How to Brew Kombucha at Home
Welcome, booch lovers! If you’re interested in learning more about the kombucha brewing process, you’ve come to the right place. In another post, I talked about how to grow a kombucha SCOBY from scratch. But here, I’ll talk about how to brew kombucha at home every week with a SCOBY, whether you grew it yourself or got it from a friend.
Here’s a list of what you’ll need each week:
½ cup of sugar
2 teabags (black, green or both)
12-16 cups of water (or whatever quantity of water you’d like to fill up your container)
Your SCOBY with 2 inches of “starter booch”
A big bowl to steep your new batch
Bottles (however many you’ll need to bottle your fresh batch)
Starter booch is the leftover of kombucha that you leave in your container every week to help continue the fermentation process. You’ll generally leave about 2 inches of the last batch. The rest, you’ll pour out and bottle it in containers to consume.
If you’ve just finished growing your SCOBY from scratch, follow step 1, except instead of bottling like you normally would, the batch you brewed to grow your SCOBY should instead be dumped, but always leaving 2 inches of “starter booch”. The rest will not be consumable.
Here’s what your duties/steps will look like each week:
Step 1: Pour out your fresh batch (leaving 2 inches of the old batch in the container, and keeping the SCOBY in your container) into bottles. Then store in your fridge. If you leave your newly bottled batch at room temperature, it runs the risk of continuing to ferment.
Step 2: Boil your new water.
Step 3: Once the water has boiled, pour the water into a big bowl.
Step 4: Add ½ cup of sugar. You can modify this amount to satisfy your personal taste. The more sugar, the sweeter your batch becomes. The less sugar, the more your kombucha resembles the taste of vinegar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved.
Step 5: Add your two teabags and steep for the appropriate amount of time. This will be your new batch. Remove bags and compost them once you’re down steeping.
Step 6: Wait for your new batch, the one you’ve just steeped, to settle to room temperature.
Step 7: Once your new batch has reached room temperature, pour it into your container. Do so slowly and carefully. When your SCOBY is young, you can damage the shape and it will be lopsided for some days, sometimes not recovering.
Step 8: Cover the opening of the container with a cheesecloth or paper towel, to allow for breathability.
Step 9: Store your new batch in the same place you’ve kept it, making sure you keep it out of direct sunlight and with some ventilation.
Step 10: Repeat this process every week. Or whenever your kombucha batch tastes how you like it.
The ideal kombucha batch is brewed between 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit. When it’s ready to be bottled, your batch will have some carbonation, a bit of a vinegar taste (depending on the quality of your ingredients). And that’s it! Repeat this process every week for however long you’d like.
Over time your SCOBY will thicken and actually separate or “split”. When it’s grown to be thick, maybe 2-3 inches in thickness, you can gently (with clean hands) peel back a layer. Maybe gift to a friend (accompanied by 2 inches of starter booch in a container) or compost!
If you’ve gotten this far, I hope your kombucha journey brings you curiosity and satisfaction. Thank you for reading and happy brewing!