Kombucha Brewing 101
DIY KIT INSTRUCTIONS
Creating a nutrient solution of tea and sugar, we pop our kombucha SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Yeast and Bacteria) into the tea, where we let it ferment off the tea and sugar for 1-2 weeks. As it ferments the SCOBY metabolizes the tea and sugar, and the creates a new layer of SCOBY (aka ‘baby SCOBY’).
The by-product of this fermentation and new growth is a plethora of living enzymes, healthy bacteria and beneficial acids. The proof is in the pudding, or ‘bucha as it were, and once you get going on this delicious and healthy ferment you will experience the amazing boost you get from sipping on your home brew.
Let’s Get Started:
Once you have your Tonica Kombucha DIY Kit, you will need the following to get brewing:
- 1x wide mouthed glass gallon jar
- 1x cup of organic cane sugar.
- 1x 10 grams of loose organic black tea or 5 organic black tea bags
- 1x large pot
- 1x sheet of paper towel or small cotton cloth
- 1x rubber band
- Bring 3.5 litres of filtered or spring water to boil in large pot.
- Add 1 cup of sugar, stir until completely dissolved
- Add loose tea in tea ball or add 5 tea bags, turn off heat and steep for 20 minutes
- After steep time, strain/remove tea bags, and let tea solution cool until it is at room temperature or cool enough to comfortably touch
- Pour tea solution into gallon glass jar, filling to 2 inches below top of jar
- Add ½ cup of ripe kombucha tea (provided in kit)
- Place SCOBY (aka mother culture) into tea solution (provided in kit) Cover mouth of jar with cloth and secure in place with rubber band.
Primary Fermentation Steps:
- Set jar in ventilated place where it will stay warm and undisturbed. Keep out of direct sunlight.
After 7 days, remove cloth and smell tea; if very sweet or hardly vinegary, it is not ready. Leave for a few more days, and test again.
When tea smells slightly vinegary, gently place SCOBY to the side and pour a sample of kombucha into glass and taste.
The tea should be slightly effervescent and have a fermented bite with a dash of sweet. (Please note: The bubbly nature of the commercial kombucha bought in stores requires additional steps – which we will share below under “Bubbles”).
If your sample is too sweet, kombucha is not ready and should be left for another 4-7 days.
If kombucha ferments too long it is over ripe and will taste extremely vinegar like. If this is the case and you’d like it sweeter, simply dissolve more sugar and once it has cooled to room temperature pour into jar. Let sit for 1-2 days before tasting again.
- When your kombucha is just right to your liking, strain any floating cultures, and refrigerate, being sure to reserve ½ cup for your next batch.
- Your kombucha SCOBY will have formed a “baby” SCOBY during the fermentation. Separate these from each other by gently pulling them apart. Rinse both SCOBY’s in cool water and store in glass container covering with fresh water.
- Use both cultures to create two more batches, or save as is at room temperature until you are ready to make more kombucha.
- If you do not plan on using SCOBY’s soon to re-brew more kombucha, keep them covered with fresh water and seal jar with a lid and keep in the fridge.
When you are ready to resume your brewing: Take SCOBY’s out of the fridge, pour off water, rinse SCOBY’s and cover them with fresh water. Cover jar with a piece of cloth/paper towel secured with rubber band and let them sit at room temperature for 1-2 days before using to brew.
Questions? Read our Q&As.