How to Make Kombucha Tea: Recipe and Tutorial

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 9 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Read my affiliate policy.

How to make Kombucha- recipe and tutorial
Wellness Mama » Blog » Recipes » How to Make Kombucha Tea: Recipe and Tutorial

Kombucha is a fermented sweetened tea that has been around for centuries. It has a tangy and sweet flavor and can be double-fermented with fruit or juice to make a fizzy drink similar to soft drinks.

This ancient beverage has surged in popularity in recent years and is now available in many grocery stores and health food stores. Store-bought kombucha often costs $3-5 a bottle, so making it at home is a great way to save a lot of money.

If you’re a fan of this probiotic and enzyme-rich drink, try brewing it at home for just pennies a cup!

Health Benefits of Kombucha

how to make kombucha easy recipe

Kombucha fans attribute a wide variety of benefits to kombucha and claim that it helps with everything from joint pain to cancer. These claims are largely unproven, as there are very few studies about kombucha, but we do know that it contains a variety of vitamins and beneficial acids.

In fact, it is considered a good source of antioxidants, B-vitamins, probiotics, and glucaric acid.

Kombucha Nutrition Facts

Downsides of Kombucha

Of course, like everything, there is a flip side! Here are some concerns when it comes to kombucha. They’re nothing alarming but good to be aware of especially when choosing a commercial brand.

Too Much Sugar?

Kombucha is brewed from sweetened tea and the recipe contains a cup of sugar per gallon of tea. Understandably, some people worry about the sugar content.

Not to worry…

During the fermentation process, the beneficial colony of bacteria consumes most of the sugar, so it has minimal effect on blood sugar. The sugar is simply the food for these beneficial bacteria and the beneficial acids, enzymes, and probiotics are a result of the fermentation.

Caffeine and Alcohol?

If caffeine is a concern, kombucha can be made with caffeinated or decaf tea, and even with green tea or herbal teas. To protect the culture, it is good to use at least 20% regular black tea though.

Kombucha can contain very small amounts of alcohol, typically around 0.5% or less, which is similar to an over-ripe banana. Some store-bought brands contain more alcohol and are typically sold in a different section of the store and require ID for purchase.

Why Make Raw Kombucha at Home?

As I mentioned, it is significantly less expensive to make kombucha at home. Some store brands are also pasteurized, killing many of the probiotics and enzymes present in raw kombucha.

Here are some of the reasons you may want to consider making kombucha at home:

Great Soda Alternative

While the health claims about kombucha have not been confirmed by western medical research, there is no denying that it is a healthier and lower sugar drink than soda. It has natural carbonation and provides some B-vitamins and beneficial enzymes that aren’t present in soda as well.

Easy to Customize

My favorite part about making kombucha at home is how easy it is to customize and make different flavors. Add grape juice or apple juice for a slightly flavored version. Add some fresh or frozen strawberries for a super carbonated tangy taste. Or even add some raisins and a vanilla bean for a taste similar to a leading soda that starts with Dr. and ends with Pepper!

Save Money

Store-bought kombucha is expensive. Homemade is not. You can make an entire gallon at home for less than the cost of a single bottle in stores. Since you control the brew time and flavors, you’ll probably get a more flavorful and more nutrient-dense brew at home too!

Important Caution

The one potential problem with making kombucha at home is the possibility of a harmful bacteria or mold growing in the fermentation vessel. To avoid these problems, it is important to follow the correct procedures for brewing and to carefully sanitize all equipment before use. Also, starting with a high-quality culture (see the recipe for my recommendation) and plenty of strong starter liquid helps.

That said, I’ve personally made kombucha for over five years and have never had any problems with it!

How to Get a SCOBY

What is a SCOBY- symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast

The kombucha is brewed with a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Yeast and Bacteria) that “eats” the sugars in the sweetened tea and creates an acidic, vitamin and probiotic-rich beverage.

SCOBYs are living and thriving colonies of bacteria and unfortunately, you can’t just pick one up a high quality one at your grocery store. There are several ways to acquire a SCOBY.

