. if the tea is too hot, it will kill the bacteria and yeast in the kombucha and no scoby will grow. you don’t want that! waiting wasn’t too bad though, i just went about my business and checked the tea until it was cool!

then a cup of sweetened tea went into a jar with a half cup of unflavored 100% kombucha (i got mine at the willy street co-op). it’s important to sweeten the tea since the sugar is what the scoby “eats” during the fermentation process. not much, if any, sugar is left at the end – don’t worry!

i covered it with a paper town and a rubber band (so it can breathe, but nothing could get in), set it in a warm place away from direct sunlight (i just left it on the kitchen counter in a corner), and waited for 2 weeks.

when the scoby is about a 1/4 inch thick, it’s ready.

it’ll probably smell very vinegar-y by this point because the sugar has been fermented.

it’s finally time to start the kombucha-making-process!

and i’ll tell you more about that later…. ;)

*****

are you a kombucha junkie like me?

have you ever/do you make your own?

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

lungesandlunch August 9, 2011 at 10:35 am

Never made my own but thanks for the inspiration to try it! I might use a flavored tea just to be sassy.

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Sarah August 9, 2011 at 11:39 am

I’ve heard it’s fun to play around with flavored tea, but decided to stick with a tried & true recipe for my first time making it!

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Lindsay @ The Lean Green Bean August 9, 2011 at 11:44 am

looks like a fun project. i’ve never actually tried kombucha and acutally until just know i realized i’ve been saying it kochumba in my head :)

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Sarah August 9, 2011 at 9:04 pm

lol! kochumba sounds more fun! :)

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emily (a nutritionist eats) August 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I’ve been making my own too! I was so nervous to try the first batch!

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Sarah August 9, 2011 at 9:05 pm

we were nervous too! but it turned out really well! :) what kind of tea and/or juice do you use?

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Mellissa August 9, 2011 at 5:07 pm

I really need to try making my own… I am a bit nervous about that

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Sarah August 9, 2011 at 9:05 pm

you can do it! it’s easy.

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Jessica @ Healthy Dairyland August 9, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I love love love kombucha! I’ve never made it myself, but a girl at work makes it and lets me be the official taster! I’m scared I’ll mess it up or poison myself. haha

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Sarah August 10, 2011 at 7:52 am

haha! I was a little scared too, but ive been drinking it for a couple days and I’m fine! :)

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Jenn L @ Peas and Crayons August 9, 2011 at 10:38 pm

oh gosh this is perfection! keep me posted! i want every detail! <3

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Sarah August 10, 2011 at 7:53 am

it’s coming!!

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Michelle {The Lively Kitchen} August 10, 2011 at 2:31 pm

I’m on my 4th batch. I got a scoby from someone local, but am glad to have found that food renegade post in case it gets contaminated. I actually threw out a batch yesterday since it started to mold. Ick.

I like putting a few cubes of sugared ginger in the bottle for the second ferment. I’ve also tried a cranberry version that worked well. I look forward to seeing your creations.

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Sarah August 11, 2011 at 9:55 pm

I’m so nervous for mold! ick.

Ginger sounds awesome! gt’s gingerade is one of my favorite flavors!

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