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3 1/2 quarts water
1 cup sugar (pure cane, Non-GMO)
3 bags black tea, 3 bags green tea 
1 2/3 cups starter tea from last batch of kombucha or store-bought (unpasteurized, neutral-flavored) Kombucha Tea
1 scoby per fermentation jar
Optional flavoring ingredients for bottling: 1 to 2 cups chopped fruit, 2 to 3 cups fruit juice, 1 to 2 tablespoons flavored tea (like hibiscus or Earl Grey), 1/4 cup honey or stevia, 2 to 4 tablespoons fresh herbs or spices
Stock pot
1-gallon glass jar or two 2-quart glass jars
Bottles: Six 16-oz glass bottles with plastic lids, 6 swing-top bottles

Note: Avoid prolonged contact between the Kombucha and metal both during and after brewing. This can affect the flavor of your Kombucha and weaken the scoby over time.

1. Make the base: Make sure all your jars, containers and utensils are clean, but not overly sanitized because you don't want the good bacteria to be killed. Boil 1 quart of water and add 6 tea bags (3 black tea-I use Lipton's and 3 Green tea-I use Bigalows Organic). Allow tea to cool, then add One Cup of sugar (pure cane, non-GMO) and stir until dissolved.

{At this point, you can either put the Scoby in before or after you add water fill the gallon jar. If you put it in first, the brewed tea has to be at room temperature. If you put it in after you fill the jar, the tea can be warmer and the rest of the water will cool the tea off to room temperature, thus not having to wait as long for tea to cool.}

{Jar with Label with date of Creation}

2. Add the Starter Tea and transfer to containers or jars: Pour 1 2/3 Cup of starter Kombucha Tea, the Scoby (mother) and freshly brewed tea and sugar mixture into your gallon jar. (The starter tea makes the liquid acidic, which prevents unfriendly bacteria from taking up residence in the first few days of fermentation.)
Then fill the gallon jar up to the neck with water. Leave some room at the top for expansion of the Scoby because it will grow. Stir well and cover with coffee filter or a clean cotton cloth to breath and secure with rubber band. 

Jar with Coffee Filter and Rubberband-Keeps out fruit flies!

3. Allow to ferment: Keep the jar at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, and where it won't get jostled. Ferment for 7 days to 3 weeks, 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. The less time, the tea will be sweeter and the more time it will be more sour-vinegary and more cultured.  Our average time is 10-14 days. It's not unusual for the scoby to float at the top, bottom, or even sideways. 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.

4. Remove the Scoby: Before proceeding, prepare and cool another pot of strong tea for your next batch of kombucha, as instructed 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. When harvesting fermented tea, pour out approximately 3 quarts of tea and leave 1 2/3 Cups in jar for another batch. Inspect your scoby to make sure it is healthy looking and  throw away any old mushrooms that turn brown. Any brown mothers in drink is safe to drink as it contains the good bacteria. If you'd like you can strain it off if you don't want to drink it.  

We have home grown Scobies available for sale at the Rhodes Creations Etsy Shop!
 5. Bottle the Finished Kombucha: Measure out your starter tea from this batch of Kombucha and set it aside for the next batch. You can now flavor it with juice and drink or do a second fermentation with it with fresh fruit, juice and herbs. Leave about a half inch of head room in each bottle. Or you can just drink it plain and it can be cut with water so it's not so sour.

We also sell KT flavoring packets @ our Etsy Shop!

This Kombucha Tea is ready to store, drink or flavor!

6. Carbonate and Refrigerate the Finished Kombucha: Store the bottled Kombucha at room-temperature out of direct sunlight and allow 1 to 3 days for the Kombucha to carbonate. (We go at least 3 days.)
**When your batch is done, keep your KT in the fridge to store, as this will slow the fermentation process. When you are ready to make some more Kombucha, make sure that you take your finished (starter) KT out of the fridge and let it sit and reach room temperature before making your new brew. You want all of your ingredients to be at room temperature.

Helpful Hints:
Make sure the mother and KT stays at room temperature when fermenting. You don't want it to get too hot. The warmer the room temperature the faster it will ferment. We keep ours on top of the fridge to ferment. 72 degrees is an average temperature and does well in the 70's. The longer it takes to ferment, the more cultures it will have and will give the scoby more of a chance to more fully develop. In the warmer months it will ferment faster. Colder months it will take longer.
When fermenting, eventually the scoby will get old and turn brown. So feel free to use them as compost. Make sure your scobies stay healthy looking and do not get mold (fuzzy) on them. Definitely throw a contaminated scoby away. 

Extra scobies can be stored in a "Scoby Hotel" at room temperature away from bright light or extreme temperatures with some KT covering it and used for later use.  Cover your jar with scobies with a cotton cloth and rubber band so your old scabies will work for you and you are getting new babies.

Note: If they are put in the fridge, they will go dormant left and it will take a longer time to get them back going again (longer ferment time). 

You will know the tea is starting to ferment when you see bubbles. 
KT brewed correctly will keep indefinitely. If it gets too sour, you can cut it with water and just add juice. If it is left to ferment for a couple of months you will have Kombucha Vinegar and can use it like Vinegar. You can also use it in various recipes for desserts, vinaigrettes, bread, and more. 

Just visit our blog at for ideas and recipes. 
Glass containers and wooden spoons work best and are safe for making KT as they will not react with or leach into tea.

Other Tea Options: Black tea tends to be the most economical, easiest and most reliable for the scoby to ferment into Kombucha, but once your scoby is going strong, you can try branching out into other kinds. Green tea, white tea, oolong tea, or a even mix of these make especially good kombucha. Herbal teas are ok, and generally not recommended, but be sure to use at least a few bags of black tea in the mix to make sure the scoby is getting all the nutrients it needs.  A rule of thumb is to make sure you go with just the green/black at least every fourth batch. Avoid any teas that contain oils, like Earl Grey or flavored teas as it will compromise the scoby. 


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