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Kombucha afternoons

Posted on by Nicole Conant

I've been making my own kombucha for a couple years now and really get a kick out of it. Now that my mom wants to start brewing too, I thought I'd post my process for her. Feel free to use my directions, but do so at your own risk, if you have specific questions, the internet has a plethora of guides.

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Equipment
Stock pot or tea kettle
1-gallon glass jar or two 2-quart glass jars
Bottles: Six swing-top bottles
Small funnel or pitcher
Cheesecloth or thin, clean towel
Rubber band or string

Ingredients
14 cups water
1 cup cane sugar
black or green tea (8 bags or 2 tablespoons loose tea)
2 cups starter tea (reserved from last batch of kombucha or store-bought, unpasteurized, neutral-flavored kombucha)
1 scoby per fermentation jar
Optional: 1 to 2 cups chopped fruit, 2 to 3 cups fruit juice, 1 to 2 tablespoons flavored tea (like hibiscus or Earl Grey), 1/4 cup honey, 2 to 4 tablespoons fresh herbs or spices

Instructions
Part 1

  1. Make 3 pots (6 cups) of strong green or black tea
  2. Put 1 cup sugar into the clean gallon jar, add the hot tea and swirl jar to dissolve sugar
  3. Pour 8 cups cold water into the jar to cool tea
  4. Once jar liquid is at room temperature, add scoby + 2 cups reserved kombucha to jar
  5. Cover jar with clean, lightweight dish towel or cheesecloth, secure with rubber band or string
  6. Let ferment in a warm spot out of direct sunlight for 7-10 days
  7. After 7 days, begin tasting the kombucha, when it reaches a balance of sweetness and tartness that you like, it's ready to bottle

Part 2

  1. Set scoby aside in 2 cups kombucha (use it to make another batch or put it in the fridge to pause fermentation and save for later)
  2. Pour the rest of the kombucha into small bottles for 2nd fermentation
  3. (Optional) To flavor kombucha, add juice, herbs, or fruit to the bottles
  4. Secure bottle caps and let ferment in a warm spot out of direct sunlight for a couple days
  5. When it's reached desired fizziness, they're ready to drink (this usually takes 2-4 days, but I'd recommend checking a bottle every day to make sure they don't get too fizzy and explode).
  6. Store bottles in the refrigerator