  • If you know anyone who already brews kombucha, ask them for an extra SCOBY and they will probably be glad to pass one on. The SCOBY has a “baby” every batch or two and this baby can then be used to brew more kombucha. Just make sure that they include at least one cup of strong starter liquid with each SCOBY. If you plan to continuous brew, you’ll want one cup for each gallon of liquid you will brew.
  • You can order a SCOBY from an online source. Just make sure the source is reputable. Avoid dehydrated SCOBYs that require a long rehydration period and produce a weaker brew. I’ve seen SCOBYs on sites like eBay or Amazon, but prefer a trusted site like my friends and affiliate partners Hannah and Alex from Kombucha Kamp.
  • Grow your own. This may or may not be successful and can be done using a pre-made bottle of kombucha that you can get from a health food store. (This takes several weeks and may not work, so I don’t personally recommend this option)

Courtesy of The Big Book of Kombucha, here is a handy chart for batch and container size:

Batch and Continuous Brew size chart courtesy The Big Book of Kombucha

How to Make Raw Kombucha: Batch Method

Once you have a SCOBY, the actual process of making kombucha is very easy!

Notes: Make sure all ingredients, materials, and your hands are clean. If you already ferment other things (kefir, sauerkraut, pickles, beer, etc.) in your kitchen, make sure all the jars are at least a few feet apart to prevent cross-contamination of the cultures.

Equipment & Ingredients Needed

  • A gallon size glass jar (or other suitable brew vessel) – One gallon is the standard size but you can brew smaller or larger. Make sure it’s really clean! I like to rinse with white vinegar to make sure.
  • Brewed sweetened tea (ratio: 1 cup of sugar per gallon of tea) – I love this tea blend that is specifically created for brewing kombucha, but regular black tea works too.
  • A SCOBY – and 1 cup of liquid from a previous batch of kombucha for each gallon of sweetened tea
  • Fermentation coverlike the ones here or a coffee filter or thin cloth and a rubber band

If you’ve mastered the regular batch method, you may also consider the continuous brew method, which can brew larger amounts much more quickly.

How to Make Continuous Brew Kombucha

For years I had been brewing with the batch system for making kombucha at home, and while I still really like that method, I’ve found that the continuous brew method is an easier alternative that removes a step. As the names suggest, the batch method is where kombucha is brewed in batches and re-started with each batch by using the SCOBY “baby” and some of the liquid from the previous batch.

The continuous brew kombucha method involves removing only some of the liquid each time and replacing with the same amount of fresh brewed sweetened tea. This yields a fresher brew (in my opinion), helps it brew faster (good when there are 6 people consuming it each day) and takes up less room on the counter. This article from the Weston A. Price foundation talks about the benefits of continuous brew:

Continuous Brew Benefits include:

  • There is less risk of mold and other contamination since once it is established, the liquid maintains a far more acidic environment. This means it is more hostile to outside invaders because of smaller amounts of free sugar and a greater population of good bacteria and yeast.
  • Less overall work to produce more overall volume as some can be removed and more tea added without reducing the pH as much. It can also brew much more quickly depending on the kombucha/new tea ratio.
  • More consistent supply of kombucha (a few bottles every day or every few days rather than having a large batch all at once).
  • A broader array of bacteria and other beneficial compounds in the final product.

How to Setup a Continuous Brew System

The main difference in the methods is that continuous brew uses a container with a spigot so some of the brewed kombucha can be removed without disturbing the rest of the brew. The most important thing you will need for this method is a continuous brew vessel.

Look for a vessel that can hold 1-5 gallons. It should be made of a safe material like glass, stoneware, porcelain, or wood.

It will also need to have a spigot near the bottom so that kombucha can be removed without disturbing the SCOBY or the rest of the brew. Make sure to test the spigot for leaks before using.

A continuous brew vessel should also have a breathable cover so air can escape. It should cover the entire top of the vessel and be sealed tightly so that insects can’t get in. Some vessels come with a cover, but a clean towel or coffee filter and a rubber band work well too.

There are a variety of high quality continuous brew vessels available here.

Continuous Brew Kombucha Instructions

Follow these easy printable instructions for continuous brew:

carbonated kombucha how to make kombucha soda

Continuous Brew Kombucha Recipe

A great way to brew kombucha so you have a continuous supply without the need to constantly re-make and clean containers.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Author Katie Wells




