A friend gave me a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) and starter liquid. I learned how to make kombucha by reading everything I could find online. For help go to : www.kombuchakamp.com.
Here's how I do it: first make the sweet tea. Boil one gallon of fresh filtered water...
Add the 6 black tea bags. Green tea works too. Just don't use tea sweetened with oils like in some herbal teas. That may cause the kombucha to mold.
Turn down the heat and let tea bags steep for a bit. Then remove the tea bags.
Add one cup of regular cane sugar. Don't use honey, agave syrup or any artificial sweeteners!
Mix the sugar until it's dissolved. Then let the sweet tea cool completely. If the tea is too hot it will kill the scoby. That would suck.
Here's a scoby. Looks like an alien creature. Before I touch it I wash my hands well. Remove it from the container that it was in. Put it aside in a bowl with some kombucha from the previous batch.
Pour the cooled sweet tea into your large glass container.
Carefully put the scoby into the cooled tea. (It's okay if the scoby sinks to the bottom) Also make sure you're not wearing metal jewelry. Kombucha hates metal. Don't use a metal spoon in it either.
Now add the remaining liquid that was with the scoby that you set aside from the previous batch. That is the "starter liquid" for this batch.
This is what the kombucha looks like when it's ready to be put away to ferment. Find a warm place with some air flow. Not a closed cabinet. Indirect light is okay- don't put it in direct sunlight.
Now that it's in an out of the way location where it won't be disturbed - cover it with a clean cloth. The cloth should be fastened tightly with a rubber band. Leave the kombucha alone for 7-10 days.
To test to see if it's ready - stick a straw down into the kombucha and then put your finger on the end. The straw will be filled- so then pull it out and taste it. Too sweet- needs a few days.
When ready it should taste and smell like a mild sweet vinegar. It should be lightly carbonated. I pour mine into a sun tea jar with a spigot and keep it in the fridge. Then I start the next batch!
Remember- this process of making kombucha takes time, practice and patience but it's worth it. The kombucha in the grocery store costs almost $4.00 a bottle. Making your own saves $$. And it's yummy!
Happy brewing and good luck!