I have a confession to make.
I've been buying kombucha ready made that the store.
That's right, the resident tea queen at the farm, has been buying ready made kombucha. That expensive kombucha, you know the one. Even though I have a whole 600 square foot space reserved for tea ingredients and all the things to make my own, much more affordably.
It's hurting the pocket book though and it's time stop that madness.
Is this you? Are you spending $3-5 dollars a bottle on your kombucha habit? There are better ways!
Join me in making simple, and MUCH more affordable kombucha at home, with SO many more flavor options! You won't be sorry.
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I've been making kombucha for many years. I don't even remember how I got started on the habit, but it did start with this big glass container. I wanted to learn to make kombucha but I couldn't figure out how to afford a container at the time.
All the people online with more kombucha knowledge than me had these large containers and at the time I didn't realize that I could have just used a 1/2 gallon canning jar, or even an smaller jar just to get going.
Then I was gifted this see-through beauty by my mom and there wasn't anything to hold me back.
I made one gallon, then I made two. And now I'm on to 3 gallons.... when I actually make my own.
Life though. It happens right?
Too much on the to do list, the kombucha goes sour and no one is drinking it. Then the husband says, "Hey I'd like to start drinking that kombucha again. I think it was helping my joints."
Food is medicine y'all.
And Costco? They make it super easy to buy kombucha that is a wee bit cheaper and a time saver. So there we have it. Why I'm buying kombucha right now.
But ouch! $12 for 6 jars, that's better than $5 admittedly, but I think I can do better than that. At $16 for a bag of tea that serves up 24-30 cups of kombucha, not to mention even more savings when buying by the pound, that's much cheaper than 6 bucks. AND, I get the flavors I want.
Kombucha is really as easy as brewing up a large batch of tea, removing the tea, stirring in some sugar, letting it cool and then adding the scoby and the starter tea. BAM! Kombucha!
I really feel sheepish now admitting I buy something so easy to make at home.
For those of you who have never made it before, here is the simple shopping list:
- Organic Kombucha Tea Blend (Free of oils, fragrances, flavorings, extracts - just tea y'all. Make sure its a blend of black, green, white... any blend that comes from the Camilla senesis plant and is not herbal. Keep it simple and grab kombucha teas here.)
- Organic Sugar (Most sweetners will do, but as a beginner its best to start with just an Organic Raw Cane Sugar Like this one.)
- A Scoby (Symbionic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast - that means a group of bugs and yeast that get along. We love this one here!)
- Already Brewed Plain Kombucha Tea (The pros call it Starter Tea, it comes with any good scoby or is saved from a previous batch you made.)
- A Container (Make sure if it is metal it is stainless steel, glass is good and lead free ceramic. Skip the plastic, you don't want that stuff in your kombucha!)
Now that you have what you need to get brewing lets get to it!
Simple Homemade Kombucha
- 8 tsp loose leaf tea, oil & flavoring free
- 1 gal. filtered water
- 1 cup organic sugar
- 1 c. starter tea
- 1 scoby culture
- 1 gallon jar
- Heat one quart of water to not quite boiling point. Steep tea in the quart of water for 5-15 minutes depending on the type of tea (reference your kombucha brewing instructions for each kind of tea).
- Add sugar to the hot tea and gently stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the rest of the cold filtered water to the hot tea and sugar mixture. Bring gallon of water to room temperature before moving on.
- Once cooled, add your Scoby and Starter Tea to your newly made sweet tea mixture.
- Cover your gallon jar with a breathable cloth such as a cloth napkin or tea towel using a rubber band to keep it in place. This keeps the bugs out but gives your ferment some air!
- Ferment kombucha for 7 to 21 days. Tasting the kombucha for readiness is the best way to test. It should be slightly sweet, not too much like vinegar but not like sweet tea.
- When the tea is to your liking save 1 cup of starter tea for the next round of kombucha and a spare scoby.
- Bottle in swing top bottles to get the most fizz from your kombucha. If you would like to flavor your kombucha while it is in the bottle (called a second ferment) add fruits and spices or even ready brewed herbal teas before bottling. Get ideas on our website! Let sit on your counter 3-5 days to build up fizz.
- Store in a cold area for at least 12 hours to calm the fizz before opening to prevent any kombucha eruptions.
- Enjoy your homemade kombucha and start batch number 2!
Now that you are well on your way to brewing up some fantastic, bubbly booch you might want to check out how to brew up Continuous kombucha to make your kombucha habit even simpler. Or ramp up your kombucha skills with some advanced knowledge of how to brew herbal kombucha without caffeine. And don't forget how to make a kombucha rita!
What ever brew you might be concocting at home, let us know in the comment section what it is! Or if you don't brew your own at home, what is your favorite brand and flavor to sip?
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