  • Prepare the sweet tea. I use 2 tablespoons of loose tea, 2 family size tea bags, or 8-10 small bags per gallon of water. Add 1 cup of regular sugar per gallon. Do not use raw honey!
  • Let tea cool to room temperature and make sure that it is really cool! This step is very important as too hot of tea can kill your SCOBY.
  • Once the tea is completely cool, add the SCOBY and the correct amount of starter liquid.
  • Cover the jar with the coffee filter or cloth and rubber band tightly (flies love this stuff!).
  • Put the jar in a warm corner of the kitchen where it is at least a few feet away from any other fermenting products. Around 75-85°F is best. If your kitchen is cold, you may need a heating mat.
  • Let sit to ferment for around 7-21 days, though the length of time may vary depending on your temperature and batch size. You can taste test the kombucha to see if it is done. It should taste tart, but still very slightly sweet also.
  • At this point, kombucha is ready for a second ferment. If you aren’t doing the second ferment, just pour the kombucha into another jar or jars with airtight lids and seal until ready to drink.
  • For continuous brew, we dispense in to several quart size mason jars with plastic storage caps (don't use metal!), leaving about 20% of the room on top.

Like this recipe? Check out my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalized weekly meal planner here!

If you want a fizzy and flavored final product like the kind in stores, you’ll also want to do a second ferment:

How to Do a Second Ferment (How to Make Soda!)

Just as with water kefir, using fruit juice can make kombucha carbonated and slightly sweeter, which is often more appealing to kids. It is an easy second step too!

  1. kombucha soda drink recipeGet another very clean gallon sized jar or 5 quart sized glass jars (I prefer this).
  2. Pour 1 quart of juice of your choice into the big jar or divide between smaller jars, filling each jar about 1/5 full.
  3. Pour the finished kombucha into the smaller jars until about 1 inch from the top. Make sure to leave about ½ cup brewed kombucha in the jar with the SCOBY.
  4. Once the kombucha is poured off, pour the SCOBY and remaining juice into a clean bowl.
  5. Repeat the steps above for the first fermentation to start another batch.
  6. Tightly cap the smaller jars with the fruit juice added and leave at room temperature for another 2-7 days until carbonated to your taste.
  7. Refrigerate before drinking or pour over ice.
  8. Enjoy!

My Favorite Flavor Add-ins:

  • minced ginger root and blueberries
  • ½ organic lemon (quartered) and ½ tsp grated ginger (tastes like Sprite)
  • minced ginger root and citrus
  • ¼ cup fresh or frozen berries
  • mango
  • prunes and vanilla (Dr. Pepper/cream soda type taste)
How to Make Kombucha - Picture Tutorial

Ever brewed kombucha or other fermented drink? What’s your favorite? Share below!

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


411 responses to “How to Make Kombucha Tea: Recipe and Tutorial”

  1. Ally Huang Avatar
    Ally Huang

    My first batch of kombucha is ready but I didn’t know to flavor it at second fermentation. Is it too late to add flavoring in now? Also, does it have to be in glass jar?

    1. Ana Avatar

      Glass jars for brewing and bottling are best because they are nonreactive. Never use metal, plastic, or ceramic, the acidity of the tea leaches material out of the vessel. I peel and cut up chunks of ginger to add to mine (never add ginger or flavorings in with the Scoby, it will impair/kill the Scoby).

      1. Jerry Avatar

        Thank you, I was looking and looking for someone to say at what stage to add the ginger.

  2. joelle Avatar

    I am just about to make my own kombucha, but I only have organic coconut sugar…will that be okay?

    1. Ana Avatar

      I use plain white cane sugar and my results have been awesome. You can buy sucanat or organic white cane sugar too, but it is expensive.

    2. Caitlyn Baldo Avatar
      Caitlyn Baldo

      ha, I was just going to use organic coconut sugar… glad I read this

    3. julie Avatar

      What do you do w the extra scoby that is in the jar after the first ferment? I have original and now the new one.

    4. marcia williamson Avatar
      marcia williamson

      I only had organic coconut sugar in the pantry the last time I went to brew my Kombucha, so I risked it, it was fine.

      1. marcia williamson Avatar
        marcia williamson

        Just read some info on coconut sugar, its not recommended for Kombucha as it may harm the SCOBY. Woops, mine seems fine and has had a baby! Wont use it again though!

        1. Bela Avatar

          Coconut sugar is sucrose, just like table sugar. I doesn’t affect the fermentation process.

  3. Emily Prince Avatar
    Emily Prince

    Question: I prefer unsweetened tea (true yankee :o)) Can I make this tea with out the sugar, or is the sugar nessesary??

