How to make kombucha at home

Kombucha 101 and How to Make Homemade Kombucha (Blueberry, Ginger lemon and Cucumber)

Blueberry Kombucha  Are you familiar with Kombucha yet? If not, this post is right for you! And if you are familiar with it but would like to know how to make it yourself, then too you are at the right place! In this post, I will share all you need to know about this probiotic drink – What it is , It’s benefits and finally, how to make it in your own kitchen!

What is Kombucha?

kombucha is a fermented tea made with black or green tea or a combination of teas. The process of preparing kombucha can vary but generally involves a double fermentation process wherein a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast( SCOBY )(a pancake-shaped symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is placed in a sweetened tea mixture and left to ferment at room temperature for 1-3 weeks, and then bottled for a few more days to contain released CO2 and encourage carbonation. From there, bottled kombucha is placed in a refrigerated environment to slow down the carbonation and fermentation processes. In the second stage, different natural flavoring substances can be added to give flavor to the kombucha.

Homemade Kombucha

Why is Kombucha good for you?

Kombucha is made by a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast and according to thepaleomom, can contain up to 40 different probiotic organisms.  Exactly which yeast and bacteria varies by the culture, but the yeast fraction almost always includes the beneficial Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Kombucha is easy to drink and digest, and it allows you to replenish your gut with good bacteria and restore your digestive health. According to the Cleveland Clinic, drinking kombucha might improve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel diseases, bloating, and constipation.

Kombucha can help boost immunity as optimal gut health is the key to a strong immune system. A huge portion of the immune system is found in the gut, more specifically about 70 percent, according to a study. If digestion is not optimal, undigested food particles can travel through the gut membrane and cause our immune system to get stimulated unnecessarily. Drinking kombucha on a regular basis can keep your gut flora healthy and that in turn can result in optimal digestive and immune health.

Is Kombucha AIP compliant?

Yes, Kombucha is AIP compliant although sugar is used to make it. This is because most of the sugar used in the making of kombucha gets used up by the SCOBY (the culture used to make kombucha) and the final end product does not have a high sugar content. Kombucha is in fact a great drink when you are doing AIP because it feels a bit like wine (but it’s not) and it also has a ton of benefits for your gut health which is the focus of AIP.  Kombucha is a great drink when you are entertaining or celebrating a special occasion! Beet Kanji which is a fermented beet drink is another favorite of mine to sport as a drink when others are having wine!

Is store bought Kombucha good?

There are several store bought brands that are good. Check labels for no added sugars and no artificial colors and flavors. I personally like Synergy brand and love their guava flavor.

How can you make Kombucha at home?

Making Kombucha at home is very simple. The investment is minimal and the time commitment is low. It basically involves two steps. In the first step, you make a batch of tea and add sugar to it. Once this mixture cools down, transfer to a large jar and add a SCOBY to it (You can either purchase the SCOBY or get it from a friend). Cover with a cloth and place the jar at room temperature for 2-3 weeks to let the fermentation happen. In the second stage, after the fermentation period, you take the SCOBY out and filter the now fermented tea. Transfer it into bottles and add flavors of your choice. You let the bottles ferment for an additional 3-7 days (depending upon how carbonated you want the end product to be) and then transfer to the refrigerator and your kombucha is ready for consumption!

I purchased the Kombucha making kit from The Kombucha Shop which contains all the necessary ingredients you need to make homemade kombucha including the SCOBY.  It does not contain the bottles though and you can either buy new bottles or you can reuse bottles you have from buying store-bought kombucha brands.

See below my detailed recipe for making homemade kombucha. I even made a video tutorial so you can watch me in my kitchen making kombucha!

