Makes 1 gallon
- 8 cups water
- 4 unflavored tea bags black or green
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 SCOBY, with about 1/2 cup starter kombucha
- Bring the water to a boil. Add the tea bags and sugar, and let steep for 5 minutes.
- Remove the tea bags and allow the sweetened tea to cool to room temperature (do not add the SCOBY while the tea is hot, it will kill the bacteria!)
- Once the sweetened tea is at room temperature, transfer it to a large glass jar. Add the ½ cup of starter and the SCOBY. If you don’t have starter, you can add ½ cup of store-bought unflavored kombucha.
- Cover the top of the jar with a dishcloth, paper towel, cheesecloth, or any other breathable material, and secure it with a rubber band.
- Place the jar in a room-temperature space where it won’t be disturbed, and let it sit for about a week.
- Remove the SCOBY and ½ to 1 cup of kombucha and set them both aside in a bowl. (At this point, you can start the process over again with this SCOBY and starter so that you have a consistent supply of kombucha, or place the SCOBY and starter in a sealed container in the fridge until you want to make more kombucha.)
- Pour the kombucha into smaller sealable jars and add flavorings, if you’d like. I usually use about ¼ cup of fruit juice per quart of kombucha or a handful of fresh chopped fruit. This part is totally experimental and flexible, so try out a few different flavors and see what you like!
- Seal the jars containing kombucha + flavorings, and set back on the shelf for 24 – 48 hours.
- Move them to the fridge and let chill, then you’re all done! Before drinking, you can strain out any stringy bits of SCOBY or pieces of fruit floating around.
- Just so you’re prepared, the SCOBY has a pretty funky texture! It’s kind of like holding a very hard lump of Jello’ or a super dense mushroom.
- When you drop the SCOBY into the sweetened tea, it might sink to the bottom or turn on its side. That’s totally normal! It will rise to the top and cover the surface of the tea as it does its job.
- These timelines are all flexible – figure out how long you like to ferment and flavor your kombucha as you go! The longer you ferment, the more sugar will be fermented, so the resulting kombucha will be more tart and less sweet.