How To Make Kombucha Tea at Home — Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

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(The starter tea makes the liquid acidic, which prevents unfriendly bacteria from taking up residence in the first few days of fermentation.)\u003c/li\u003e”,”image”:{“id”:”2ffbc8cc483fd00b0657e7dab1a3a59311a490b6″,”width”:1424,”height”:1780,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:65,”created_at”:”2015-04-10T10:38:41.280-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2015-04-06-Kombucha-1.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5527e0702a099a5756007973″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”549aa993461e462712b033881d6f4355185a13f2″,”caption”:”\u003cstrong\u003eTransfer to jars and add the scoby:\u003c/strong\u003e Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon glass jar (or divide between two 2-quart jars, in which case you’ll need 2 scobys) and gently slide the scoby into the jar with clean hands. Cover the mouth of the jar with a few layers of cheesecloth or paper towels secured with a rubber band.”,”image”:{“id”:”549aa993461e462712b033881d6f4355185a13f2″,”width”:1424,”height”:1780,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:65,”created_at”:”2015-04-10T10:38:55.506-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2015-04-06-Kombucha-12.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5527e07e2a099a5756007977″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”babfd1e37fef02c37838192cec1eab4b6f62614d”,”caption”:”\u003cstrong\u003eFerment for 7 to 10 days:\u003c/strong\u003e Keep the jar at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, and where it won’t get jostled. Ferment for 7 to 10 days, checking the kombucha and the scoby periodically. After seven days, begin tasting the kombucha daily by pouring a little out of the jar and into a cup. When it reaches a balance of sweetness and tartness that is pleasant to you, the kombucha is ready to bottle.”,”image”:{“id”:”babfd1e37fef02c37838192cec1eab4b6f62614d”,”width”:1424,”height”:1994,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:65,”created_at”:”2015-04-10T10:38:39.062-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2015-04-06-Kombucha-2.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5527e06d2a099a58170078a6″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”c08e9eeb7580807e024fe15b0bcaf304f46acbf3″,”caption”:”It’s not unusual for the scoby to float at the top, bottom, or even sideways during fermentation. A new cream-colored layer of scoby should start forming on the surface of the kombucha within a few days. It usually attaches to the old scoby, but it’s ok if they separate. You may also see brown stringy bits floating beneath the scoby, sediment collecting at the bottom, and bubbles collecting around the scoby. This is all normal and signs of healthy fermentation.”,”image”:{“id”:”c08e9eeb7580807e024fe15b0bcaf304f46acbf3″,”width”:1424,”height”:1780,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:65,”created_at”:”2015-04-10T10:38:46.807-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2015-04-06-Kombucha-4.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5527e0742a099a6938005eaf”,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”a45f00bfbefd892511ed34127fdc4be7de8dcc3c”,”caption”:”\u003cstrong\u003eBottle the kombucha:\u003c/strong\u003e When the kombucha tastes good to you, it’s ready to be bottled. Before proceeding, prepare and cool another pot of strong tea for your next batch of kombucha, as outlined above. With clean hands, gently lift the scoby out of the kombucha and set it on a clean plate. As you do, check it over and remove the bottom layer if the scoby is getting very thick.”,”image”:{“id”:”a45f00bfbefd892511ed34127fdc4be7de8dcc3c”,”width”:1424,”height”:1780,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:65,”created_at”:”2015-04-10T10:38:47.621-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2015-04-06-Kombucha-5.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5527e0772a099a50bd007405″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”a8db0124e3339349f6b3f388dec1a93ee3bcfca5″,”caption”:”Measure out your starter tea from this batch of kombucha and set it aside for the next batch. “,”image”:{“id”:”a8db0124e3339349f6b3f388dec1a93ee3bcfca5″,”width”:1424,”height”:1780,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:65,”created_at”:”2015-04-10T10:38:45.724-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2015-04-06-Kombucha-6.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5527e0742a099a583600800e”,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”27e462156bd91d28707b4fca87d16afa1292aefe”,”caption”:”Pour the fermented kombucha (straining, if desired) into bottles using the small funnel, along with any juice, herbs, or fruit you may want to use as flavoring. Leave about a half inch of head room in each bottle.”,”image”:{“id”:”27e462156bd91d28707b4fca87d16afa1292aefe”,”width”:1424,”height”:1780,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:65,”created_at”:”2015-04-10T10:38:49.887-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2015-04-06-Kombucha-8.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5527e0782a099a577a007b52″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”753eda88e2c559c9380f12c5e9f9963370248255″,”caption”:”Alternatively, infuse the kombucha with flavorings for a day or two in another jar covered with cheesecloth, strain, and then bottle. This makes a cleaner kombucha without \”stuff\” in it.”,”image”:{“id”:”753eda88e2c559c9380f12c5e9f9963370248255″,”width”:1424,”height”:1780,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:65,”created_at”:”2015-04-10T10:38:47.788-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2015-04-06-Kombucha-7.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5527e0762a099a6938005eb1″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”9c1f88b13ac925a7fc246b7d23e29fb65cdd5c21″,”caption”:”\u003cstrong\u003eCarbonate and refrigerate the finished kombucha:\u003c/strong\u003e Store the bottled kombucha at room-temperature out of direct sunlight and allow 1 to 3 days for the kombucha to carbonate. Until you get a feel for how quickly your kombucha carbonates, it’s helpful to keep it in plastic bottles; the kombucha is carbonated when the bottles feel rock solid. Refrigerate to stop fermentation and carbonation, and then consume your kombucha within a month.”,”image”:{“id”:”9c1f88b13ac925a7fc246b7d23e29fb65cdd5c21″,”width”:1424,”height”:1424,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:65,”created_at”:”2015-04-10T10:38:54.645-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2015-04-06-Kombucha-11.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5527e07d2a099a5832007740″,”focus_z”:null}},{“image_id”:”1c6e0db64b33c6ac62393437738ce05062593f79″,”caption”:”\u003cstrong\u003eMake a fresh batch of kombucha:\u003c/strong\u003e Clean the jar being used for kombucha fermentation. Combine the starter tea from your last batch of kombucha with the fresh batch of sugary tea, and pour it into the fermentation jar. Slide the scoby on top, cover, and ferment for 7 to 10 days.”,”image”:{“id”:”1c6e0db64b33c6ac62393437738ce05062593f79″,”width”:1385,”height”:1939,”format”:”JPEG”,”created_by_id”:65,”updated_by_id”:65,”created_at”:”2015-04-10T10:39:07.321-04:00″,”updated_at”:”2016-08-17T17:06:45.137-04:00″,”credit_style”:”author”,”credit_author_id”:65,”credit_name”:””,”credit_url”:””,”credit_email”:””,”credit_custom”:””,”credit_license”:””,”credit_linked_post_id”:null,”focus_x”:null,”focus_y”:null,”filename”:”2015-04-06-Kombucha-13.jpg”,”alt_text”:null,”exclude_from_color_search”:false,”crop”:null,”ancestor”:”5527e08b2a099a5836008014″,”focus_z”:null}}]};

I’ve been addicted to kombucha from first sip. It wasn’t really the probiotics or other health promises that did it for me — although I’ll take those, too! It was the way it tasted: like tart green apple mixed with sour stone fruits, but with an underlying sweetness that keeps it all together. And fizzy! I couldn’t believe that something this delicious could actually be made from tea, of all things. Or that I could make it at home with a few very basic ingredients.

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