Adapted from The Kitchn & Shutterbean
Yield - 7-8 16-ounce bottles
3/4 cup sugar
5 cups boiling water
8 tea bags (black, green, or a combination of any)
SCOBY + 1 cup kombucha liquid
4-10 ounces organic, pure juice
- First batch - Add the sugar to a clean, 1 gallon glass container. Pour in the boiling water. Stir to melt the sugar.
- Add the tea bags and let steep until the mixture reaches room temperature. The temperature should be between 74-84 ˚F.
- Remove the tea bags and add cold water to fill about 2/3’s of the jar. Gently add the SCOBY and liquid. Fill the jar to the top with cold water. Check the pH, the mixture should be less than 4.5.
- Cover with a breathable fabric like cheesecloth and set in a warm place, away from the sun, but with access to airflow for at least 7 days, more is fine too. Again, check the pH, it should be between 2.5 and 3.5.
- Bottling - With the cleanest of hands, remove the SCOBY and place in a separate container with at least 1 cup of kombucha liquid. Yes, it feels gross, just do it!
- Add 4-10 ounces of pure juice to the jar and stir. My favorites are pomegranate, grapefruit, lemon-lime, and apple cider with ginger. You can also add fresh fruit, ginger, or herbs. You just want a juice without any sugar and preferably organic.
- Pour the kombucha through a fine sieve and bottle in 16-ounce bottles. Cap and store in a cool, dark place for 2-7 days for the second fermentation. The longer they ferment, the more fizzy.
- Once fermented, place bottles in the fridge until you are ready to drink them.
- With the SCOBY and remaining kombucha liquid you put aside in step 5, you can start the process again!