I also highly recommend these excellent posts by Phoenix Helix on Kombucha making – Kombucha Myths and Truths and Kombucha making Tips and Troubleshooting

How I make homemade kombucha (Blueberry, Ginger Lemon and Cucumber)

  1. First brew some tea (steeping tea leaves in hot boiling water for a few minutes), then adding sugar to it. Then mix this tea with cold water until you get the tea to be somewhere between 68 – 85 F.
  2. Next you add the SCOBY to this tea mixture and cover the jar. Let this mixture ferment at room temperature for 10 days -3 weeks. The longer it sits, the less sweet your kombucha will be. I brew mine for around 2 weeks.
  3. Third step – You remove the SCOBY and transfer it along with some brew into a separate storage container (to be reused for making your next batch of kombucha) and keep it at room temperature. Filter the fermented kombucha and transfer into different bottles adding flavors as desired. The sky is the limit when it comes to adding flavors. I like to keep it simple and have tried different berries, citrus fruits, cucumber as well as ginger. Fresh herbs like mint also work well.
  4. Final Step – Anywhere between 3-10 days of second fermentation (in the bottles), you can check for taste and transfer the flavored kombucha into the refrigerator.

Kombucha (Probiotic) 101 and How to Make Homemade Kombucha (Blueberry, Ginger lemon and Cucumber)
Author: 
Recipe type: Kombucha
Prep time: 
Total time: 
 
Delicious fizzy kombucha with 3 different flavors - blueberry, lemon ginger and cucumber
RecipeIngredients
  • 4 cups boiling water (use filtered water)
  • 3 tbsps tea leaves (I use a mix of black and green tea)
  • 1 cup sugar (I like to use unrefined cane sugar)
  • 8 cups room temperature filtered water
  • SCOBY (I got my first SCOBY from The Kombucha Shop)
For Blueberry kombucha:
  • 2 tbsp frozen blueberries (thawed)
For lemon ginger kombucha:
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped or grated ginger
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
For cucumber:
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped english cucumber
RecipeInstructions
  1. Boil the water in a sauce pan. Turn heat off. In a small muslin pouch, add the tea leaves and drop it inside the hot water. Steep the tea leaves in the hot water for about 3-4 minutes then remove the pouch. Alternately, you can just add the tea leaves to the water and strain the tea.
  2. Wile the mixture is still hot, add the sugar and stir to mix.
  3. Pour the above sweetened tea mixture into a gallon size glass jar. Pour the additional 8 cups of filtered water and check the temperature of the mixture using a thermometer (the kombucha shop kit comes with a temperature gauge. The temperature should be between 68-85 F. If it's too high, wait for a few minutes until it cools down or add a couple ice cubes to the mix to hasten the cooling process.
  4. Once the temperature is in the optimal range, drop the SCOBY gently into the jar. Cover with a cloth and secure it with a rubber band/ tie. leave this jar at room temperature for about 10 days to 3 weeks.
  5. Beginning 10 days you can check for taste (you can use a pipette or a small spoon draw some liquid from below the SCOBY to do a taste test. Once the ferment is to your liking, remove the SCOBY from the jar and transfer it into another container. Pour some of the fermented kombucha into the container as well to keep the SCOBY submerged in it and alive. Store this container at room temperature and use it for your next kombucha.
  6. Next filter the kombucha using a large strainer or muslin cloth.
For the Blueberry kombucha:
  1. Transfer the blueberries along with any juice into one of the glass containers (for storing your final kombucha). Pour the kombucha into the bottle leaving about an inch gap on the top to allow for bubbles (carbonation). Close the lid. Let this ferment for 3-7 more days checking for taste after 3 days.
For the ginger lemon kombucha:
  1. Transfer the ginger and lemon juice into a glass container and fill the rest of the bottle with the first ferment kombucha eaving about an inch gap on the top to allow for bubbles (carbonation). Close the lid. Let this ferment for 3-7 more days checking for taste after 3 days.
For the cucumber kombucha:
  1. Transfer the cucumber into a glass container and fill the rest of the bottle with the first ferment kombucha leaving about an inch gap on the top to allow for bubbles (carbonation). Close the lid. Let this ferment for 3-7 more days checking for taste after 3 days.
  2. Once you like the taste of the final kombucha, transfer the bottles to the refrigerator. You can optionally filter them again to remove the flavoring substances and / any fibrous growth that appears before transferring to the refrigerator.

The above recipe gives you about 4 (16 oz bottles ) of kombucha plus a bit extra kombucha for storing the SCOBY.

I hope this tutorial motivates you to start making your own kombucha!

This above post may contain affiliate links which means that if you purchase any products using the product links in this post, I may get a small commission but your cost remains the same regardless. 

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