How to make your own Kombucha

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How to make your own Kombucha

How to Make Your Own Kombucha

How to make your own Kombucha

How to make your own kombucha. Many people are under the misconception that kombucha is grown from a mushroom.  Actually kombucha is started from a SCOBY, similar to that of Mother-of-Vinegar. It is nicknamed a “mushroom” due to its appearance but has no relation to mushrooms.  A SCOBY is an acronym for Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria & Yeast.

A kombucha SCOBY is comprised of Acetobacter, a genus of acetic acid bacteria and one or more of the following yeasts: Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Candida stellata, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Torulaspora delbrueckii, Zygosaccharomyces bailii.

The relationship of bacteria and yeast is symbiotic because alcohol produced by the yeast(s) contributes to the acetic acid produced by the bacteria. Any given kombucha culture  may contain several types of beneficial bacteria, but most often contains Gluconacetobacter xylinus.  G. xylinus ferments the alcohols produced by the yeast(s) into acetic acid, increasing acidity while at the same time limiting alcohol content. The acidic and mild alcoholic environment of Kombucha discourages contamination by most airborne molds or bacterial spores.

In addition to beneficial bacteria and yeast, kombucha also contains organic acids, active enzymes, amino acids, and polyphenols.  Without analysis by a laboratory, the precise components and quantities in each particular batch of kombucha cannot be determined. Note: do not drink kombucha if you cannot consume alcohol, for any reason.


Kombucha SCOBYINGREDIENTS  - makes 7C of Kombucha, please use organic ingredients

  • 1 Mason Jar, 2 Quart Size or other glass jar or container
  • 3C Filtered Water
  • 1/2C Sugar – organic whole cane sugar, unrefined & unbleached
  • 2 Bottles or 32 oz. original Classic Kombucha, like GT Dave’s brand
  • 2 Bags organic Chai Black Tea like Tazo brand or plain organic black tea if you don’t like the flavor of Chai or 3T loose black leaf tea
  • 100% cotton fabric round cut large enough to go around the mouth of jar opening + a metal jar band

DIRECTIONS—sterilize a pair of tongs, a large spoon, and a 2 quart or 8 cup mason jar by boiling for 5 minutes in a large pot. Drain water, remove tongs, use tongs to remove jar being careful not to touch the rim or the inside of the jar. In the meantime, boil 3 cups of filtered water, add the sugar, stir well with the sterilized spoon, then boil for 5 minutes.  Add the tea bags and steep the tea for 5 minutes. Mix the tea with the sterilized spoon, cool, and carefully pour into the mason jar. Add two bottles of kombucha to the mixture in the mason jar. Make sure there is room at the top, above the liquid, for air circulation, so the fermentation process can take place. Put cotton fabric round over jar and secure with a canning band or rubber band. Place the jar out of drafts, in a warm place with good circulation. The SCOBY will start by appearing as white filmy patches on the surface of the liquid in a few days {see picture on opposing page}. Do not disturb the contents by moving the jar. Let the patches grow and form a network across the surface of the liquid.

Once the patchwork of white film covers the top of the liquid, to form the new SCOBY, let it keep growing until it forms into a 1 inch thick, rubbery disk at the top of the jar {as pictured above}. You may see bubbles under the SCOBY during the fermentation process. Fermentation takes more or less time depending on the temperature. If black patches or stings of mold appear, the kombucha is contaminated. Discard the batch and start over, being very careful to sterilize the jar and all utensils. Always start by boiling the water and sugar a full 5 minutes before making the tea for kombucha. Only stir the tea, with a sterilized spoon.

Due to its low alcohol content in the form of ethanol (less than 1/2 percent), kombucha is considered a nonalcoholic beverage.  Depending on anaerobic brewing time, concentrations of sugar and corresponding yeast production, kombucha may contain as much as 1 to 1-1/2% ethanol alcohol. CAUTION:  If you do not consume alcoholic beverages or it is not recommended that you consume alcoholic beverages do not drink kombucha.  Always sterilize all glassware, utensils, and water when making kombucha to avoid contamination.

If you have candida, use caution.  Just like many wines and beer, the fermentation process of kombucha is considered wild fermentation which means the “starter” contains airborne or “wild” yeast.  Airborne yeast can be unpredictable to work with, is not native to the human digestive tract and may cause allergic reactions in people with fungal infections like candida. The wild airborne yeasts in kombucha are unlikely to promote candida but your individual body might be sensitive to them.  If you have this condition, please check with your primary physician or health practitioner before consuming kombucha.


Kombucha Recipe Organic Eats Magazine


If you are starting from scratch and need to grow a kombucha culture or *SCOBY, follow the instructions on the previous page.  If you already have a SCOBY use the chia tea kombucha recipe below.

INGREDIENTS – makes 7C of Kombucha

  • Kombucha culture or Kombucha SCOBY also called a *Kombucha Mushroom – see note
  • 1 cup of Kombucha, brought to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup organic whole cane sugar, unfrefined & unbleached or other pure cane sugar
  • 3 organic Chai tea bags or plain organic black tea or 3T organic loose leaf black or chai tea
  • 6 C Filtered Water
  • 100% Cotton Cover  to allow for air flow for fermentation
  • Rubber band for fastening cotton cloth over jar, if using
  • 2 Quart Mason Jar or other glass jar

How to Make your own Kombucha

 DIRECTIONS–put mason jar or whatever jar you are using, in a large stock pot and cover with water.  Boil on the stove for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.  Using tongs, ver carefully remove the mason jar from the stock pot, being careful not to touch the rim of the jar or the inside of it.  Drain all water, turn upright, and let dry on the counter.

In the meantime add filter or Spring water and sugar to a saucepan, bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat and add the tea bags and let them steep for 5 minutes.  Remove tea bags and discard.   Let mixture cool until tepid (108 degrees or less).  Water that is too hot will kill the beneficial bacteria in the Kombucha.

Add the 1C of Kombucha to the mason jar.  Add the boiled and cooled tea and sugar mixture to the jar.  Slip the SCOBY onto the top of the mixture.  The SCOBY may float on the top of the liquid or sink to the bottom.  If the SCOBY floats on top of the liquid it will continue to grow and become thicker.  If it sinks to the bottom of the jar, a new SCOBY will grow on top of the liquid.  Either way, it is fine.  There is enough beneficial bacteria to ferment the sugar and convert the  liquid to Kombucha.

The ideal temperature for kombucha fermentation is 70ºF to 80ºF. The warmer the temperature the faster kombucha ferments. In the summer, brew time takes 10-12 days, in the winter it may take 2 weeks or longer.  In the Winter, you can put a heating pad set to low, under your kombucha to speed fermentation.  After 7 days of fermentation, take a sterilized glass dropper and slip it under the SCOBY.  Remove some of the kombucha and taste it.  Once it tastes just the way you like it, remove the SCOBY with sterilized tongs and put in a sterilized glass bowl. You can use it to start another batch of kombucha.  Bottle the finished kombucha in sterilized glass bottles, cap, and refrigerate until ready to drink.

 NOTE: a komubcha “mushroom” is not a mushroom at all. It’s actually a SCOBY, an acronym for a “Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast.


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The "Aloha Cooks" live in Hawaii and create original recipes using healthy whole foods and since one of them is a registered dietitian you can be sure they are delicious and nutritious.

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