Kombucha: How To Home Brew

  1. Get a starter. Either find a friend who can supply you or grow your own by decanting store-bought kombucha into a glass and letting it sit covered on the counter for five days and then removing the bacterial disc off the top. (The more surface area, the bigger the mushroom disc will be.)
  2. Make a pot of hot tea. (Black is best. Avoid flavored teas.)
  3. Add sugar and let dissolve. (The sugar is key for the fermentation. I use about 2 tsp per cup.)
  4. Let the tea cool to room temperature.
  5. Pour it into a large glass vessel*. I use a flower vase that’s about 12″ deep and 8″ diameter. (Be sure the tea is cool else it will break the glass! I have first hand experience with this.)
  6. Drop in the the bacterial disc.
  7. Cover the vessel with a tea cloth or cheese cloth. (It must be porous!)
  8. Let it sit at room temperature (slightly warmer is better than cooler) for one to two weeks.
  9. Check it. (It is ready when a new white disc has grown across the top.)
  10. Taste it. (It should be slightly vinegary. If it still tastes like tea, it’s not ready. If it still tastes very sweet it’s not ready. Two weeks max should do it but it will depend on temperature as well as volume in the vessel.)
  11. Add some flavors post fermentation. My favorite: ginger and lemon. You could add a splash of fruit juice, but try not to disguise the taste too much.  It’s not supposed to taste like ginger ale!
  12. Store it in a close bottle in the fridge.  It keeps for weeks, but drink it within a few days for optimum potency.

For comments, or to read more about making your own, please go back to the main post.

*Cleanliness is critical when home brewing.  Be sure the starter is clean and has no signs of blue mold.  Make sure the glass container is thoroughly cleaned and don’t use plastic which can leach once the acids start to form. Don’t stick your hands into the vessel to fish out the bacteria (which I have done, but shouldn’t), use tongs.

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