Getting Started (step by step)
Follow these instructions to start your first batch. For additional information about where to get a scoby, starter kombucha and the pros/cons of different tea and sugar sources, read here.
Sterilize equipment with white vinegar, not antibacterial soap. It is important to keep everything that touches your kombucha clean. Although kombucha has a low enough pH to kill common bread mold, until your batch is established you need to be extra careful. Avoid antibacterial soaps, as they could kill your scoby.
Starting Batch (1 Gallon):
- 1 cup sugar (unrefined, organic cane sugar is best)
- 1/3 cup oolong tea leaves
- 2 bottles Original/Unflavored Kombucha
- Add sugar and tea leaves to gallon jar, fill with water.
- Keep in a cool, dark place. Let cold brew for 12-24 hours.
- Strain tea leaves and pour tea mixture in to brewing container with original kombucha and a scoby (ratio should be at least 20% kombucha to new tea mixture).
*The cold brew method makes for less bitter tea, fewer tannins, and a better tasting final product.
A reminder about teas: Never use a tea that has an oil or flavoring in it, as you risk ruining your scoby and turning your kombucha rancid (example: earl grey, orange spice). You can also do this process with coffee, but use a spare scoby, as it will ruin it after a few uses. Some teas require a mixture with 25% black tea (white, green). Oolong has the mildest flavor and doesn’t need any black tea added.
A reminder about sugar: Honey, brown sugar and agave are not suitable for various reasons (oils, particulates, wrong nutrients).
Let Brew ferment for 1-3 weeks, depending on temperature of room. For more information about bottling and flavoring, read here.