How To Make Kombucha Tea From Scratch (Beginners Guide)

You should already know about the CRAZY kombucha health benefits.

In-fact, it’s my main form of protection against viruses and illnesses.

How does it work?

Well, this magical tea is filled with some of the healthiest bacteria and yeast that helps stabilize mood, improve brain clarity while eliminating brain fog and fighting bad bacteria and candida (bad yeast).

Usually, you would have to have a whole host of supplements, teas, and nootropics to get them results and that’s why I stopped taking probiotics and moved on to this wonderful all-in-one drink.

There must be a downside? 

Yes! The only problem with kombucha is that you cannot buy it in 99% of stores, and the ones that do sell it fill it with sugar and sweeteners.

It isn’t all bad, because once you build a kit, that usually costs around $20 – $40 you then have an unlimited supply of this magical drink…

…All you’ve got to do is keep buying tea and adding water and sugar.

Pretty awesome am I right?

Let me dive in and teach you how I make mine:

What You Need For A Custom Kombucha Kit

kombucha kit

You’ve got two options when it comes to brewing kombucha tea.

  1. Buy a kombucha kit, costs a little extra, but perfect for beginners
  2. or Buy the stuff that’s inside the kit and do it yourself.

I’ve done both, so I’ll explain both below:

Best Kombucha Kit (for beginners)

kombucha

If you live in the United States I’d always start with a kombucha kit.

Why?

Because they’re cheap as chips on amazon and the one above comes with everything you need to get brewing, all for 50 bucks, which is almost as cheap as doing it yourself, without any of the hassle.

With this kit, you get everything you need to start creating Kombucha instantly.

From the tea to the SCOBY and even a jar and organic sugar.

DIY Kombucha Kit

homemade kombucha

If you don’t live in America and don’t want to buy the same kit for $150 (like I did) as it’s truly not worth that, here’s what you need to make a kombucha infinity kit:

  • Jar

You can either get a normal jar or a continuous jar.

Now the price of a continuous jar is a little more expensive, but the benefits far out-weight the extra $10 cost, as you’ll be able to bottle up the liquid with ease and pour straight from the brewing jar.

  • Water

You want to avoid mineral water as it can cause harm to the scoby and instead get a glass bottle of spring water, found in most shops.

  • Scoby

The SCOBY (meaning: symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is the most important ingredient and is the base of kombucha tea.

Meaning no SCOBY, no kombucha.

Buying a SCOBY is the most daunting task for most, but don’t let this scare you into buying a starter kit, like it did to me.

Instead understand we can get a far better SCOBY on Amazon, at a much better price.

Down below is two SCOBY’s, both I recommend.

  • One is cheap as chips and will do the job perfectly.
  • Two is a little pricey, but is higher quality.

Organic Kombucha Scoby

This SCOBY is $8 and comes activated with starter tea, perfect for beginners.

It’s 100% organic and is personally where I think all beginners should start.

Higher Quality Scoby

This costs almost $30 and for that, you get a stronger starter liquid with Yeast strands, perfect for making a potent in health kombucha tea and with a gaurantee lifetime supply of kombucha.

On top of that, it’s also fair trade organic and brewed in it’s own jar, and packed fresh.

Pretty great stuff.

Either is perfect.

Just depends on budget.

  • Tea

You want this organic black tea, any store bought teas usually contain chemicals that damage the scoby so it’s best to stick with organic loose leaf.

You can start experimenting with different organic teas and tastes after your 3 – 4 batch of tea as your scoby will be happy and strong and you will be more confident.

  • Sugar

Organic Cane Juice Crystals is by far the best sugar to use while creating kombucha.

It’s harder to source, but far easier to create a successful brew and contains all the nutrients to make your kombucha even healthier.

If you can’t get the above you can also try white cane sugar as it’s equally as good and forgiving, but a little less healthy.

  • Vinegar

Ideally, you will add a little kombucha tea from a previous batch to provide the acidic liquid the scoby needs to thrive.

Now the scobies I mentioned above have that tea in them…

If however if you have a different scoby you have two options, one white distilled vinegar works perfectly. 

Two, buy a bottle of this raw, unflavored kombucha tea and add it to your brew.

  • Kombucha Cloth

Get a thin cotton cheesecloth, they cost $3 on Amazon and, you just place it on the jar after the brew has been made.

  • Heating wrap (Optional)

I live in Spain so I would not usually have to get a heating pad, but due to it being winter here and me having a tiled floor (extra cold), I’ve purchased a heating pad to keep my kombucha at the desired brewing temperature of 68-78°F.

They cost around $18 and are only needed if you live in a cold climate, I personally use mine for around 3 months of the year and it uses near to no electric.

Tip: This wrap, also can be used as a matt, so you can have multiple kombucha brews (up to three) all going at once.

