Homemade Kombucha

Making delicious homemade kombucha is super easy, nutritious and saves you a ton of money! I was intimidated by the kombucha making process but everything changed when my fantastic friend and fellow Holistic Nutritionist Jenn Parsons showed me how quick and easy it is to make. Now I’m totally hooked on this incredible fizzy and sour drink!

Homemade Kombucha Title by @jesselwellness #kombucha #fermented

Health Benefits of Kombucha

Kombucha is a fantastic and healthy substitute for pop or other sugar laden drinks. It has a multitude of health benefits, it is:

  • Rich in probiotics – the good bacteria that populate the gut. Probiotics aide in digestion, fight bad bacteria and facilitate the absorption of nutrients
  • Full of active enzymes that help with digestion and reduce constipation
  • High in B vitamins that provide a vibrant energy boost
  • Alkalinizing, which means it raises the body’s pH making you more resistant to disease
  • Metabolism boosting and charged with antioxidants
  • Detoxifying and liver cleansing

Kombucha is made through the fermentation of sugar so it does contain a little alcohol, usually less than 1%.

Homemade Kombucha by @jesselwellness #kombucha #scoby

The SCOBY (aka mother or mushroom)

I’m not going to lie, half of the reason I didn’t want to make homemade kombucha was because the SCOBY totally freaked me out. It is the living rubbery spongy mushroom that ferments the sweet tea turning it into a tart carbonated drink. At first it totally grossed me out but now me and my SCOBY, I fondly call him Scoober, are besties.

SCOBY is actually an acronym that stands for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. With every batch of homemade kombucha a new cream colored SCOBY will form on the surface of the kombucha. If you live in Toronto and are looking for a SCOBY, send me an email at info@jesselanewellness.com. I have a bunch of SCOBYs hanging out in my fridge that I would love to find a home for.

Tools Required for Making Kombucha

  • 5 liter glass jar
  • Tea towel
  • Elastic band
  • Funnel
  • Lots of glass jars, recycled wine bottles or kombucha bottles
  • Something to brew the tea in (tea pot or large pot on the stove)

Ingredients for Homemade Kombucha

  • Caffeinated black, white or green tea (5 tsp loose tea or 5 tea bags)
  • 1 SCOBY
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup kombucha

How to make Homemade Kombucha by @jesselwellness #kombucha #fermentation

How to Make Homemade Kombucha

  1. Brew at least 2 liters of tea. It can be black, white or green but it must be unflavored.
  2. Dissolve 1 cup of sugar into the tea while it is still hot.
  3. Let the tea cool to body temperature or add additional water until the tea has reached body temperature.
  4. Add ½ cup of leftover homemade kombucha or store bought kombucha to your large jar along with the sweet tea. Gently add the SCOBY to the jar and cover with a tea towel secured with an elastic band. This allows the kombucha to breathe but keeps the bugs and dust out.
  5. Store the brewing kombucha in a dry place away from direct light or heat. Fermentation varies a lot based on the temperature of the room and the size of your SCOBY. After 6 days start tasting your homemade kombucha daily to see if it is ready. It won’t be overly carbonated that this point but it should be a just a little sweet and tart but not vinegary.
  6. Once it is to your taste, carefully pour the kombucha into bottles. This is also when you can flavor the kombucha by adding a little more sugar, honey, maple syrup, fresh juice, flavored tea, herbs or whatever your heart desires. You can also make continuous brew kombucha by pouring off what you want to use, and topping off the large jar with the sugary tea.
  7. Seal the bottles and let them sit on your counter for 1-3 days to carbonate. You may want to open them every day to release the gas and avoid an explosion. Trust me I have been there and the proof is on my permanently stained my ceiling!
  8. Once it is carbonated, place in the fridge and enjoy.

If you need a short break from making kombucha (3 weeks or less) make a fresh batch and leave it on your counter. The results will be to vinegary to drink but your SCOBY will remain healthy. For a longer break, store the SOCBY in a fresh batch of sweet tea in the fridge, changing out the tea every 4-6 weeks.

 


21 Day Smoothie Guide Cover by @jesselwellness

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Have you made homemade kombucha? I would love to hear about your experience in the comments section!
4.0 from 1 reviews
How to Make Homemade Kombucha
Author: 
Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: Healthy
Serves: 2 liters
 
Making delicious homemade kombucha is super easy, nutritious and saves you a ton of money! I’m totally hooked on this tart and fizzy drink.
Ingredients
  • Caffeinated back, white or green tea (5 tsp loose tea or 5 tea bags)
  • 1 SCOBY
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup kombucha
Instructions
  1. Brew at least 2 liters of tea. It can be black, white or green but it must be unflavored.
  2. Dissolve 1 cup of sugar into the tea while it is still hot.
  3. Let the tea cool to body temperature or add additional water until the tea has reached body temperature.
  4. Add ½ cup of leftover homemade kombucha or store bought kombucha to your large jar along with the sweet tea. Gently add the SCOBY to the jar and cover with a tea towel secured with an elastic band. This allows the kombucha to breathe but keeps the bugs and dust out.
  5. Store the brewing kombucha in a dry place away from direct light or heat. Fermentation varies a lot based on the temperature of the room and the size of your SCOBY. After 6 days start tasting your homemade kombucha daily to see if it is ready. It won’t be overly carbonated that this point but it should be a just a little sweet and tart but not vinegary.
  6. Once it is to your taste, carefully pour the kombucha into bottles. This is also when you can flavor the kombucha by adding a little more sugar, honey, maple syrup, fresh juice, flavored tea, herbs or whatever your heart desires. You can also make continuous brew kombucha by pouring off what you want to use, and topping off the large jar with the sugary tea.
  7. Seal the bottles and let them sit on your counter for 1-3 days to carbonate. You may want to open them every day to release the gas and avoid an explosion.
  8. Once it is carbonated, place in the fridge and enjoy.

5 Comments

  1. Chuck Bluestein on September 3, 2014 at 7:27 pm

    Kombucha tea is very healthy for people especially because of the probiotics in it. A friend of mine had tried lots of things to help his digestion and nothing worked until he tried kombucha. I wish that I lived in Toronto so I could get a SCOBY from you. I live in Southern Arizona. Make sure to get enough vitamin D. I love seeing your face since you are so beautiful looking.

  2. Betsy on September 4, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    Hi Jesse- thanks for posting. So much research that white sugar is the root of all evil!! Have you tried substitutions? The store bought Kombucha has very low sugar per serving to I am surprised that white sugar would be used in a healthy recipe.

    • Jesse Lane Schelew, CNP on September 4, 2014 at 2:39 pm

      Hi Betsy, sugar is what feeds the SCOBY and keeps it alive and happy. Once the fermentation process is complete, there is very little sugar left in the kombucha. In fact, you can allow the fermentation process to continue until all of the sugar is gone, however the kombucha would taste like vinegar. I use organic cane sugar when I make kombucha, I’m not sure it would work with anything else like maple syrup or honey because they may damage the SCOBY or be too difficult for it to breakdown. Let me know if you find anything that says otherwise!

  3. Chuck Bluestein on September 4, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    Thanks Jesse! These links make your article more valuable. Also since sugar cane is not unhealthy, someone can buy dried sugar cane juice (Sucanat) and use that. What makes this cane juice unhealthy (refined sugar) is they take out every single vitamin and mineral so all it has is carbs and nothing else.

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