by Olena

Kombucha Recipe

by Olena

Best, basic and easy VIDEO 1 gallon Kombucha Recipe or how to make kombucha tea at home including growing your own kombucha SCOBY, make it fizzy and add kombucha flavors. 30 times cheaper than store bought!

Best, basic and easy VIDEO 1 gallon Kombucha Recipe or how to make kombucha tea at home including growing your own kombucha SCOBY, make it fizzy and add kombucha flavors. 30 times cheaper than store bought!

Got “a kombucha problem” and don’t like how much it costs? I don’t blame you. Store bought kombucha costs as much as wine.

MY LATEST RECIPES

1 gallon kombucha = $28 Store bought vs. $0.80 Homemade = 30 times cheaper

Shocked? I was too. This reason alone should be enough to get over any aversion towards kombucha SCOBY, the jellyfish like slimy kombucha “mushroom”, and learn how to make your own kombucha.

I have been making my own kombucha for 2 years now, shared this recipe last year and now we have updated it with a video kombucha recipe! Making kombucha at home is super-super simple once you understand how kombucha tea brewing process works!

What Is Kombucha Tea

Kombucha tea is a fermented tea made with water, tea, sugar, bacteria and yeast. After kombucha SCOBY sits in a sweetened tea for 7-10 days, the result is barely sweet fermented fizzy drink. Most sugar in store bought kombucha comes from added sugar.

Kombucha Health Benefits

One word – PROBIOTICS. Kombucha is a fermented product containing the “good” bacteria.

  1. Stronger immune system.
  2. Improved digestion.
  3. Healthy gut.
  4. Detoxification.

If you are looking for another way to boost your immune system, detoxify and improve gut health, check out how to make lemon water.

How to Make Kombucha Tea

  1. Make kombucha SCOBYBest, basic and easy VIDEO 1 gallon Kombucha Recipe or how to make kombucha tea at home including growing your own kombucha SCOBY, make it fizzy and add kombucha flavors. 30 times cheaper than store bought!
  2. In a large pot, bring water to boil and turn off heat. Add tea and sugar, stir and let cool completely: place in a sink filled with cold water to speed things up, or let cool overnight.Best, basic and easy VIDEO 1 gallon Kombucha Recipe or how to make kombucha tea at home including growing your own kombucha SCOBY, make it fizzy and add kombucha flavors. 30 times cheaper than store bought!
  3. In a gallon glass beverage dispenser, add kombucha SCOBY and 2 cups of previously made kombucha (the one from making a SCOBY works). Pour cooled tea on top using a mesh strainer. Best, basic and easy VIDEO 1 gallon Kombucha Recipe or how to make kombucha tea at home including growing your own kombucha SCOBY, make it fizzy and add kombucha flavors. 30 times cheaper than store bought!
  4. Cover with paper towel secured with a rubber band and put in a place with temperatures above 21C or 70F (I leave mine on a kitchen counter) to ferment for 7-10 days. It is OK if SCOBY isn’t floating at the top (it will later).
  5. After 7 days (less in summer) start tasting kombucha. If it isn’t sweet, has a tangy taste, fizzes as you pour and SCOBY is floating at the top, then your kombucha is ready.
  6. Pour using a funnel into airtight cap bottles and enjoy!Best, basic and easy VIDEO 1 gallon Kombucha Recipe or how to make kombucha tea at home including growing your own kombucha SCOBY, make it fizzy and add kombucha flavors. 30 times cheaper than store bought!

My summer kombucha brewing station – 2 x 1 gallon glass dispensers. We love it that much including kids!

Best, basic and easy VIDEO 1 gallon Kombucha Recipe or how to make kombucha tea at home including growing your own kombucha SCOBY, make it fizzy and add kombucha flavors. 30 times cheaper than store bought!

How to Make Kombucha Fizzy

Freshly poured kombucha tea from a dispenser with a SCOBY is fizzy. It loses its carbonation once bottled, especially in a fridge. Would you like your kombucha more fizzy? Then you need to do a second fermentation aka how to make kombucha fizzy.

Best, basic and easy VIDEO 1 gallon Kombucha Recipe or how to make kombucha tea at home including growing your own kombucha SCOBY, make it fizzy and add kombucha flavors. 30 times cheaper than store bought!

Kombucha Flavors

Would you like your kids to drink and love kombucha? Would you like to make your own “healthy pop”? Then click and learn everything about flavoring kombucha.

