How to Brew Homemade Kombucha
(This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my disclosure policy if you have any questions. I also am not a physician or qualified medical professional. The information and my comments in this post, are for reference only and are not meant to take the place of medical advice you receive from your doctor).
I was surprised (and thrilled!) by how many people joined us on Instagram this week when Jake and I went live to teach people how to make kombucha. The process, as easy as it is, it a small learning curve. But if you follow these simple steps, you could be drinking your own home brew in one week! So let’s get to it: how to make homemade kombucha right in your very own kitchen!
Our friends out in Ohio introduced us to kombucha a couple years ago. They were talking about this weird thing called a SCOBY and feeding the mother with sugar. What!? Did they have a secret pet I did not know about? Turns out this crazy drink has some crazy benefits too. I literally obtained my first SCOBY (more on that later) from a FSOT page from a woman moving out of state. Her mother SCOBY had a bunch of “babies” and she gave me one. Jake and I started brewing it ourselves from then on. We try to brew it once a week and divide it between the two of us which ends up being about a cup a day each.
On a side (yet main) note, Jake and I attempt to be holistic in our approach to foods and what is being put into our body. I like to think of us as 80/20 people because you can definitely find me consuming chocolate chip cookies at any event we attend ;). But when we get sick we take a natural approach to dealing with it (not that we don’t call the doctor too). Even for my postpartum hair loss, I tried to deal with it naturally.
What the heck is kombucha and this thing you call a SCOBY?
Kombucha is a fermented tea that is a natural probiotic. A SCOBY is a Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast. While this sounds kind of disgusting, it actually is extremely good news for you and me and our health. It looks like a squishy wet pancake and multiplies itself each fermentation process. So you can immediately begin a second batch, give to a friend, or dispose of routinely.
I could (and would) go on an on about the benefits of kombucha because there are just so many! A quick google search will bring up things like: weight loss, cancer prevention, arthritis prevention, the aid of digestive and gut health, and mood stability. But I’ll let you have fun doing your own search. Here Here are 8 in-depth benefits from Dr. Axe to get your started!
Before you brew
Most of the things and ingredients you need for kombucha are readily accessibly and you might even have on hand. However, there are TWO very important things you will need that you probably don’t have if this is your first time: 1) a SCOBY and 2) one cup of starter kombucha.
You can actually purchase a SCOBY on Amazon! Here you can buy just the SCOBY or buy one that includes the starter with it. You can also make one yourself or obtain one from a friend (or a FSOT page if you’re daring like I am!). If you make it yourself, you automatically get the starter and if you get it from a friend, they should give you your starter too. If they can’t give you a full cup, you can just add some distilled white vinegar to it (this is actually what I had to do initially).
How to brew homemade kombucha
What you’ll need:
-1 gallon filtered water
-7 organic green or black tea bags
-1 cup raw cane sugar
-1 cup starter kombucha
-gallon glass container
-coffee filter (or something breathable that fits over your gallon glass container)
-rubber band or string
Boil a gallon (16 cups!) of filtered water. Once boiling, add the 7 teabags and let it sit. I often start mine a the beginning of the day and just leave it on the stove til the evening covered. You want it to get to room temperature before proceeding to step 2.
Remove tea bags from tea once tea is at room temperature. Pour tea into your GLASS container. Stir in your sugar and mix with either a very clean hand or a wooden spoon. Add your cup of starter and then carefully place your SCOBY on top (It will float).
Place a coffee filter (or whatever breathable material you have) over the mouth of the glass container. Ensure it is snug with a rubber band or string. Store in a COOL, DRY environment for 7-10 days to ferment.
After 7-10 have passed and it is ready, remove the SCOBY and ONE cup of NEW starter and set aside. Pour your freshly brewed kombucha into glass containers to consume throughout the week. If you are brewing a new pot, keep your starter and SCOBY close by to use, otherwise keep it stored until you have a new pot ready (we store ours in a mason jar if we don’t have a new pot ready just yet). Enjoy!
Can I take this if I am pregnant?
It is not advised that you start drinking kombucha if you are pregnant or nursing. However, there is debate over it possibly being okay to CONTINUE taking if you had started previous to becoming pregnant or nursing. For me personally, I had started drinking this before I got pregnant and continued during. Everyone needs to make this decision for themselves.
How much kombucha can I drink a day?
A quick google search gives you number all over the place. Let’s put it this way: start small. Start with a couple ounces a day and see how you feel. You can progressively work your way up to 16 ounces a day if you feel comfortable with it. 16 ounces seems to be the magic number, but as stated in my disclosure, I am not a medical professional. I do what I feel is best for me and you need to as well.
Since this is fermented, is there an alcohol in it?
“Store bought kombucha has about 1-3% alcohol, while homemade has .5% or less.” (https://www.mamanatural.com/kombucha-during-pregnancy/)
We thoroughly enjoy consuming and making this drink. It is so fun to share with you all this healthy drink. But please, do your own research on this drink. There is so much information out there that I couldn’t possibly include all of it. I would love to hear from you. Are you a regular kombucha drinker or i this your first time starting?