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      The sugar is necessary to feed the beneficial bacteria, but it does ferment out and the longer you leave it, the less sweet it will be…

      1. Alexandra Avatar

        5 stars
        Hi, sorry to bother you, but I was wondering if you know the nutritional info/sugar count of the kombucha after the first fermentation? I’m kind of a sugar freak and try to keep it low. Does the SCOBY eat all of it, Or is there still quite a bit? Thank you so much for the recipe

  4. Rosa DeVoe Avatar
    Rosa DeVoe

    Have you ever made it with raspberry leaf tea for when you’re pregnant? Do you think it would work well? I am hoping to knock out two good things with one drink.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I haven’t yet but have been meaning to. I would think it would work, but I’d probably keep an extra scoby baby just in case…

    2. Ana Avatar

      You can probably add raspberry leaf tea, but I have always read that kombucha requires at least 50% black tea in order to brew correctly.

  5. Willow Carver Avatar
    Willow Carver

    Great article! I’m doing the continuous brew process described by Kombucha Kamp and I find it so amazing, I really recommend checking it out. I’m brewing kombucha in one of those big 2 gallon ceramic crocks with a tap on it, and it is so convenient! So easy to transfer into bottles for the second fermentation as well …

    1. Ana Avatar

      I have read that the ceramic glaze can be problematic, are there any glass crocks that you can use? Kombucha is very acidic and I have heard that it can leach materials out of even food-safe ceramic glaze. Not sure if that matters to you, but I thought I’d mention it.

      1. Katie Avatar

        The most economical glass container I found was a glass fish bowl. It makes about 2 gallons per brewing batch.

    2. Ana V. Avatar

      Hi everyone I had a question, I’ll be starting my first kombucha brew ing at home in a 2 gallon jar but I am not sure if I need to purchase 2 Scoby’s or will 1 be good. ??? I’ll be ordering from kombucha Kamp

  6. Elizabeth Leon Avatar
    Elizabeth Leon

    HI Katie,
    I’ve been brewing booch since the summer. I usually flavor the 2nd ferment with ginger juice and black cherry juice. I really like the lavender falvor that GT sells but I’m not sure how I would make it at home. I did some internet searching and saw you can add 2TBS lavender flower while the water boils and tea seeps. But my concern is when I do the 2nd ferment. Don’t I need to add something with a little bit of sugar, like the fruit juice? Do you have any ideas?

    1. sarah howard Avatar
      sarah howard

      I throw fresh lavender from my herb garden directly into my second fermentation.

    2. Ana Avatar

      I would make a lavender “simple syrup” like bartenders make, and add that for the 2nd ferment, along with some lavender flowers. I love GT’s, but their lavender kombucha always makes me cough. The sediment from the lavender flowers gets stuck at the back of my throat! My vote is for a room-temperature lavender syrup. 🙂

    3. Max Avatar

      I just made a batch of kombucha using lavender green tea as my base tea. It has a wonderful flavor and I don’t even add any juice to it. You could give that a try.

      1. Dana Avatar

        According to Cultures For Health, you should only be using black or green tea—any variety that doesn’t contain oils (Oolong, English Breakfast for instance, preferably organic for obvious reasons). Any other type of tea that may contain oils (such as Earl Grey or an Orange Spice) can cause the kombucha to mold.

  7. Mandy Avatar

    YES! I kept wondering why my kombucha wasn’t fizzy like the ones I get at the store. Thank you!

  8. Phoebe G Avatar
    Phoebe G

    I just made my first batch -(2 gallons!) but somehow thought it was supposed to go 11 days – it seems carbonated already! I tasted it and it tastes okay- I look forward to making it ginger flavored (I am only familiar with the flavored ones in the store). Do you foresee any problems with a mature kombucha like this? I drank about a 1/2 cup and then got nervous…but that was this morning and I am not dead yet! Funny, it really filled me up…How long is it storable in the fridge do you think? People do mention exploding bottles… any experience with that?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I’ve left mine as long as a month. It will just be slightly more sour, but fine. Storable indefinitely in the fridge. The bottles only tend to explode if you make it really strong and then add a lot of juice and a tight fitting lid for a second ferment and then leave it out too long…

    2. Sydney Avatar

      5 stars
      I got a box from a wine shop that has cardboad dividers in it. I put my bottled kombucha in there for the second ferment before putting them in the fridge. I have never had a bottle explode, but I figure this arrangement would contain the broken glass if it ever happens.

  9. Amanda L Avatar
    Amanda L

    What happens if I forgot to keep 1/2 cup of the brewed kombucha for the next batch? Did I just ruin my SCOBY if I just put it directly in the next batch of sweet tea with no 1/2 cup of previous kombucha?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      If it’s a strong SCOBY, it should be fine… do you have any extra kombucha you could add?