Best, basic and easy VIDEO 1 gallon Kombucha Recipe or how to make kombucha tea at home including growing your own kombucha SCOBY, make it fizzy and add kombucha flavors. 30 times cheaper than store bought!

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Kombucha Recipe

5 from 2 reviews

Best, basic and easy VIDEO 1 gallon Kombucha Recipe or how to make kombucha tea at home including growing your own kombucha SCOBY, make it fizzy and add kombucha flavors. 30 times cheaper than store bought!

  • Author: ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 gallon

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Make kombucha SCOBY.
  2. In a large pot, bring water to boil and turn off heat. Add tea and sugar, stir and let cool completely: place in a sink filled with cold water to speed things up, or let sit overnight.
  3. In a glass beverage dispenser, add kombucha SCOBY and 2 cups of previously made kombucha. Pour cooled tea on top using a mesh strainer.
  4. Cover with paper towel secured with a rubber band and put in a place with temperatures above 21C or 70F (I leave mine on a kitchen counter) to ferment for 7-10 days. It is OK if SCOBY isn’t floating at the top (it will later).
  5. After 7 days (less in summer) start tasting kombucha. If it isn’t sweet, has a tangy taste, fizzes as you pour and SCOBY is floating at the top, then your kombucha is ready.
  6. Pour using a funnel into airtight cap bottles and enjoy.
  7. To make next batch of kombucha, start with step 2.

Store: Keep at room temperature for up to a few weeks. Longer in the fridge (kombucha is less fizzy when refrigerated).

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

FAQ About Kombucha Recipe

Q: Can I use plastic or metal container for making kombucha?

A: No, it has to be glass.

Q: What is best tea for making kombucha?

A: Any caffeinated tea works: white, black or green tea. Flavoured or not.

Q: Can I use decaf tea for brewing kombucha?

A: No.

Q: What is ideal room temperature for brewing kombucha?

A: About 68 – 70 F or 20-21 C for bacteria to grow and kombucha ferment. Warmer temperature means faster fermentation.

Q: What is that thin white film on top of my SCOBY?
A: That is a new SCOBY growing – “a baby”.

Q: What do I do with SCOBY babies? They keep reproducing.

A: Always leave the top (newer) SCOBY to keep brewing kombucha. Peel off the older one and you have 2 options. Option #1: Give it to friends or start another kombucha batch. Option #2: Compost it. It sucks, it’s a waste but at least it gets composted.

Q: Can I cut the SCOBY?

A: Yes, SCOBY is easy to cut with a pair of clean kitchen scissors. In fact, you always should keep only one SCOBY in your kombucha brewing batch because too many and your kombucha will be sour. Think of it as a bigger hungry “baby” that will eat sugar faster. However, you should also keep in mind that for best carbonation results the shape of a SCOBY should be the shape of the jar creating a tight seal.

Q: Can I eat the SCOBY?

A: Yes, technically. I have seen “candy” recipes and have heard some folks feeding SCOBY to their dog.

Q: What should be the shape and size of my SCOBY?

A: SCOBY will take the shape of the mouth of the jar and then grow in thickness, and produce “babies” on top.

Q: Should I wash SCOBY and the jug?
A: No and yes. I don’t rinse SCOBY but if you want to – go for it. Every few batches I wash the jug with biodegradable dish soap (check out the non-toxic cleaners I use). I have read that you should wash jar with vinegar but because I don’t use conventional harsh dish soap, I am not too scared of the chemicals making my SCOBY “sick”.

Q: Once I poured freshly brewed tea, my SCOBY sunk to the bottom or is hanging side ways. Is that OK?

A: Yes, it will float to the top after a few days of fermentation.

Q: Is there caffeine in kombucha?

A: Yes, a bit. It contains approximately 1/3 the amount of caffeine as the tea it is made with.

Q: Does kombucha contain alcohol?

A: Definitely won’t make you drunk. Maybe a tiny bit amount?! So little, I could care less to Google. It is safe enough for kids.

Q: Should I brew kombucha in a dark place?

A: I keep mine on a counter, away from direct sunlight.

Q: How can I increase carbonation without second fermentation?

A: To maintain a bit of a fizz, store kombucha at room temperature (not refrigerated) in an airtight bottle. Carbonation won’t be as strong but still some is better than none.

Q: How long does kombucha last?

A: A few weeks for sure, refrigerated or not. Frankly, it never lasts in our household longer. It’s that good!

Q: My kombucha taste like vinegar.

A: You let it ferment too long.

Q: What to do if I see mold in my batch of kombucha?

