by Olena

Best Homemade Kombucha Recipe (Video)

by Olena

5 from 6 reviews

kombucha recipe

Best, basic and easy 1 gallon Kombucha Recipe (video) or how to make kombucha tea at home. We will also go over how to make kombucha SCOBY and how make kombucha fizzy and add flavors.

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.

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.

flavoring kombucha

What Does Kombucha Taste Like?

Kombucha definitely tastes and smells like a fermented product. Something in between apple cider and tea. It tastes depends on type of tea leaves used and flavorings added. There is a big difference in taste between green tea and black tea brewed kombucha.

Does kombucha have caffeine in it?

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

What about alcohol?

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.

How much kombucha to drink?

Drink as much as desired. There is no right or wrong formula for health benefits. Make sure to drink plenty of water as kombucha is natural detoxifier. And you want to flush the newly released toxins out.

Can kids drink kombucha?

Yes for sure. My kids love kombucha. Especially the flavored one. They treat it as pop or juice.

What Is Kombucha Made Of?

Why Is Kombucha Good for You?

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. Grow a SCOBY.

Here is a super easy video recipe how to grow kombucha SCOBYkombucha scoby

2. Brew Sweet Tea

  1. In a large pot, bring water to boil and turn off heat.
  2. Add tea leaves and sugar. Stir.
  3. Let cool completely: place in a sink filled with cold water to speed things up, or let cool overnight.how to make kombucha

3. Combine Tea and SCOBY

  1. In a gallon glass beverage dispenser, add kombucha SCOBY and 2 cups of previously made kombucha (the one from making a SCOBY works).
  2. Pour cooled tea on top using a mesh strainer. homemade kombucha

4. Ferment

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. Taste and Bottle

  1. 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.
  2. Pour using a funnel into airtight cap bottles and enjoy!what is kombucha

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

kombucha tea recipe

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.

how to make kombucha fizzy

How to Flavor Kombucha?

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 Kombucha Recipe

Kombucha Recipe FAQs

Can I use plastic or metal container for making kombucha?

No, it has to be glass. However if you buy a glass dispenser container like mine, the spout is made out of plastic. That’s OK.

What is best tea for making kombucha?

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

Can I use decaf tea for brewing kombucha?

No.

What is ideal room temperature for brewing kombucha?

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

What is that thin white film on top of my SCOBY?

That is a new SCOBY growing – “a baby”.

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

Always leave the top (newer) SCOBY to keep brewing kombucha. Peel off the older one and you have 2 options.

  1. Option #1: Give it to friends or start another kombucha batch.
  2. Option #2: Compost it. It sucks, it’s a waste but at least it gets composted.

Can I cut the SCOBY?

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.

Can I eat the SCOBY?

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

What should be the shape and size of my SCOBY?

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

Should I wash SCOBY and the jug?

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”.

Should I brew kombucha in a dark place?

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

How can I increase carbonation without second fermentation?

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.

How long does kombucha last?

Kombucha doesn’t go bad. It just becomes more sour. Refrigeration slows down that process.

Can I take a break from brewing kombucha?

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.

Kombucha Recipe Troubleshooting

How do I know my kombucha is brewing?

Kombucha will lighten in colour and develop fermented smell. You will also see small bubbles forming.

My kombucha tastes like vinegar.

You let it ferment too long. Happens to the best of us. I usually make a few cups of strong sweet tea, let cool and add to the jug with kombucha. Let sit for another 1-2 days, taste and bottle. Do not add sugar directly to the jug with kombucha as it will not dissolve or help with the acidity.

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

I honestly never had this issue. Neither any reader reported it. So it is very rare. But if it happens, you have to discard entire batch of kombucha and start over again.

Once I poured freshly brewed tea my SCOBY sunk to the bottom or is hanging sideways. Is that OK?

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

Watch Olena Make Kombucha

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Print

How to Make Kombucha Tea

5 from 6 reviews

Easy kombucha recipe that will work! Homemade kombucha has simple ingredients and costs 30 times cheaper than store bought.

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 gallon 1x
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Fermentation
  • Cuisine: North American
Scale

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.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

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