      1. Denise Avatar

        you can use 1/2 cup of any vinegar other than balsamic if you didn’t save previous kombucha! 🙂

    2. Emily Avatar

      I’ve also read that you can pour in a bottle of organic raw kombucha from the store to restore the balance (this also helps if your brew has started to take on a flavor that you don’t particularly like).

      1. Laurie Avatar

        I agree with Emily, but be sure the store bought kombucha is not flavored…just plain kombucha brew.

  10. Sheri Napier Avatar
    Sheri Napier

    I have 2 jars brewing, one is slightly sweet and the other tart, can I mix them to even it out, or do I need to let the sweeter one sit longer? Also what can I do to not have it so vinegary/tart?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      It gets vinegar like when it sits too long but you can definitely mix them to even it out…

      1. Sheri Napier Avatar
        Sheri Napier

        If I let it sit to long and it does get vinegar like, what can I do mellow it out, can I add water for example??

        1. Wellness Mama Avatar
          Wellness Mama

          You can add water or just more of the tea/sugar mix, or any fruit juice. If you add the juice, cap it tightly and you’ll get kombucha soda in a couple days

  11. Jen Avatar

    Hi Katie, I was told making kombucha is dangerous because if it is fermented in too warm a temperature, it can grow bad/dangerous bacteria as well. Now I’m worried about trying it. What do you think of this?

    Is there an imperative temperature range for making kombucha?


    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      From what I’ve read if you are fermenting inside, you don’t really have to worry about the bad bacteria, but you could call or email Cultures for Health to ask them. The woman who owns it, Julie, is super helpful!

      1. Jen Avatar

        Thanks for responding so quickly! I appreciate it 🙂 and for the resource suggestion!! Thanks. Im very excited to try this.

        1. Kristin Avatar

          Great tips here. I am curious why the vessels for the finished kombucha should have plastic and not a metal lid. I have been using glass vessels with metal lids.

          Also any tips on avoiding mold? In my few batches made at home, I am 50/50 with having a good batch and having my SCOBY
          mold :(.

          1. Katie Wells Avatar

            The metal can corrode or leach over time due to the acidity. What temperature is your home if you are having mold?

      2. Karin Wheat Avatar
        Karin Wheat

        Hey! My husband and I have been on a journey to eat/drink healthier. We’ve done great with food, but I have still been drinking my sweet tea and Dr. Pepper. I want to stop, so I’ve been trying to find an actual recipe for DP kombucha. Do you have one?

  12. Julia k. Avatar
    Julia k.

    When you referment with fruit juice the second time around, does the natursl sugar in the fruit juice ferment out too, or does it stay in (thus impacting the caloric or carbohydrate levels?)

  13. Amy Avatar

    At what age would you give Komubcha to your kids? We don’t give our son juice but one week we bought some raw kombucha and let him drink a total of about a cup within a couple of days and then noticed a ring worm diaper rash (he is almost 2). I Instantly assumed this was from the juice. We eat a low carb diet. Is he just too young for it? Could there be something else and not the juice that caused the ring worm?

      1. Meghan Avatar

        FYI, in case anyone reads this, ringworm is not a worm but a different form of the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot and jock itch. 🙂

    1. Amy Avatar

      My daughter developed horrid yeast while being on probiotics. The doctor put her on a strong dose due to constipation problems. She goes back for more testing to have foods in her diet checked. The doctor suggested she had an extreme bacteria imbalance in her gut and the probiotic was causing her system to go into extreme detox. We cut the probiotics down for a while (just this 2 weeks ago) and will be gradually increasing. That has seemed to help with the rash. They did prescribe nystatin to help clear it up. I used it for two days, then just applied a bit of coconut oil after that. It has gone away so far.

      1. Tracy Avatar

        May I recommend reading “Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS)” by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride. There are many well-researched and well-supported treatments for bowel irregularity in children. She also explains specific steps and approaches that you can take to control die-off so that it is tolerable for the child.

  14. Kristin Avatar

    I grew my own SCOBY (using the tutorial from Food Renegade) and made my first batch of kombucha as directed above (brewing for seven days). I sampled it and it was quite delicious. I followed your directions for a second fermentation using organic grape juice from the health food store for seven more days using smaller bottles. I actually used a little less juice than you suggested–2 oz. juice per 16 oz. bottle of kombucha. I sampled it this morning and it smells a lot like wine (and tastes a bit like a sparkling wine). Is this how it is supposed to be or did I do something incorrectly?

