Updated: Nov 17, 2020
A continuous process that repeats itself, read the whole blog post and this makes more sense!
(2) 2L mason jars
4 compostable coffee filters
2 elastic bands
1 wooden tool to stir with (not metal)
1 cup cane sugar
2 tbsp loose black tea, I use Assam- (or 8 black tea bags)
2 small SCOBY's or 1 big one split into 2 or broken in half. If you want to use 1 big scoby you can also ferment this whole recipe in large fermentation containers.
2 cups starter tea (we talk about this at the end of the blog post)
To grow your own scoby: choose your favourite living kombucha brand in the most neutral flavour and use this as the starter liquid- try to pick a brand that has a lot of scoby scum on the bottom. Quarter this recipe and repeat 2-3 times, keeping the scummy bits as they begin to grow into a SCOBY. The first few batches are not to consume, instead you are just creating your own starter liquid and homemade SCOBY. The fermentation length will be shorter in the beginning so check on it frequently!
METHOD TO MAKE KOMBUCHA WITH SCOBY:
Brew a strong sweet tea. Bring a pot to boil with enough water to fill your 2 litre jars, so 3.5L of water. Once the pot boils, let it rest and then add the tea and sugar, stir gently. Allow this to steep overnight so it becomes very strong and room temperature.
Strain your tea evenly into your litre jars. Compost the tea leaves/put them in your garden.
Add 1 cup of your starter tea to each of the litre jars.
With clean hands prep your SCOBY, by gently rinsing it with fresh water. Add 1 SCOBY to each of the litre jars.
With a non-metal utensil, such as a wooden spoon stir the mixture gently.
With an elastic band fasten 2 compostable coffee filters on each of the jars. This provides a light, breathable lid to the fermentation process and keeps bugs/dust out!
Place the jars in a location with a consistent temperature out of direct sunlight. Temperature, light and how much air circulation the jars get moderate the speed at which the fermentation process takes place, so keep this in mind!
After 5 days test your kombucha by gently pouring out a few sips into a cup. This will better help you determine how many more days it will take until it reaches the sweet/sour flavour profile you like.
ONCE YOUR KOMBUCHA IS READY,
With clean hands, remove your SCOBYs and discard any scum you don't like.
Measure out 1 cup of the ready kombucha from each jar and set aside (so 2 cups in total), this is your starter liquid for the next batch.
Brew your next batch of sweet tea using the same recipe you just used above, 3.5L boiled water, 1 cup sugar + 2 tbsp loose black tea, steeped overnight and brought to room temperature.
Follow the same steps as above, straining the tea into your litre jars, adding the starter liquid, the SCOBY's and then stirring and covering with the coffee filters. Allow it to ferment again and the process continues...
FLAVOUR & CARBONATE.
Strain the rest of the ready kombucha into jars that have a tight clasp for a second fermentation without oxygen. GT's is a good brand to reuse bottles, otherwise you can buy fermentation bottles with a gas trap or mason jars kind of work too.
If you choose to flavour your kombucha with fruit, this can be a source of sugar depending on the type of fruit you use, otherwise add cane sugar or a liquid sweetener or strain your kombucha earlier, when it is a little too sweet, knowing that the second fermentation process will continue to consume sugar.
My favourite way to flavour kombucha is with lavender buds, sometimes I add agave syrup, or maple syrup, but not honey, it messes with the bacteria! Another one of my favourite flavours is chopped ginger & turmeric! After your first batch you will learn how much flavouring to add, since it depends on your unique environment, your ingredients, how long you let it ferment, how quick it fermented and how long you intend to leave it in the second ferment. Ultimately you will learn what flavour tastes best for your homemade personalized kombucha.
Seal the jars and give them a soft upside-down shake to incorporate the mixture, and place it back into the fermentation zone you created- a place with consistent temperature and out of direct sunlight, or put them directly in the fridge. After 1-2 days and up to a week depending on the temperature in your house. You can also do this process in the fridge and it would take much longer, like 1-2 weeks.
When you think your kombucha is ready, burb the seal. Depending on how loud the noise is and how many bubbles you see rising to the surface, your kombucha may be ready to drink! Little bubbles indicate carbonation, meaning you are a few ice cubes away from a very refreshing drink! :)
Strain your flavouring agents and enjoy!
Thanks so much for reading- cheers!
Samantha & Brian