How to make kombucha

How to make kombucha

Let's start with what you need

This recipe is for 1.2 lit of Kombucha, so just use maths to
make more or less.

4g of tea (green or black or white, must be caffeinated and not have any oils or flavorings in it.)
50g of sugar (any works well, incl honey* but make sure it’s pasteurized as otherwise the bacteria in the honey will compete with the bacteria in the booch and you don’t want that. * This is not Kombucha as it’s traditionally known, this is instead called Jun)
1 lit of hot water, temperature depending on what tea you are using. This will impact on flavor.
2 dl* of starter, or old Kombucha, organic store bought original is fine, or ask someone who makes Kombucha if you can have some of theirs. My Jasmine Pearl works perfectly as starter. *You will want to use roughly 10-20% old booch as starter for each batch.
1 SCOBY – organic you can buy some on our website, or ask a friend or grow one from old booch.
1 glass, ceramic or high grade stainless steel jar/container and a rubber band to go around the jar
Some tightly woven fabric, not cheesecloth (as this has holes big enough for fruitflies!!!)

HOW TO DO IT

Clean all your utensils and container with soapy warm water. Do not use anything antibacterial, as we are
trying to create a place where things want to grow. Make sure you rinse your hands so they are clean, but in
general Kombucha and the SCOBY are happy with being handled without crazy sanitation. Life is good!
Heat 2.5dl of water to the temperature needed, pour into your jar add the tea and sugar and allow sugar to
dissolve.

Now add 7.5dl of tap water- this will bring the temperature down to around 25 degrees.

Check it so it’s not too cold, anything under 20 degrees is really too cold, and anything above 30 degrees is too hot.

Too cold and no growth, too hot and your bacteria and yeast will die and that’s not good for anyone.
Taste it. Is it super sweet? Good.

Add the starter and the SCOBY, put the fabric over the top and use the rubber band to secure the fabric. Make
sure no holes exist for the pesky flies to sneak into the jar through. Now taste it again, the flavor should still be
sweet, but with a hint of sourness to it. This will be your start flavor. Now you know what you have started with
and day by day you will taste how the brew changes as the bacteria and yeast eat their way through the
sugar.

Now you’ll want to put this jar somewhere warm, between 22-26 degrees Celsius for about a week or so. Keep
it away from bread and any other food stuffs, anything else you might be brewing or growing etc. Kombucha
does NOT like to be surrounded by things that have a tendency to grow mould so keep them well away!
You’ll notice your SCOBY might float to the surface, or sulk at the bottom of the jar or sit somewhere
inbetween. This is all normal. You will get growth on the surface of the booch- this is your very own SCOBY!

She might be attached to the old SCOBY, or be totally self sufficient. Either way, if you want to have 2 batches
next time, you can separate the two, either by peeling them off each other, or simply taking one out. You
should only do this once your booch is ready to bottle though, not during fermentation!
SO, she’s in the cupboard, warm and snug, and it’s been 2-3 days since you made the batch. Now you can
start tasting the brew, to monitor the flavor. You will remember what it tasted like in the beginning, and it will
be up to you when you are happy with the flavor- but I would say roughly 1 week is a good start for a small
batch of booch. Each to their own though, some might prefer it sweeter and some might love the sour screw
face of when it gets super vinegary.

BOTTLING TIME!

Alright, so are now happy with the balance between sweet and sour taste. It’s time to bottle this baby!

First, get a clean large bowl, and put the SCOBY (SCOBIES) in it. Collect the starter, if it’s super strong you’ll
only need about 10% but for the first few batches 20% is better, as it will help bring pH down to a good level
quickly, (so you avoid the risk of mould).

SCOBY and starter out of the container, you can now use the rest to make booch. Now some might want to
drink it au natural, but most people will like to add some other flavourings.

Decant the booch into glass bottles with leak proof lids, old used bottles of other things are fine, or nice swingtops from IKEA are cheap and
pretty.
DO not use plastic and we want to use inert material to avoid your bottle bending and bloating from the build
up of carbonation in the bottle which we are aiming for. Also, plastic COULD leach into the drink and that
would not be ideal.

With the 20% of starter and the SCOBY you have, you go right back to the top of the recipe and start again
making more Kombucha! Leave some room in the bottle at the top, to add your ingredients but also for the booch itself. You’ll want to
leave about a thumbnail high of room from the cap to the liquid.

So now it’s play time, you can get crazy here. I love using ginger as it always makes the booch fizzy, due to
the high fructose levels but you can use anything.

The sweeter the ingredients the most fizz you’ll get so be careful. Mangos, pineapples, ginger and strawberries are fizz creators.
For a bottle of 250ml I’d say use a few small roughly chopped pieces of ginger, in total the size of a 4 P coin,
but chopped up. Or 4 blueberries, 2 strawberries, a sliver of mango etc etc. The flavor will impart over the next
few days, it takes a while, but is effective, so you don’t need much.

Herbs and spices are also nice, here a tiny pinch of things is better than stuffing it in. Cinnamon will become
too heavy and undrinkable if you take too much so play around and make notes. You’ll soon find your favored
amount.

Now your bottles are filled with beautiful ingredients and booch. Put the lid on, add a label so you know what’s
in there and put the bottle somewhere warm and dark. Make sure the bottle is clean so it doesn’t attract those
flies again.

This time you’ll want to leave the bottles for about 2-3 days before you check on them. The way to see if your
booch is ready is by burping them. That means opening the lid. If there is a wild fizzing sound and bubbles
appear in the bottle it might be ready. If the fizz escalates and goes all over the place, you left it too long and
you’ll need some time to clean up booch from the floor. If nothing happens, fear not, it just needs more time!
So put it back and wait a bit more.

If you are happy with the fizz, then put the closed bottle into the fridge, wait for it to be nice and chilled and
then enjoy your very own bottle of home brewed Kombucha!

Well done! You’re a master brewer!

Hope you find as much joy and happiness in brewing booch as I have. Good luck and loads of gut loving hugs

Gina x

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1 comment

  • Julia Simon

    Hi Gina, thanks so much for posting this! I’ve never brewed kombucha before, but would really like to give it a try.
    A couple of questions—do you at any point sieve out the tea leaves that you started with? And: in your description you say: “put the fabric over the top and use the rubber band to secure the fabric. Make sure no holes exist for the pesky flies to sneak into the jar through. Now taste it again…” and I wonder of there’s a missing step here—it seems odd to taste it again just as you’ve secured the fabric? Thanks again! Julia

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