    1. Rachael Avatar

      The second ferment shouldn’t be done for that long, you developed too much alcohol from the sweet juice. Try 2 days next time 🙂

  15. Ingrid Finicle Avatar
    Ingrid Finicle

    I brew my tea along with slices of fresh Ginger (always keep ginger root in a zip-locked bag in your freezer, as it grates beautifully for recipes and will not rot).

    Once brewed (or double brewed) the ginger flavor greatly enhances the pure deliciousness of the Kombucha!

    1. tomi kaiser Avatar
      tomi kaiser

      I keep ginger root, sliced into 1/4 pieces, in a ziplock in the freezer to add to smoothies also. It keeps beautifully that way!

      1. Noel Avatar

        Is there any need to peel ginger root before using in Kombucha or smoothies?

          1. Stephanie Avatar

            I put ginger in a bottle with a coffee filter on top and now I notice a mucous you film on top that looks almost like the start of a scoby. Is it possible to develop a scoby with ginger in it?

          2. Astrid Avatar

            Apparently second fermentation do grow scobies but not of the lasting kind. You can eat it or share with pets, chickens love it

          3. robert Chandler Avatar
            robert Chandler

            the peel is bitter. It doesn’t add to the ginger flavor. I always peel ginger.

  16. Max Avatar

    Thank you for your wonderful post. I’ve been making kombucha for a few years now, and sometimes the mother doesn’t produce any babies. Can you tell me why this happens? I wonder if I am doing something wrong. I’ve been doing it the same way…

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Is it getting a cloudy, white layer on top? If so, and the kombucha
      is still fermenting well and tasting less sweet, it is likely that
      the baby just hasn’t detached yet. Leaving it a little longer can sometimes help, or you may actually have to pull them apart.

    2. Kate Avatar

      I had the same problem then one time, I didn’t have the foresight to make/cool my tea in time to start my next ferment after bottling. I left my SCOBY (who never made a baby) to sit in my fermenting container with some leftover booch and VOILA a few days later I had a MASSIVE baby. I use it as my mother now since it’s the same shape as the jar, unlike the cut up piece I was using from a friend before. Hope it works for you too!

  17. Kilty Avatar

    Do you use fruit juice from the store- organic, 100% juice, etc. or do you juice a bunch of grapes or apples yourself and use homemade juice?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      You can use either one, but I usually just use store bough juice

      1. Tia Thompson Avatar
        Tia Thompson

        I am thinking to make fresh juice, can you use any kind? I noticed you mentioned no citrus or pineapple? I recently bought a kombucha at the store that said it used lemon juice for the flavoring.

        1. Wellness Mama Avatar
          Wellness Mama

          If its a pasteurized and strained juice, it won’t cause a problem, but most citrus and pineapple juice still has the pulp, and that creates a nasty stringy slime in the kombucha.

          1. Robyn Cameron Avatar
            Robyn Cameron

            The first time I did a second fermentation I just added fresh pineapple and frozen blueberries and it was delicious! Fizzy and yummy after 3-4 days, I just strained it before drinking. 🙂

          2. Tracy Avatar

            I just started the second ferment using juice from fresh fruit that I processed in my Breville juicer. It doesn’t get all the pulp out, but when I tried to strain out the pulp with a fine-meshed sieve, the juice wouldn’t flow. So I added it just the way it was. The pulp is so microscopic though and evenly distributed throughout the juice, I’m crossing my fingers that it turns out drinkable! The internet doesn’t really define the type of juice that should be used for kombucha, and that clear fruit juice is preferred. Next time, I’ll more seriously consider using whole pieces of fruit. Wish me luck 🙂

          3. Tracy Avatar

            The fresh juice I made with my Breville juicer worked really nicely, no mold and all my kombucha had a great flavor.

            But I now mostly use slices and wedges of fresh fruit because it is much easier to prepare.

          4. Steve Loizeaux Avatar
            Steve Loizeaux

            5 stars
            I have use organic volcanic blood orange unpasteurized juice in my water kefir and the result was amazing, really really tasty. Why not in the Kombucha ?

        2. Fiona Avatar

          Really interesting comment , Christie. Have never heard it before. So you’re saying the more vinegary it gets, the less alcohol, basically?
          Have been making kombucha for years and as I’m a bit of a cheap date…. can’t tolerate too much alcohol,…..sometimrs I find the alcohol content makes me a bit tipsy.