A: Throw it out and start over again.

Q: Can I take a break from brewing kombucha?

A: Yes. When we went on vacation to Mexico for a month, I placed the jug with SCOBY and about few cups of kombucha in the fridge for 4 weeks. This way the fermentation process slows down. If I want to take a break for a shorter period of time while at home, let’s say 7-10 days, I just let the jar sit on a counter in the same way.

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28 comments on “Kombucha Recipe

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    1. Yes, just add a cup or two of extra previously brewed kombucha. Might take a few days longer, maybe not. Honestly, by now I always eyeball amount of previously brewed kombucha to mix with sweetened tea and it always works. Another scoby grows like crazy.

  1. I followed the recipe to a T and it worked like a charm! THANK YOU for saving me hundreds of dollars.

  2. Hi there.
    I got a glass dispenser from Sur la Table with a spout. The spigot is metal like, is that ok? Please let me know. Thanks

  3. Am I wasting my time trying to make a scoby with a flavoured GT Kombucha? My last 2 trips to our closest city all i find is flavoured. Have the gingerade kind and green one.

    THANKS

    1. Hi Jeanelle. Unfortunately I don’t think flavoured kombucha will work. Try to check other grocery stores, sometimes when least expected. I have seen GT’s kombucha in any grocery store here in BC. Good luck.:)

  4. LOVE everything about blog! Just finished growing SCOBY and cooling the tea mixture as I write. I realized that 14 cups may not be enough for my family and am wondering if I can double the tea recipe to 28 cups but still only use 2 cups of fermented tea with 1 SCOBY. I read all FAQs and comments but did not find an answer. =)

    1. Haha, welcome to the club! I went and bought a second glass jar and am now making kombucha with 4 days interval. I’m obsessed. I learnt how to flavour it with fruit and make fizzy so kids drink it like crazy. I will post that info next week. You will be making pots of tea, like stock pots lol. Anyways.
      Yes, you can use one SCOBY and only two cups of kombucha for 28 cups of sweet tea. Fermenting will take a bit longer, just taste it. A thin layer will grow on top of your existing SCOBY and as soon as it thickens the process should go faster with further batches. So yes, go for it. You could also go buy another bottle of GT’s kombucha and add to the batch – will speed up things with more live bacteria. Let me know how you like it and what happens!
      And I’m so glad you are enjoying the blog! We are working on updating it and soon it will be even better!!!

      1. Bless your heart! Thank you for such a quick response! I can’t wait to see the new blog look and even more so, can’t wait to learn about flavored, fizzy kombucha!! Thanks a million!!

  5. This is such a great post. I have unsuccessfully tried making Kombucha, now I will try again. Why do you have to use caffeinated tea? Does the caffeine get eaten like the sugar?

    1. Yeah, it feeds SCOBY. Here, you can read more. Basically you can call anything “tea”, even mint leaves steeped in hot water, but it is not a real tea. So, it has to be tea, like real tea plant.
      You can do this – so easy, honestly! Let me know if you have any questions. I’m now fizzing and flavouring it and it is AMAZING!!! AMAZEBALLS. My kids LOVE it now!

  6. It works! I am about 10 days in and a nice baby SCOBY formed already. Looks like a nice pancake :)I used GT brand original and same sugar from Costco like you did. My original GT bottle did not have much of live SCOBY as when I bought it I planned on drinking it and not growing it :). Thank you for the recipe, Olena. I never even thought about growing my own SCOBY before.

    1. Great, of course it works, why wouldn’t it?! Haha. 95% chance GT’s kombucha without brown strands would work to grow a SCOBY, just wanted to be safe. Because I can easily grow a SCOBY from my own kombucha even when it’s clear. Just buying GT’s is the sure way because many other store-bought kombucha is less live.
      I’m now flavouring and making it fizzy, and kids love it that way. Sharing that next.:)

  7. I love Kombucha!!! I drank one today while I was a work. Reading this article I realized I am paying too much. I can’t drink Kombucha as much I was would due to the price. I would like to drink it daily or 3-4 days weeks but due to the price I can drink maybe twice a week. Reading this article and seeing how described the process has now given the confidence to try making it myself.

  8. It’s about Time! Hi Dear Friend!

    Can’t say how many times I tried to figure this out two years ago from the complicated network of internet ‘recipes’ out there! None exactly the same, and using complicated terms I had never heard before. And I’m no slouch in chemistry either, lol!

