How to Brew Kombucha

by Karl S Updated on March 14, 2021

Kombucha is a fermented probiotic beverage enjoyed by many around the world. And if you’ve ever bought one, then you know, it can be expensive.

But today is the day where you stop buying kombucha and start making some for yourself. And I’m going to give you the complete guide to kombucha making.

I’m Trent Musho, and you’re watching the Bru Sho. It’s kombucha day!

Let’s start by quickly explaining what kombucha is exactly. At its core, Kombucha is a fermented sweet black tea, and it’s loaded with probiotics that are great for your gut health. Since it’s a fermented drink, it does have some alcohol, but really just under 1%.

While the reported health benefits is how this drink came into popularity, in the modern era, it’s believed that people have been making kombucha for centuries.

The fermentation occurs when the sweet tea comes into contact with what is called a SCOBY or symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.

Those yeast and bacteria eat the sugar in the tea and create kombucha. And it’s as easy as that.

I know the SCOBY looks funky. It can seem a bit gross, but without it, we won’t be able to make this fermented drink. And while you can buy one online to get started, growing your own is pretty simple.

All you need is one bottle of original flavor kombucha, and hopefully it will be the last one you ever buy.

Before we get started, please take a second to subscribe to my channel for more simple fermentation videos like this. Now let’s Booch.

So like I said, all you need is one bottle of original flavor kombucha. Any brand is fine, just make sure it’s clean flavor. That way we can start from a neutral place. Inside every bottle of kombucha there are many SCOBYs and microscopic bacteria and yeast. Even if you don’t see anything they’re there.

But what we need to do is grow the culture to become our mother SCOBY. So to do that, we start by making a large batch of sweetened black tea. I’m going to be using this one gallon jar, but use whatever container you have.

For the tea, I’m using a black leaf tea, and I buy in bulk to save money. You can technically use other teas, but I recommend you use black for your first batch. Although feel free to experiment. I’ve seen kombucha made with green tea, hibiscus, and even coffee, but let’s save that for another day.

I brew up a strong batch of tea, 10 grams and a half liter of water and let that steep for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes, I strain the tea and then add 100 grams of table sugar.

Once the sugar is dissolved, I add more water to the top of the container to just under one gallon, leaving enough room for the bottle of kombucha to be added. Make sure that he has cooled down to under 90 degrees Fahrenheit so that you don’t accidentally kill the yeast and bacteria.

Then just add the bottle of kombucha. And cover it with a cloth or a napkin and a rubber band. You want something that can breathe as oxygen is important for the fermentation process. Now just set that in a somewhat warm place about room temperature or slightly warmer and out of sunlight for a few weeks.

Depending on how warm it is in this spot it can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to just over a month before you see a difference. For a while, it’s going to look like nothing has happened, but just give it more time.

And soon you’ll begin to see the tea turn more cloudy and you will eventually see little wispy blobs begin to form. Then when you see a slight film develop on the top, you’ll know you officially have kombucha.

If you want to be a hundred percent sure you can take a PA reading. And because the fermentation process creates acid, the pH will drop.

Kombucha when ready has a pH of 3.5 to 2.5, the more you brew with the little scoby you have, the more it will grow. And eventually it will thicken up like this.

When it’s growing, it creates new layers. And at some point you’ll have so many layers that you’ll need to peel them off, not to overflow your fermenter. This is a perfect time to share with friends that might be interested in making their own.

Now that you have your kombucha, you can stop here and start sipping on this tart and probiotic rich drink. To make more you just make the same amount of tea as before. 10 grams tea per 100 grams, sugar for a one gallon batch. Just make sure that you save about a cup or two of the starter liquid with the SCOBY. So you can keep that mother going.

Then just let it ferment for about four to six days, depending on how warm your room is, the warmer, the faster, and in cooler months, it can take a little longer. Check in and take a taste and tell us your liking.

If you like a little sweeter, drink it sooner. If you like it more tart than let it sit longer, but be careful because if you let it go too long, you’ll end up with a very strong vinegar tastes, which can be hard to drink.

But if you want to take it to the next level, you can add some flavorings. To do this it’s very simple. All you need is a bottle to put the kombucha in and some fresh fruit to add flavor and more sugars. The sugar from the fruit will create a second fermentation or F2 than when the fruit is placed in the bottle and the kombucha is sealed, the fermentation will kick back up and eat those sugars, creating CO2 that will carbonate your drink.

I love to experiment with all kinds of flavors. You can get as creative as you want.

Just make sure that if you want it to be fizzy, you had something with sugar, like fruit or a tiny splash, a simple syrup, maple syrup, or table sugar to feed the yeast. The easiest way in my opinion is to fill up the bottles and leave about one to two inches of gap at the top. Then just throw in a few small pieces of fruit, crushing it slightly to release the juices and you don’t have to go overboard here. Just a few small pieces will give you enough flavor and sugar.

Here I’m making a blueberry basal, pineapple, mint, Kiwi, and strawberry lemon. I also love to add chia seeds to some of my bottles. I usually add about two tablespoons per kombucha bottle and give it a good shake. If you want easier drinkability, you can add the fruit for a few days and then filter them out for adding the chia.

I’d love to know; What’s your favorite flavors for kombucha?

I like to use either flip-top kombucha bottles like this or old kombucha bottles that I have saved. It’s important that whatever you use, make sure it’s fermentation grade or else it might explode all over your kitchen. Been theren and it’s not a fun day for anyone.

These kombucha bottles are great because the tops will flex out when the carbonation is built up, letting you know that they’re ready. After you’ve added the fruit, you can just set them on your counter for about three days and then throw them in the fridge. And once their chilled, your kombucha is officially ready to drink.

The beauty of making your own kombucha is that you get to make it the way you like it with the flavors you love. These ones turned out great, slightly tart and bursting with fresh fruit flavor. If you want, you can strain out the fruit before drinking, or you can just eat the fermented fruit.

And if you feel it’s too tart or strong, you can always dilute it down with water or add some sweetener, like Stevia to sweeten it up. It’s your Booch, do whatever you want with it. But if you have any suggestions on great flavors, I’d love to hear about it.

And let me know if you have any questions about kombucha, please like this video, if you enjoyed it and don’t forget to subscribe for more videos like this. (On Youtube)