        3. Fiona Avatar

          Many of the lemon tasting ones are made with lemongrass. It could be added with something sweet for a second ferment.

        1. Edie Brennan Avatar
          Edie Brennan

          you can just add some cut up ginger slices to the jar and add the finished Kombucha…let it sit out for a couple days to do the second ferment, and it will be a nice ginger flavor. You don’t really need the “bug” part, because the kombucha is already live, so you can just use fresh ginger.

          1. Marie S Avatar
            Marie S

            5 stars
            I love ginger ale but haven’t been able to get a ginger bug going so I’ll have try adding ginger slices to my kombucha brew. I didn’t realize it but I think I’ve already been doing a second ferment. I ordered the grains from Kombucha Kamp. They arrived in great condition. Anyway after a few days I pour the liquid off into a glass jar. I add some frozen mixed berries and put it in the fridge. This second ferment is much tangier and tasty then the first batch.

        2. Amy Avatar

          I cut pieces of ginger and put them through the garlic press and I love it… It does put a small amount of pulp in it but not enough to notice.

      2. Lizzie Avatar

        4 stars
        They were great instructions. at which stage wld you add ginger to the recipe please!

  18. Bree Avatar

    I already make water kefir every 3 days (I have to keep my son constantly supplied – he’s hooked.)  Is there any reason to do BOTH?  Do they provide different benefits?  I might try it just because I’m adventurous, but I wonder if I really need to if the water kefir is going over well.

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      Kombucha also has probiotics but is also very supportive to the liver and has a lot of enzymes

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      I’ve read some sources that say no, but most agree that as long as
      you start with small amounts like 4-6 ounces when you are first
      drinking it and work up slowly, it will not cause you to detox too
      fast and won’t be harmful to the baby at all. I am currently nursing
      and drink it now and did while I was pregnant also.

      1. Laurianne Avatar

        Hi! Just say the post and was wondering how could kombucha be harmful for the baby or even cause a ‘too rapid detox’?

        By the way, very nice explanations about the how-to-brew, I’ve been looking for nice and neat step-by-step! Thanks!

      2. Shawna Avatar

        This is exactly what I was looking for in the thread. Did you drink kombucha all throughout your pregnancy? Also would it be better to not ferment it for 30 days so there is less alcohol or is the alcohol content the same regardless of (say 15 days vs 30 days). Help…freaking out!

        1. Victoria Avatar

          5 stars
          I would not drink too much Kombucha tea while nursing, or give it to babies, because, after all, it is black tea, full of lots of caffeine! I get shaky when I drink coffee, so I am pretty sensitive to caffeine, but Kombucha tea does not affect me that way. I hadn’t made Kombucha tea for years, but I started buying it at Health food stores for the past two years. I really liked the carbonated type taste with the fruit flavors, but didn’t know how very simple it was to make! wow, thank you so much for this recipe. I stopped making Kombucha when we moved, and missed having it. It really works wonders settling my stomach after a spicy or very filling meal, and helps my digestion. I drink some first thing in the morning with a probiotic, and it gets my day started with a great pick me up. It is wonderful.

          1. allison Avatar

            I was concerned about the caffeine as well but after some research I have discovered that during the fermenting process the sugar AND caffeine are “eaten”. I have also read that you cannot use decaf tea to make kombucha because it will not ferment properly. I am very sensitive to caffeine and have not noticed a jolt from the kombucha. Happy brewing! Good luck!

          2. Dave Avatar

            I make it with decaffeinated green tea and it works just fine.

        2. Christie Avatar

          From my research on the topic, I found out that at the middle of the process the alcohol increases a lot, then with the same amount of time, it decreases because the culture will from this point on use the alcohol to produce the good acids, which is the whole point of drinking kombucha, the probiotics. On the down side, it can get more and more vinegary the longer it ferments. I’m making my first batch so I haven’t tried t yet. Looking for the least amount of alcohol possible. Be careful with the second ferment because when you add sugar or fruit juice alcohol starts being produced all over again. It’s better to flavor as you’re going to drink it.

  19. Todd Dosenberry Avatar
    Todd Dosenberry

    Timely post! I have been buying kombucha from Harvest Health and wow! It’s expensive! When you figure the cost by 100 calories it is the most expensive smoothie ingredient in any of my smoothies!

