Kombucha is a refreshing drink made by fermenting tea, it is a natural probiotic drink packed with healthy bacterial enzymes for gut health and overall health.
The taste is slightly acidic with a refreshing sparkle to it, ginger-flavoured is similar to a ginger beer.
I used to buy the Equinox brand kombucha, the family loved it, so I started to make my own.
How I make my kombucha drink
I started off with this medium sized SCOBY, and it was organic so I decided to keep my brew organic by using other organic ingredients.
What is needed to make kombucha
- Scoby with some kombucha liquid
- Green tea bags
- Big pan to brew tea
- Glass/ceramic/plastic jar to brew the kombucha
- Wooden/plastic spoon
Quantities I work with
For each litre of kombucha I use
- between 3-4 tea bags, I only brewed with green tea so far
- 50-80g sugar (I use raw cane sugar)
- 900ml water
- 100ml plain kombucha (from the previous brew)
It’s really simple if you can make a cuppa minus the milk you will be hard pressed to mess up a kombucha brew!
Make some sweet tea, let it cool, add your SCOBY and plain kombucha liquid leave it to ferment for some days maybe 10-21 depending on climate.
Step by step instructions to make kombucha
- In a stainless steel pan, I pour boiled kettle water then put in my teabags and stir up
- In a bowl, I put the sugar with some boiled water and dissolve it
- When the tea is cooled after about 20 minutes or more I squeeze out the teabags
- I add the cooled tea and sugar water to a glass jar
- I then add cold water to make up the quantity (say my tea was only 500ml but I used teabags for 1 litre of kombucha I will add 400ml of cold water)
- Then add my SCOBY with the 100ml kombucha liquid
- I cover the jar with a tea towel or muslin and put an elastic band to secure it
- Leave it to ferment for at least 10 days before I have a sip, if it’s not ready I keep testing every few days until it’s ready, this depends on the weather and temperature of the room.
To test if it’s ready I stir it with a wooden spoon to mix up the brew before pouring a little bit into a glass. If it’s too sweet I leave it, I sometimes test the pH balance for between pH2-4 preferring at pH3.
When it’s ready I take out my SCOBY and at least 100ml of kombucha liquid and put that aside for my next brew.
Then with the kombucha, I’ve just brewed I either:
- bottle for drinking
- Bottle for a 2nd ferment
- Add some flavours
I use swing-top bottles but I have used jars in the past.
Flavours for 2nd ferment
- Ginger either dried ginger root or chopped fresh (beat the fresh ginger before adding)
- Fresh fruit
- Dried fruit
- Spices (I’ve had chai kombucha- ´tis nice)
I simply put the flavour in the bottle with the kombucha and leave it on the counter for about a week, check it for carbonation by opening and having a sip.
After a week or so I usually put some in the fridge and leave some on the worktop or in the cupboard to make extra fizzy more commonly if with ginger root I like the kick.
I have tried water kefir another fermented drink, which is very nice especially the coconut kefir water, however, kefir requires more maintenance than the kombucha due to shorter fermentation time (just a few days).
You can brew kombucha with black tea, and I have tried with white tea also. Fruit teas and other herbal teas are not suitable.
I am often asked about the sugar content of kombucha as it does require a fair bit per litre, the SCOBY feeds off the sugar and the end product, the tasty tea has minimal amount of sugar, when I am testing it to see if it is ready, if its still sweet its not ready yet.
I hope you get to try your own brew or at least get a kombucha from the independent health store. Kombucha is a tasty and healthy alternative to sugar-fuelled soft drinks AND suitable for the whole family no nasty side effects or junk ingredients alhamdulillah.
Below are links to some of the items I use to brew my kombucha, I usually get my swing top bottles for bottling from either wilkos or IKEA.