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Are you tired of buying store-bought kombucha? This tutorial will walk you through How to Make Kombucha-- all the way from the scoby to the bottling!
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5 from 2 votes

How to Make a Kombucha SCOBY

Do you love kombucha, and want to make it at home?  The first step is growing a SCOBY.  Here's how to Make a Kombucha Scoby from scratch!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time7 d
Total Time7 d 30 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American, Chinese
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 1 scoby
Calories: 1kcal

Equipment

  • large pot to boil water / steep tea
  • Large Glass Jar (2 quarts minimum), or Multiple Smaller Jars
  • paper towels or napkins (avoid using cheesecloth if you have a problem with fruit-flies)
  • rubber bands

Ingredients

  • 7 cups water
  • ½ cup granulated white sugar (do not substitute raw sugar)
  • 4 bags black tea (or 1 TB loose black tea)
  • 1 cup store-bought raw kombucha (unflavored, unpasteurized)

Equipment Needed:

  • large pot to boil water / steep tea
  • 2 quart glass jar OR 2 1-quart glass jars
  • paper towel or napkin (avoid using cheesecloth if you have a problem with fruit-flies)
  • rubber band

Instructions

  • Bring water to a boil. Turn off heat and add tea leaves and sugar.
    Allow tea to steep until sugar has dissolved and water has cooled to room temperature.  Remove the tea bags (or strain out loose tea).  
    Do not proceed to the next step until the tea has completely cooled, or you risk killing the good bacteria in the kombucha.
    Make Black Sweet Tea
  • Add store-bought kombucha and stir.  Pour into the glass jar (or divide among 2 glass jars).  Cover the jar(s) with a napkin or paper towel, and secure with the rubber band.  
  • Set the jar(s) out of direct sunlight (sunlight can keep the tea from fermenting), at room temperature (around 70ºF), and avoid bumping or jostling the jar(s).
    The scoby will take 1 - 4 weeks to form.  Check on it often-- you should see the tea begin to bubble and ferment after a few days, and then a small translucent disk will appear.  
    Eventually, that layer will thicken and become opaque.  When it is about ¼" thick, you're ready to make kombucha! 
    Fermenting Black Tea with SCOBY

Notes

Tip: The SCOBY will most likely grow on the TOP of the jar-- so if you don't see anything happening, look under your napkin!
Troubleshooting:
  • This is normal: A new, transparent scoby disk appearing on the top of the kombucha batch; stringy pieces of scoby floating in the drink (like with a vinegar mother); the scoby floating on top, on the side, on the bottom– It doesn’t matter where it is, it’s working.
  • This is not normal: The SCOBY is black. The tea has mold or smells rotten. Throw away your SCOBY and tea and start over.
More Help: If your SCOBY isn't growing, try the following tweaks:
  • Use filtered water
  • Use organic sugar
  • Use organic tea
  • Use loose-leaf tea, or tea in unbleached tea bags
  • Switch brands of store-bought kombucha, and make sure to avoid using pasteurized kombucha as a starter (check the label)
Note: Avoid prolonged contact with metal once the SCOBY fermentation process begins.
Scoby nutritional information is unknown.  Scoby are edible.

Nutrition

Calories: 1kcal