How to Brew Kombucha

by Ben Panella

Kombucha is an ancient fermentation of sweetened tea originating from Russia, China, and Indonesia. The "health" promoting effervescent beverage gets a dose of loving from the SCOBY


  • 1 Bunch SCOBY
  • 1 Gallon Pure water
  • 6 Tablespoons Black or green tea
  • 1 ½ Cups Sugar
  • 1 Gallon Jar
  • Cheese cloth
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    No, this is not vomit! Its a SCOBY-Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. I picked this "mother" up live from a shop in Berkeley . I had little success with freeze dried. Look on Craigslist.

    Step 2

    Loose leaf black tea- green works too. Tea bag that ish if you like, just make sure there are no additives in the tea of any kind.

    Step 3

    Sugar- organic would be far better

    Step 4

    6 tbsp tea wrapped up to form super size tea bag using a fine weave cheesecloth.

    Step 5

    Tie it off, it's a mouthful.

    Step 6

    Add your teabag to 1 gal of boiling water. Record all data, type of tea, steeping time, water temp, amount of sugar, room temp, etc.. To repeat a good ferment you need all the facts.

    Step 7

    Stir in sugar & and steep for at least 10 min, I went for 30 min. The tannins that make tea bitter also make a good environment for the SCOBY. Let tea cool to room temp before proceeding.

    Step 8

    Cool it, cool it real good.

    Step 9

    I use a funnel to aid in pouring the tea, I aim the funnel at the sidewall of the jar to prevent breaking up the SCOBY, its fragile, but will easily heal.

    Step 10

    Fill your jar, leave some room at the top of the jar.

    Step 11

    Attach a paper towel to the mouth of the jar with a rubber band. Keep in warm ~70F sun free location for 1-2 weeks. Start tasting after 1 week. The longer it goes the more it will taste like vinegar.

    Step 12

    Record data. I write it on the paper towel and permanently record later.

    Step 13

    After 10 days I decided to bottle. .I used a fine cheese cloth with a rubber band to strain and pour the tea into smaller containers.

    Step 14

    Get your sterilized jars ready to fill.

    Step 15

    Pour slowly. You want to fill your secondary containers slowly to avoid losing all that great carbonation.

    Step 16

    Save 2 cups of tea with SCOBY for new brew. Every other batch I remove the SCOBY and clean the jar of any sediment.

    Step 17

    Priming sugar, this increases the carbonation. You can use fruit or vege juices, I'm using an orange infused simple syrup 1 tsp per 16 oz. Add plastic wrap around metal lids kombucha is acidic

    Step 18

    2nd ferment 3-7 days in a cool location. If you add a sweet juice you won't need the priming sugar. Look at commercial varieties for juice flavor ideas.

    Step 19

    After about a week stored in a cool place it's ready to fridge. A baby SCOBY might have developed and should be removed. Or give it to a friend and they can start their own using the baby SCOBY

    Step 20

    Koombucha is acidic. Don't brew in ceramic, metal or sketch lead glass. WARNING: Koombucha contains low amounts of alcohol 1-2% also take it slow at first and do not drink daily at more than 4 oz

    Step 21