That’s everything you need.

kombucha recipe

The Simplist, Yet Most effective Kombucha Recipe

We’re not here to make the tastiest brew of kombucha, we’re here to keep it simple, easy and packed full of health benefits.

Preparation Steps: 

For this guide, we’re going to be making a gallon batch.

  • Wash your hands and all the cooking utensils you plan on using, including the jar.
  • Grab a large pot and add 13 – 14 cups of unfiltered water, once it’s boiled add into your kombucha jar along with 1 cup of sugar and stir till it’s dissolved and then add 3 tablespoons of loose tea or 8 – 10 tea bags.

Tip: If you don’t want loose leaf tea in your kombucha mix, using a metal tea container to hold the loose leaves and remove before adding the SCOBY.

  • Now you leave the tea and water till it reaches room temperature, you can remove the tea after 20 minutes, I personally leave it in.

Perfect room temp: 68-78°F

  • Remove all the tea from the water and now add the starter tea from a previous batch (or from the SCOBY you ordered), if you don’t have starter liquid (highly recommended) add 2 cups of distilled vinegar.
  • Add your active Scoby into the jar.
  • Cover the jar with the kombucha cloth and secure with a rubber band.

Brewing time: 

You now leave the kombucha to sit undisturbed at 68-78°F for 7 – 30 days.

I get mine around day 10, as the longer you leave it the less sweet and more bitter it’ll become.

Remember: If it’s winter, grab a heat mat at this time and make sure it stays at the recommended room temperature.

mold

How to fight against mold

Sadly while brewing most drinks or feeds there’s a chance of mold.

The bad new is that if your kombucha has any mold (the same kind that you would find on bread or gone off food), then you MUST GET RID OF IT.

It’s not fatal, but can cause an array of health problems, along with ruining the taste and being a little yucky.

So with all that being said, how the heck do you stop MOLD from forming?

  1. Spray a layer of white vinegar over the kombucha cloth (creates a protective barrier)
  2. Use a heat mat during cold months.
  3. Be sure to add white vinegar (as mentioned) or a previous kombucha starter liquid, this stops mold from being able to grow
  4. Remove plants from Kombucha and be sure to store in an area that gets fresh air away from sun.
  5. Don’t smoke near your brew.
  6. Don’t skip or under add ingredients.

The real key is number one, two and three, do these and your Kombucha mix will be perfect.

tastes

Adding Tastes And Different Teas: 

As you may have seen or tasted there are more than a few different types of Kombucha tea kicking around.

Some far nicer than others.

Now the reason we’ve kept it basic (above) is due to the fact that the more ingredients you add, the easier it is to mess up.

Plus, I start all my new batches of kombucha with the recipe above, then once I’ve made 3 – 4 brews and I have a baby SCOBY I then change the teas…

healthiest tea

Best Types of Kombucha Tea

  • Black Tea is the number one for health.
  • Yerba Mate is great for cognitive function and brain power, but should only be used after 4 + batches and with at least 30% black tea.
  • Oolong Tea is Another healthy tea that’s easy to make kombucha with and can be added at the start of a brew.

After the tea I then play with brewing times, this can largely change the taste.

Finally, once the Kombucha is done and the SCOBY has been removed or added to a new brew, I then add different flavoring.

My Favourite Flavouring: 

  • Add 3 – 5 strawberries, add a small handful of blueberries.
  • 1/2 TSP of maple syrup or honey.
  • Add the kombucha, around 18 ounces.

I’ve played with several different flavors and am in the process of trying kombucha Coffee and kombucha chia seed.

Once done I’ll update this with new recipes and advice.

keeping tea

How To Store Kombucha 

When my brew hits 9 – 11-day mark I grab some bottles like the ones above and pour it in, I then store the same way I did the kombucha tea.

This keeps the kombucha fizzy and stops it from going south or from losing the good taste.

Once the 9 – 11 day hits, I repeat the recipe, making a new batch of kombucha and storing my old.

Sometimes you’ll have a new SCOBY formed, in this case, you can either make a SCOBY hotel, dehydrate it and store it in your fridge or you can use it to get two kombucha brews on the go.

Note: Kombucha can be brewed anywhere from 9 – 30 days, I just prefer a lighter brewing time, but feel free to experiment.

kombucha health benefits

Health Benefits Of Kombucha Tea

What super powers does this tea truly offer you?

There’s a long list of the health benefits this tea offers, but to mention a few along with my personal experiences here they are:

  • Immune System Boosting

It’s no secret that fermented foods have an incredible effect on your immunity and kombucha is no exception.

If there’s one thing this drink is good for that’s stopping colds all year round…

That’s why it’s my go-to cold prevention method and when I use reishi mushroom on top I often miss the cold season altogether.

Now as I’m still new to drinking kombucha I can’t wait to see how it affects me during multiple summers and winters, could this be my all-time favorite immune booster? I’ll find out soon.