    I am working with someone else who is going to do a how to video/post on my blog so I will have to compare her methods with yours 🙂

      1. Kimber Avatar

        Hi, I’ve successfully grown my own scoby from some kombucha I bought at the store. It’s delicious!! We now have a continuous brew container all up and running. My question is how to pour the cooled tea in to the continuous brew container without “upsetting” the scoby? It’s pretty tricky because I don’t want to remove the scoby, and I don’t want to sink it.
        Thank you

        1. Wellness Mama Avatar

          Eventually you may need to remove it… they just keep growing, and you might have to take it out and cut it up and share with friends 😉

          1. Kimberly Avatar

            5 stars
            When you add the store bought Kombucha does it have to be at room temperature or can it be cold?

          2. Salis Avatar

            I inadvertently added pasturized cranberry juice to my new batch of homemade kombucha; I also added about a tsp of lemon juice…..then I read where I was supposed to add this when I bottled it, did I just royally screw up a whole batch ( 1 gal.) of kombucha?!

          3. Matt Carter Avatar
            Matt Carter

            5 stars
            I recently started brewing at home, and I used a SCOBY and starter tea that I purchased from a local shop that makes Kombucha. I’ve seen on some other sites that you should use filtered water, since tap water might have enough chlorine to upset/kill the SCOBY. Do you know if that’s totally true or not?

            Also, I’m three days into brewing and my SCOBY has sank to the bottom, and I believe a new one is growing on top, but it is brownish/black and quite loose, as compared to the original SCOBY which is yellowy and thick. Is that bad?


          4. Cassie Avatar

            I have been brewing my first batch with a healthy mother Scoby. When I started the brew, it sunk to the bottom. I put it to the side for about 28 days and pulled it out for a check. There is a baby scoby growing but the mother is still on the bottom. Should I be concerned? What should I do?

          5. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

            This can be really normal and as long as a baby is growing, it is usually nothing to worry about 🙂 Just use the baby in the next batch and it will likely stay on the top.

        2. Michelle Avatar

          I never worry about sinking or upsetting my scoby, I just pour the cooled to room temp tea over it and it rights itself after a day or so.

          1. Martine Avatar

            If it has no mold on it.. don’t worry about anything else 🙂 Sometimes they sink and come back up, sometimes they are vertical for a while but as long as the new scoby forming is healthy with no mold. It’s all good 🙂

          2. Jenny Avatar

            This is my first batch of kombucha…… my scoby sank and has not floated back to top after 3 days, should I do anything about this. I grew the scoby myself and am very happy with it … it turned out really well.
            Look forward to a reply ….. thanks. Jenny

        1. Amanda Avatar

          I take the scoby out, add fresh tea then re float the scoby on top.

          1. kanika Avatar

            by any chance are you the amanda who bathes in kombucha ?

      2. Angelica Silva Avatar
        Angelica Silva

        4 stars
        I have a question, the recipe says you can use frozen berries, Do I pour the berries frozen into the brew? (This is to make the fizzy soda) or do I let them getto room temperature.

      3. jake Avatar

        Here (under continuous brew system) you say ceramic is NOT good to use, “Material. Kombucha should be brewed in glass or porcelain. Ceramic, plastic, crystal, and metal are problematic and generally should not be used.” Then in the last paragraph of that same heading you say, “Really any glass or ceramic jar with a spigot works as long as the spigot isn’t metal though you can also replace the spigot with a plastic version to make any jar work.” Is ceramic good or bad?

        Also, can sun-tea be used instead of regular brewing/steeping methods?

        1. Ammy Avatar

          You have to be very careful with what ceramic you use because lead can leach into your kombucha. This is because of the acidity of kombucha if I understand correctly.

        2. Jess K. Avatar

          5 stars
          Generally speaking, many ceramic materials are porous and/or contain chemical compounds that may be harmful to ingest, especially when edibles/drinkables are subjected to contact with said materials for an extended period of time. That being said…. porcelain is a non-porous ceramic material and is generally glazed with food safe materials. This is why you find many high quality dinnerware and bakeware items are made from this combination. Porcelain with a food-safe glaze would be a good container choice for any cultured or fermented product.

          P.S. I think sun-tea might not meet the requirements of boiled tea method because the water hasn’t been sterilized. I might be wrong, but this would be my best guess.

    1. beth s lowe Avatar
      beth s lowe

      is it absolutely necessary to have a cloth cover? I got a glass thingy with a plastic spigot and it has a glass lid which isnt super tight (air should escape)/ No flies are an issue (yet) but weather is just warming up./

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating