How To: Make Kombucha

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Kombucha Brewing

When I tried my first bottle of Kombucha from SC Wholefoods in Torquay my taste-buds were quite confused. I had heard it spoken about a lot online but had absolutely no idea what to expect. Now, having enjoyed many many many a glass my senses have embraced this refreshing tonic and, in my opinion, it tastes like apple cider crossed with ginger beer. This refreshing beverage is the perfect substitute for soft drink as it hits the spot when you’re craving something fizzy, it gives you a bit of an energy boost and it also helps to nourish you.

There is nothing better than a big chilled glass of Kombucha with some frozen berries on summers afternoon.

So what on earth is this fizzy concoction, I hear you ask
Well, Kombucha is a fermented tea which has been used world wide for hundreds of years for an array of reasons. It is usually brewed by mixing black tea with sugar & water and the fermentation process takes place once you introduce a starter culture which is called a Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast also known as a SCOBY.

Kombucha maintains healthy gut flora by increasing the amount of good bacteria in the gut, therefore acting a pro-biotic. It also aids digestions by assisting in the break down of nutrients enabling vitamins and minerals to be more easily absorbed by the body. These digestive benefits are the main reason I consume Kombucha, however the list of supposed health benefits is extensive. It is said to have anti-aging, anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties, aid in detoxification of the liver, support the nervous system, decrease sugar cravings and support healthy joints.

To find out more about the benefits of Kombucha, have a read of these articles:
Sarah Wilson IQS –
Cultures for Health –
Hungry for Change –
Food Matters –
Food Renegade –

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So give me low down, how to I make this delicious fermented goodness?

For my birthday last year one of my oldest and dearest friends, Brigette, dropped round to my place to give me a Kombucha making class. She wrote out colourful glittery instructions and guided me through the process whilst I crafted by first delicious batch.

Below are the instructions that were given, with love, to me, and now I am giving them, with love, to you. There are plenty of recipes and methods listed online and I am by no means a Kombucha expert, I wanted to give you some idea of what is involved in home brewing Kombucha.

What you need:

1 x 1L wide-mouthed glass jar
2 x wooden spoons
Tight weave material
Rubber band
1 x 1L glass bottle

2 x black tea bags
1/4 cup of sugar
100ml Starter Tea
1L boiling water
White vinegar


*A SCOBY’s enemy is BAD GERMS – they will kill it!
*Soap also kills a good SCOBY, so do not wash anything with soap – everything needs to be sterilized with boiling water and/or white vinegar.
*Remember tap water isn’t totally clean – all water must be filtered or boiled first
*DO NOT touch the SCOBY with your hands unless you’ve washed them with white vinegar



1. Combine teabags and sugar with one litre of boiling water – leave overnight or just wait to cool
2. Put tea, SCOBY and 100ml Starter tea (pre-made Kombucha) in your 1L glass jar. The SCOBY may float or stay down the bottom, all good!
3. Cover jar with material and secure with rubber band.
4. Move jar to a warm, dark, quiet place where it won’t be disturbed.
5. Brewing takes 7-14days

THE BOTTLING: –> After 7days use a straw to taste, if too sweet, keep brewing.

1. Sanitize everything! Bottles, spoons, hands, funnel, jug
2. Kombucha grows another SCOBY on top – a baby. If its moldy you CANNOT use it. Take out both SCOBYs with clean hands or wooden spoons and then pour the liquid (kombucha) into a pouring jug.
3. Keep aside 100ml of this liquid for next time you brew, this is your “starter tea”
4. Drink, bottle for later or flavour (SEE BELOW).

—->  Store the extra SCOBY’s in 100ml of Kombucha in a glass jar with glad wrap on top. It needs to be airtight, but condensation from a metal lid can kill the SCOBY hence the glad

Right, that sounds amazing, where do I get myself a SCOBY?

You can buy a SCOBY from Alice Nichols over at 

OR if you’re not ready to get the brewing happening in your kitchen just yet, next time you’re at a Wholefoods shop, health food store, cafe or, if your lucky, your local supermarket, keep your eyes peeled for this delicious fizzy tea, it will kick your soft drink cravings to the curb and promote good inner health.

Take home messages:

1. Never use soap on any of your brewing equipment
2. Never tap water – chlorine kills the SCOBY
3. Always Sanitize your equipment/hands with hot water and/or white vinegar
4. Always reserve 1-2 cups of plain Kombucha for your starter liquid in a new batch, or for your SCOBY hotel.
5. Never put your SCOBY in water that is too hot!
6. Don’t disturb your Kombucha for the first 7days of brewing.


Please feel free to share your favourite Kombucha recipes in the comment box below 🙂

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Sarah explains kombucha really well here. Essentially it’s a fermented tea-based beverage that uses a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast), or “mother” (creepy right?! Just us?) as a starter culture to produce a probiotic and gut-healing beverage – See more at: left to ferment for anywhere for 7days to a month, and beyond. Sounds a bit funky right?

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