filtered waterpreferably free of chlorine, chloramines, and fluoride
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 it really is cool! This step is very important as too hot of tea can kill your SCOBY.
Once tea is completely cool, pour into glass jar, leaving about 20% of the room at the top.
Pour in the correct amount of liquid from a previous batch of kombucha or if starting from a dehydrated SCOBY, pour in ½ cup from a store-bought bottle of kombucha. If you don't have starter liquid, vinegar can be used instead.
With very clean hands, add the SCOBY. The SCOBY may sink or float, it makes no difference, as the new SCOBY will eventually form on the top.
Put the jar in a warm (around 75-85 degrees is best) corner of the kitchen where it is at least a few feet away from any other fermenting products. If your kitchen isn't warm enough, it may help to use a heating mat on the side of the brewing vessel.
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 to add carbonation. 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 into several quart size mason jars with plastic storage caps (don't use metal!), leaving about 20% of the room on top.