How to Make Kombucha

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What you will need:

Ingredients

-12 cups unfluoridated and unchlorinated water (If using tap water, let it stand for 24 hours and/or boil for 20 minutes)
-1 cup cane sugar
-6 tea bags (I use English Breakfast black tea, but any black or green tea will work)
-1.5 cups white vinegar (if making for first time)
SCOBY and starter liquid
-frozen berries, lemon, ginger, etc. to flavor your kombucha

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Equipment

-pot for boiling water
gallon glass jar
-cloth and rubber band
airtight bottles
funnel
-strainer

Directions:

  1. Bring 12 cups of water to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Stir in 1 cup cane sugar.
  4. Steep 6 tea bags. You can also use 2 tablespoons of loose tea.
  5. Let the water cool to room temperature. The tea may be left in the water as it cools or removed after the first 10-15 minutes. The longer the tea is left in the liquid, the stronger the tea will be.

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  6. Remove the tea bags or completely strain the loose tea leaves from the water.
  7. Stir in 1.5 cups distilled white vinegar and starter tea.
  8. Transfer tea to a gallon glass jar.

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  9. Add the SCOBY. Use clean hands.

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  10. Secure a cloth over the opening with a rubber band.

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  11. Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed at 68-85°F, out of direct sunlight, for 7-30 days, or to taste. The longer the kombucha ferments, the less sweet and more vinegary it will taste.

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  12. When the taste it to your liking, take the SCOBY out and put it on a plate.
  13. You can drink the kombucha as is or flavor the kombucha and have it go through a second ferment to add carbonation.
  14. Put frozen fruit, ginger, etc. on the bottom of each bottle. My favorite flavors are blackberry/raspberry, ginger, strawberry and a combo of strawberry, blueberry, raspberry and blackberry.
  15. Fill each bottle with kombucha using a funnel. Leave 1 inch of room at the top of each bottle. Make sure you reserve 1-2 cups of finished kombucha as the starter liquid for the next batch.

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  16. Place the bottles in a dark, warm place and let them sit for 2-7 days.
  17. Burp your bottles every day to release excess pressure.
  18. Once the second fermentation process is complete, strain out any solids, if desired, rebottle and store on the counter or in the refrigerator.
  19. Enjoy your homemade kombucha!

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Things to remember when making kombucha:

  1. Stay away from herbal teas or flavored teas — the oils and extra flavoring can inhibit the fermentation process.
  2. Avoid contact between kombucha and metal. Metal can affect the flavor of the kombucha and weaken the scoby. Avoid fermenting or bottling in any type of container that bring the two in contact.
  3. It is very important that you wait until the tea has reached room temperature before adding your SCOBY. If you put a SCOBY into hot tea, you will kill the living organisms.
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