Homemade Kombucha: What is a SCOBY and DIY recipe

Simple, yet complex, Kombucha is an ancient fermented tea that is full of B-vitamins, probiotics and enzymes. And while you will find it, for a rich price at the store, know that it is easy to make at home.

Kombucha starts with a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast), wich is also called the “mother” or a “mushroom”. It is the very thing that makes Kombucha come alive as it digests the sugars in the sweetened tea. It is a living colony of bacteria and it is a beautiful thing, but you are unlikely to find it at your local grocery store.

What is the best thing to do in the case that you are starting out SCOBY-less? Ask around and find someone who already brews it at home as every other batch of Kombucha will produce a baby SCOBY or two. If you choose to order online, make sure to purchase from a reputable source!

Now that you are in possession of a SCOBY, it is time to get to work.

What you need:

  • Gallon size glass jar
  • Brewed sweetened tea – 1 cup of sugar for every gallon of tea *
  • Your SCOBY plus ½ cup of liquid from a previous batch of Kombucha
  • A cover – use a coffee filter, or thin cloth with rubber band

Prepare the sweet tea using 8-10 tea bags per gallon of water, adding 1 cup of organic sugar. Let it come to room temperature before adding your SCOBY.

Leaving a couple inches of space at the top of the jar pour your tea in along with ½ c. liquid from a previous batch of Kombucha. Then add the SCOBY disc, it will eventually float all on its own.

Cover the jar and leave it to sit in a warm-ish place around 7-10 days. When it is ready you can move on to a second fermentation stage, but it is perfectly drinkable now too. Just pour it into jars and move it to the fridge. Drink when thirsty.

What flavors do you like the most? Please comment and share your experience with DIY Kombucha recipes? 


Side note: Be cautious about harmful bacteria or mold growing in your fermentation vessel, knowing when and how to sanitize your equipment is essential. Just wash your hands, avoid wearing metal jewellery and make sure any utensils you use to stir are absolutely clean.

* Some people are leery of making or drinking Kombucha, because the recipe calls for sugar. Kombucha can not grow if the bacteria and yeast do not have sugar to eat. The longer you allow the Kombucha to ferment, the more sugar the bacteria will eat and the less will remain in the finished drink for you. Making this recipe at home? Use raw sugar!

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