Yani’s Kombucha Instructions
Included in your jar is 1 SCOBY, and 1 cup of starter liquid.
NEEDS to Make One Gallon
1 cup starter liquid (from the previous finished batch)
15 cups non-chlorinated water
8 tea bags
1 cup sugar
1 gallon clean jar with a wide enough mouth to get your hand into
Plastic or wooden spoon to stir
Breathable shield – cheese cloth, coffee filter, paper towel or dish towel
Wide rubberband or string
Clean tightly sealable bottles or jars
Fruits or seasonings for flavoring – all kinds of possibilities
DO NOT use metal spoons/bowls/cups/etc unless you know 100% that it’s stainless steel – any other kind of metal can harm your SCOBY.
Use NON-Chlorinated water. Chlorine is designed to kill bacteria, and therefore could kill your SCOBY! I filter my water from my tap, and let it sit overnight. You can also buy distilled water to use immediately.
Use a clean straight tea; green, black, or white.
Do not use herbal tea, as it won’t feed your SCOBY properly, and will weaken it. You can use Rooibos once in awhile, but it will also weaken your SCOBY. Also avoid oily teas, and teas with flavors.
If you find your jar’s idea of a gallon is all the way up to the rim, use less water. If it’s significantly less, then reduce the tea and sugar to maintain the recipe’s ratio.
To make 1 gallon of Kombucha:
- Boil 4 cups clean water
- When done, add 1 cup of sugar, stir till clear
- Add 8 bags of tea, steep for 10 minutes
- Remove tea and pour into brewing jar
- Add the remaining water
- When tea feels room temperature, add 1 cup of starter liquid and then the SCOBY
- Secure the breathable shield to mouth of jar and place in a warm and dry location
- Let sit for roughly 7-21 days
Your kombucha is ready when you have about 1/4″ of new SCOBY at the top of your jar.
- Remove SCOBYs from the brewing jar, and put in a glass bowl with 1 cup finished kombucha for your next batch. If you’re going to split the SCOBYs up, set aside 1 cup for each SCOBY
- Put your flavoring into the various bottles/jars
- Then pour the kombucha into the bottles/jars about an inch from the rim
- Tightly seal, and let sit on your counter for 2-3 days
- After the 2-3 days, they are ready to drink, and refrigerate.
A new baby SCOBY will start to grow in each new batch of kombucha. In the first couple days you won’t see anything, or maybe tiny white spots, then more of a film starts. From there the film grows thicker and thicker. Watch that your baby SCOBY doesn’t start forming dark grey spots – that’s mold. (If you should start to see mold, throw the whole batch and SCOBYs out, but wait a few days to make sure that is in fact what you’re seeing. Maybe google mold/SCOBY images to double check what you’re seeing.) The best you can do really is to ignore it for the first week.
Kombucha prefers a warm environment. Brewing goes much faster in the summer, and slower in the colder months. In the cold months find a warm/dry place in your home for it to brew. I keep my brewing jars in my office. Some refrigerators are warm on top, and people put them there.
The SCOBY is roughly 1/4 inch thick when it’s time to bottle (if you have a wide jar). Smell through your shield to see if it smells like kombucha. If so, take a clean straw and dip it in the jar past the SCOBY, and draw out as much as you can. Give it a taste and see if it tastes right. (Don’t double dip your straw if you put it in your mouth). If it tastes right, you’re ready to bottle. Alternatively, if you have pH strips, you can test by putting a couple drops on the strip, and you’re looking for a 4.
When your kombucha is done brewing, sometimes there are dark threads hanging off the mother SCOBY, or both. That is just yeast and perfectly normal. When putting the SCOBY(s) into the next brew, just pull them off with your fingers and throw away.
If you don’t have time to attend to the kombucha when it’s ready, it will sit fine for awhile longer, though it will get more and more tart as time passes.
For flavoring ideas, google Kombucha Flavoring Recipes.
Flavorings I’ve done: ginger, lemon/ginger, apple spice (tastes like apple pie), chai, grape, grapefruit, and pomegranate. Apple spice was about 1/6 of an apple cut into thin strips, and a small scoop of All Spice. Ginger was simply grated ginger. For pomegranate I just bought a tiny bottle of POM and poured in about 1/4 of it. My favorite is grapefruit and a couple of shredded mint leaves — so refreshing. A little of any flavoring goes a long way, so you won’t need much. Super easy, and yum!
If you got a SCOBY without starter liquid, google how to make starter liquid with vinegar.
If you want to step away from making kombucha for awhile, you can put your SCOBY into a SCOBY Hotel and put it in the refrigerator. Google how to make a SCOBY hotel.
If you have further questions, feel free to ask me, or check with brewmaster Google! haha
Breathable shields (coffee filter, dish cloth, papertowel)
Second fermentation (flavoring: apple spice, ginger, pomegranate, grapefruit, chai)