Ingredients and Tools
- 1 SCOBY
- 1 cup starter tea (this will come from your initial batch that created your SCOBY)
- 6 cups water
- 1 tbsp. loose leaf black tea or 4 bags black tea
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- Large mason jar or other glass jar
- Cheese cloth or paper towel
- Rubber band or mason jar ring
Add 6 cups of water to teapot, kettle or cooking pot to bring to a boil. While that is heating, prepare the loose leaf tea in a muslin bag or steeping tool.
Pour the boiling water in a large mixing bowl and slowly add the sugar until it is completely dissolved. Add the tea to the bowl and let it steep until the water is cooled. You can shorten this process by letting it steep for 10 – 15 minutes and then refrigerating until cool.
Once the tea is cool, remove the loose leaf tea or bags and stir in the starter tea. Transfer the tea to the glass jar and gently add the SCOBY.
Cover the tea with a cheese cloth, paper towel or similar material item. add a rubber band around the outside to keep the cloth / towel in place.
Ferment the tea for 7 – 10 days. Keep the jar at room temperature, out of direct sunlight and where it won’t get moved around often. The SCOBY will often float around the jar – from top to bottom or even sideways. A new layer of SCOBY will also start to form at the surface of the jar; it may attach itself to the old SCOBY or it may float alone. It is normal during the fermentation process to see brown stringy bits or sediment floating in the jar as well as bubbles collecting around the SCOBY.
Test the tea from day 7 to see if it has reached the desired balance of sweetness and tartness. Once it is ready, you can make your kombucha for drinking.
With clean hands, remove the SCOBY to a clean plate. If the SCOBY has grown too large, you can cut the bottom off before using again to brew a new batch.
Measure out 1 cup of starter tea from this batch and set aside.
Bottle the finished kombucha and add muslin bags of fruit to enhance flavor if desired. Store the kombucha at room temperature for 1 – 3 days until carbonation occurs. Move to the refrigerator at that point and store for up to a month while you enjoy!