Kombucha tea – An effervescent & tangy fermented drink! I have loved this drink from the first sip! It was not really the probiotics or the other health promises that did it for me. It was the special way it tasted! Tart and sour, but with an underlying tone of sweetness that keeps it all together. And so bubbly and fizzy!
Whether you’re new to making kombucha or a seasoned fermenting expert, now you can brew delicious kombucha tea at home with this easy-to-follow kombucha recipe!
Kombucha can be made at home with just a handful of ingredients!
Kombucha ingredients ratio:
- 1½ teaspoon loose tea OR 2 tea bags
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2-3 cups water (no chlorine, no fluoride)
- ½ cup starter tea or distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon loose tea OR 4 tea bags
- ½ cup sugar
- 6-7 cups water
- 1 cup starter tea or distilled white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons loose tea OR 8 tea bags
- 1 cup sugar (2,4 deciliter)
- 13-14 cups water (3,1 liter)
- 2 cups starter tea or distilled white vinegar (4,8 deciliter)
- 1 gallon = 3,8 liters
- 1 cup = 2,4 deciliter
- 1 liter = 10 deciliter = 1000 milliliter
While it may be tempting to experiment with different types of vinegar, it's very important to always use distilled white vinegar to ensure an appropriately acidic environment. Apple cider vinegar and rice vinegar are not appropriate for making kombucha tea. Brewing kombucha requires real tea (camellia sinensis) for both minerals and nitrogen. The type of tea used to brew kombucha can affect the health of the SCOBY as well as the taste of your finished brew. If you're just getting started, I find that plain black tea works best for making kombucha, or Oolong tea. I aso recommend using organic tea whenever possible, to avoid chemical contaminants. It's best to wait until you have a healthy SCOBY and have made at least 4 batches of kombucha before using some other teas.
Combine hot water and sugar in a glass jar or a saucepan. Stir until the sugar dissolves. The water should be hot enough to steep the tea but does not have to be boiling. Place the tea or tea bags in the sugar water to steep.
Important note: Using a metal tea ball to contain loose tea for making kombucha is acceptable. The tea ball should be removed before adding the SCOBY and starter tea, so the tea ball will not come into contact with the SCOBY.
Let sit for some hours (covered). I normally make the tea in the evening and let sit overnight. Strain and pour into the glass jar.
Make sure the mix is lukewarm, 68-85ºF/20-30ºC before you add the starter tea. If you do not have starter tea, distilled white vinegar may be substituted.
Add an active kombucha SCOBY (stands for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast)
Cover the jar with a tight-weave towel or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band.
Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed at 68-85°F, out of direct sunlight, for 7-30 days, or to taste. The longer the kombucha ferments, the less sweet and more vinegary it will taste.
Pour kombucha off the top of the jar for consuming. Retain the SCOBY and enough liquid from the bottom of the jar to use as starter tea for the next batch.
The finished kombucha can be flavored and bottled, if desired, or enjoyed plain.
Kombucha second fermentation:
Once the initial fermentation period is complete and the scoby has been removed, you can consume your kombucha as is or choose to add additional flavoring. If you decide to flavor your kombucha, you can either enjoy it immediately or ferment further, for a more developed taste in the final product. From fruit and juices to herbs and spices there are a wide variety of flavored drinks you can create.
Why second ferment kombucha?
There are quite a few advantages to bottling the finished kombucha and fermenting it further. A second fermentation period allows the flavors to meld and achieve a deeper and more complex flavor profile. Additionally, if bottled in an airtight container, the carbon dioxide produced during fermentation will remain, giving the kombucha the fizzy texture it is often known for. Choose Grolsch-style flip-top bottles/brewing bottles, which will adequately contain the fermentation gases and keep the kombucha carbonated.
Burping Bottles and Taste Testing
The best way to check if your kombucha is done with its second ferment is to taste it to test its flavor and fizziness. Tasting your kombucha every day or so is also a good way to remember to release some of the pressure built up in the bottles - this is especially important if you don't want to end up with a messy explosion. And promise me to use round bottles, and bottles made for brewing. I started out with square non-brewing bottles, and ended up with a BIG explosion in my kitchen!
Remove the SCOBY from the finished kombucha.
Add the desired flavoring and mix to combine.
Bottle the flavored kombucha in airtight bottles leaving a few inches of head space.
Leave the bottled kombucha to ferment for 2-14 days at room temperature.
Once the second fermentation process is complete, strain out any solids, if desired, rebottle and store on the counter or in the refrigerator.
Use Caution When Opening Bottles
Creation of carbon dioxide during the secondary fermentation period means the contents of the bottle will be under pressure, and caution should be used when opening the bottle. I recommend covering the bottle with a cloth to catch any spraying liquid and opening the bottle slowly over the sink while applying downward pressure.
Ratios for Flavoring Kombucha Tea
If flavoring with fresh, frozen, or dried fruit, start with 10-30% fruit and 70-90% Kombucha.
If flavoring with juice, start with 10-20% juice and 80-90% Kombucha.
If flavoring with herbs, the variety and strength of herbs varies greatly. Experiment to come up with the best ratios and combinations for your taste preferences.
For flavor extracts such as almond or vanilla extract, start with 1/4 teaspoon extract per cup of kombucha and adjust to taste. Remember the flavor will continue to develop during the second fermentation period.
Flavors - the options are endless!
Blueberries and cinnamon
Berries and rosemary or basil (strawberries and basil is amazing!)
Berries and fresh ginger
Strawberries and basil
Cherries and almond extract
Pears and almond extract
Apple and cinnamon
Lemon or lime juice and fresh ginger
Pineapple juice, coconut water, and coconut extract
Pumpkin pie spice
Lavender and chamomile
Chai spice blend
Lemon balm and rose hips
*The second fermentation needs some sugar. If not using berries/fruit, make sure to add a little sugar or some raisins.
Please let me know if you have any questions, I am more than happy to help! And make a comment if you have any good ideas for flavoring the kombucha tea!
Courses beverage, drink, fermented
Nutrients and health benefits of kombucha
Probiotics: Gluconacetobacter, Acetobacter, Lactobacillus and Zygosaccharomyces. Ultimately, this cocktail of good bacteria interact together in a unique way to produce some unbelievable health benefits for those who drink it.
Health benefits: Detoxification, better digestion, more energy and improved immune health.
WHAT IS YOUR…
Have you ever tried drinking kombucha? Have you made your own, how was your experience? What is your favorite kombucha flavor? Comment below so I can do a recipe inspired by them. Let me know what you think in the comments, rate the recipe if you try it (it helps me improve them for you!), and if you make it at home share it on Instagram with #alalinn som I can see!0