    I’m not even a great, huge fan of the taste of the taste of the bottled GT’s stuff, I just love what it does for my health and have a dose daily dose with a wholloping whack to my wallet.

    Then one day my my son made some and brought it to me when he visited and it was whole different story. He also brought me a scoby he’d grown for me and set me up! Homemade is soooo much better! Because as you said, we can control how far it ferments! And the taste, by which type of tea we continue on with. I am with on the green tea!

    But what I love here, is that I could have made it myself from your instruction sheet. I do add strawberries, watermelon, or mint leaves to mine, but just before I drink, and muddle it a bit to crush my addition up and infuse those flavors. My son likes to fizz his up, with the second fermentation also, but not me. I am just too impatient and perhaps a little to lazy and satisfied with my fruit infusions on occasion.

    You! I am with YOU on the green tea! It is by far my favorite tea to make my Kombucha with. It’s a nice, lovely mild taste.

    You keep surprising us, we love it❣️

    1. Hi-hi.:) Oh, wow, your son does it. That’s so cool! Now I’m having fun fizzing it up and that is my next post. Yes, green tea is the best one – it doesn’t grow as strong of a SCOBY as black tea does, but the flavour is mild and amazing!
      I think homemade kombucha is way tastier than anything I tried out there, however I haven’t tried much because it costs and arm and a leg.
      Enjoy! It is really-really good for you!

      1. Yes, one of my four children is very into his health! My youngest, 30 year old. My oldest two try for their kids. But often give in to their busy schedules and one of them whines of his youngest since he doesn’t have them all of the time. Funny because she doesn’t that here. She knows a quick treat is going to be a grated apple with cinnamon and maple syrup or maybe grandma will sneak them a few squares of 80% dark chocolate, but no peanut butter cups.

        1. Kids know every parent’s weak spot. They know exactly who allows them what. That is why I do not believe in picky eaters besides picking out onions, mushrooms etc. Kids’ nutrition is a product of their own parents’ behaviour.

  9. Hi Olena, Thank you so much for this Kombucha from Scratch article / recipe. I bought a kombucha scoby from someone on ebay – it arrived with some mold on it and I was told to just scrape it off. Well, it did grow a scoby but it was completely molded on top, so I threw it out. Initially, I wondered if our home was a bit too cold in the winter, but since it did grow a scoby I’m going to follow your directions now and get everything growing over the Summer ;-))). I’m thrilled to see that I can grow my own scoby from the strands in a bottle of commercial kombucha. One Question:: When I’ve made my cup of sweetened tea and “add a cup of the commercial kombucha” to it, does the kombucha have to be at room temperature? Does this step require the same temperature range as when doing the “first fermentation?” Thanks, in advance. Yours in Gratitude. WendyHT

    1. Hi Wendy. Hm, what is your house temperature in winter? Mine is between 65-70 F and I had no mold issues all winter. I don’t think it is your house T issue, the SCOBY was originally infected with mold. You are supposed to throw it out. When I was first experimenting with dehydrated SCOBY, I had tea sitting on my counter for weeks, SCOBY didn’t grow but no mold grew either.
      It doesn’t matter what T is your cup of store-bought kombucha when you add it. It probably will be cold from the fridge, room T is fine too. All you care about is not to mix hot tea with live bacteria in store-bought kombucha and then 65 – 70F + for fermentation to occur. Bottom line is – when any live bacteria product like yogurt or kombucha is heated, the probiotics are killed. And I don’t see a reason why you would boil any of those.:) Good luck! Let me know how it will go.

  10. This is by far the best explained kombucha recipe I’ve seen; I’m so excited to finally make the attempt.

    Is it ok to use white sugar in place of cane? Either way, what is the benefit of using cane over white? We use very little sugar in our home anymore, and no experience with cane sugar. Thank you!

    I’m fairly new to your site, and am already a huge fan. Thank you for helping us make our homes better for our familes.

    1. Yes, white sugar is OK however it is derived from GMO sugar beets. Your kombucha will work but won’t be pesticide free etc. As soon as you can buy organic sugar that is white (light) in colour, sold everywhere and is very affordable, looks similar to white sugar. It is entirely interchangeable for white sugar and my understanding is that all of it is made from a sugar cane which looks kinda similar to bamboo vs. conventionally grown American sugar beets sprayed with Roundup. Just so much healthier!
      Awesome! I was so intimidated myself with so many rules and explanations, so just wanted it to make as easy as possible for you once I understood how not complicated kombucha brewing is.
      Feel free to ask any questions you might have along the way.