  • Energy Booster

The main reason I wanted to give kombucha a shoutout on this blog was due to the energy boost it gives me while drinking it.

It gives me a nice cognitive boost, something I match with lions mane and if anything it gives me a similar buzz as coffee.

  • Mood Balancer

There’s been science that proves the effect bacteria has on our minds, it can control our craving and curve our moods.

I’ve witnessed this first hand when I got a tummy bug from eating unclean vegetables in China.

I’ve never had a worse mood change, than when I got back from that trip, lost tons of weight and found the importances of gut health.

So giving your body the powerfully healthy kombucha probiotics will help clear up your gut allowing better digestion and more overall happiness.

  • Digestion

I fart… I fart a lot, especially due to the vegan diet that makes me eat tons of beans.

There are only two things that stop my farts and that’s eating raw foods and a cleaner diet (what I’ve done for the past year) and drinking kombucha, ever since I started if I do get wind it doesn’t smell and is normal.

Which is a real life changer as anyone who’s gone plant-based knows.

I’ve also found I bloat a lot less and have no trouble eating large meals.

  • Detoxification

I’ve found the healthiest diet a human can be on is one that involves constant detoxification of the bad.

Keep detoxing metals, bad chemicals, and pollutants that we consume on a daily basis, and kombucha is a fantastic detoxifier.

Along with a morning, fresh ground coffee, a glass of dry red wine from an old-fashioned winery (packed full of revesatrol), tumeric, garlic and ginger shots and lots and lots of lovely water.

Adding these things above has changed the way I feel, from happiness to energy and even smartness.

These are just the most common benefits, but I’ve linked some other awesome articles that go into much greater details about the health benefits of this fantastic drink.

brewing advice

Tips For Brewing Kombucha

  • Temperature

The first mistake people make is leaving it in the cold.

Kombucha will not brew if it’s too cold and it’ll heighten the chances of a moldy brew.

So, be sure to get a heat mat in the winter.

Then be sure when the summer comes round that you store it out of direct sunlight, but still maintain a heat of around: 68-78°F

  • Don’t keep checking it

Kombucha takes energy, time and bravery to make (at the start) and for that we want to make sure our brew is awesome.

So most of us check up on it each day… This is a big NO.

Instead, once the brew has been created, leave it, don’t check it for 7 days.

You can spritz the kombucha cloth with a little white vinegar daily to create a protective barrier, but avoid taking the cloth off.

  • Taste on day 7

Now day 7 has rolled around and it’s time to taste.

If you’re using an infinity jar then remove the cloth, to make sure there’s no mold, once complete either get a straw or pour a small shotglass size taster.

To me, it tastes like a drink with a similar profile to sparkling apple cider, just a little more sour and earthy tasting.

But as brews are all different the taste can vary.

  • Do two at a time

I always do two brews at a time… Why?

Because sometimes it goes wrong, especially at the start of your kombucha journey.

So instead of having to start all over again due to a duff SCOBY or a bad brewing place, it’s best to make two batches, store them in two different places and even buy the SCOBY’S from different people.

That’s if you’re like me and just want to brew a successful batch if not just stick to one till you get it.

  • Be Ready to get addicted

Kombucha is actually used to stop alcoholics drinking (in some cases) and I’ve personally found it to be a very addictive drink in itself.

The pros are the fact it’s addictive because it’s so good for you.

But, don’t underestimate the power and addiction you can obtain from this beautiful tea.

  • Buy a few jars

The chances are you’ll get hooked and in no time by drinking a bottle a day, so you’re going to need supply and due to a SCOBY doubling in size after a few brews (sometimes more), it can be a good idea to get a few brewing jars, so you always have enough supply for your demand.

messurment recommendations

Drinking Recommendations For Beginners

Start slow…

When I started Kombucha I made the error of going straight for the kill, drinking a glass.

That was over the top and my belly didn’t know what hit it.

I then found that a beginner should drink a shot glass per day for the first few days, get used to it and then keep moving up over the weeks.

It’s funny but I see this same pattern with lots of health foods… IE: MCT Oil…

easy kombucha brewing

What If You Don’t Want To Go To This Trouble?

Brewing Kombucha is fun, but not everyone has the time or energy to make a brew.

If that’s you then it can be easier just to buy it.

I sometimes buy a bulk batch of Raw kombucha with no artificial flavors or sweeteners.

It’s easy to find, packed with the same health benefits and usually cheap, especially if you’re like me and only drink 100 – 200 ml per day.

Best Store Bought Kombucha Tea

store brought kombucha

You can also go down to whole foods if you’re in America and grab some, just be sure to not get the fake kind that’s packed with rubbish.

You can get 12 bottles for $27 here which is an awesome deal.

how to make kombucha tea pinterest

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