Kombucha is a fermented probiotic beverage enjoyed by many around the world. At its core kombucha is a fermented sweet black tea and it’s loaded with probiotics that are great for your gut health. Since it’s a fermented drink it does have some alcohol but really just under 1%. While the reported health benefits are how this drink came into popularity in the modern era it is believed that people have been making kombucha for centuries.
If you’re looking for more easy fermentation recipes try our Easy Pineapple Tepache for Beginners.
The fermentation occurs when sweet tea comes into contact with what is called a SCOBY or Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. Those yeasts and bacteria eat the sugar in the tea and create kombucha.
Growing your own SCOBY is very simple. All you need is 1 bottle of the original flavor kombucha and hopefully, it will be the last one you ever buy. Inside every bottle of kombucha, there are mini SCOBY and microscopic bacteria, and yeast. We need to grow the culture to become our mother SCOBY.
To do that we start by making a large batch of sweetened black tea. For tea, we are using black leaf tea. After the tea has steeped we strain it and add 100 grams of table sugar. Once the sugar is dissolved we add more water to the top of the container to just under one gallon. Make sure the tea has cooled down to 90 F so that you don’t accidentally kill the yeast and bacteria. Then just add a bottle of kombucha. Cover it with a cloth or a napkin and a dubber band. Depending on how it is it can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to just over a month before you see a difference.
Kombucha, when ready has a PH of 3.5 to 2.5. The more you brew with the little SCOBY you have the more it will grow. To add flavor is very simple. All you need is a bottle to put the kombucha in and some fresh fruit to add flavor and more sugars. The sugar from the fruit will create a second fermentation. then when the fruit is placed in the bottle and the kombucha is sealed the fermentation will kick back up and eat those sugars creating CO2 that will carbonate your drink.
The beauty of making your own kombucha is that you get to make it the way you like it with the flavors you love.