The Crescendo of the Kombucha-Craze: Last but Not Least


Bubbles, Probiotics, Bacterial Colonies that look like deflated breast implants? You just can’t have enough, can you? More kombucha is coming your way!

“Kombucha, kombucha, kombucha. Won’t that crazy tea-lady ever shut up about it?”

Nope. Not yet! Since three is the magic number, I will finish up with the answer to the question that I bet at least one (okay, maybe wishful thinking) of you asked yourself when you read the previous articles about why you should try kombucha and the interview with the kombucha-maker Tyler Beerman:

“How can I make kombucha at home?”

I do understand that many of you might not end up joining me on this exciting journey, but instead of leaving you hanging, I thought that I would provide you with the tools of knowledge so that you have the ability to start brewing if you would wish to do so.

First of all, you need a SCOBY and some starter culture (this is kombucha from a previous batch of kombucha). You can get a SCOBY from many online-based stores such as Etsy, Cultures For Health, or even Amazon, and these usually comes with about a cup of starter liquid to keep the SCOBY alive and healthy.

Now, this is the gear you will need:
  • ½ Gallon Glass Jar
    Glass works best when fermenting kombucha, and it is easy to clean.

    Glass works best when fermenting kombucha, and it is easy to clean.

  • Plastic or Wooden Stirring Utensil
  • Tight-woven Cloth or Paper Coffee Filter
  • Rubber-band
Other than the SCOBY, you will need the following ingredients:
  • Black or Green Tea
  • White Sugar (not Sweeteners or Honey)
  • Starter Tea (or Distilled White Vinegar)
  • Filtered Water

Now, to the making of this wonderful drink!

  1. You will need to bring ½ a gallon of the water to a boil.
  2. Add 6 bags of green or black tea.
  3. Pour in ½ a cup or sugar.
  4. Stir until the sugar is dissolved and the let the tea steep until the water has cooled down (you can also remove the bags earlier, it all depends on what taste you prefer).
  5. Once the tea has cooled to room temperature, pour it into the glass jar, and mix in a cup of starter liquid or distilled white vinegar.
  6. Place your SCOBY on top of the liquid, cover with the piece of cloth or coffee filter, and secure with a rubber band.

NOTE: The SCOBY may flip in the jar, and that is totally fine. A new SCOBY will grown on the surface of the kombucha, and you’ll simply transfer all of the SCOBY’s into the next batch you make.

“Okay, but now what?”

What you do now is wait for a week or two! Use a plastic spoon to scoop up some kombucha to taste it every now and then, and when it’s done (it’s done when you think it tastes the best, there are no rules here) you pick out the SCOBY, save some kombucha for you next batch, and pour the remaining kombucha into bottles and it’s ready to drink!

“But my kombucha is flat…Does it have to be?”

Homemade Cranberry Kombucha

Homemade Cranberry Kombucha

Here’s the fun part, you can actually make the kombucha fizz. When you pour the kombucha into clean, bottles (non-sensitive to pressure), you can add some raw fruit juice, raisins, or fresh fruit. What happens when you do that is that you provide the bacteria and yeast in the beverage with some more yummy sugars that they can feed on, and for those of you that don’t know:

Yeast + Sugars = Carbon dioxide (the stuff that makes beer bubbly and delicious)

Make sure you screw on the caps of the bottles tightly, and check them every other day to see how the pressure buildup is doing. This is the trial and error part of kombucha-making. You just have to find out what works with your culture.

Something you have to remember is that there really isn’t any right or wrong way to make kombucha – there are just some guidelines that I encourage you to follow – but essentially, you will find the way that works for you and your new companion culture.

“That’s it? Seems too easy to be true if you ask me”

Of course, things can go south. What you need to watch out for is mold. If your kombucha shows any sign of mold, throw it out. Keeping your utensils (and hands!) clean, and making sure that all the ingredients are at room temperature will hopefully prevent this from happening though.

“But I want to see one of those poorly home-made tutorials as well, just to get a visual understanding of how I can make kombucha!”

Okay then, here it is.

Now, get started my young Padawans. My SCOBY-Wan Kenobi wishes you good luck. May the probiotic force be with you.


About Author

Marta Waldrop Bergman

Marta Waldrop Bergman is a BA student at AUSB with concentrations in both communication and media, and environmental studies. She moved to Santa Barbara from Sweden two years ago in order to study, as well as figure out everything there is to life. Through hard work and determination she graduated from SBCC this spring with two Associates degrees, and she is now pushing to get that final diploma in June 2016 (she really likes wearing those funny black hats). Marta is a quirky person, and she hates it when people take themselves too serious. She does however appreciate quality minds, and she always strives to know more about the world. While not in the Sage Library at Antioch, she is most likely all over Santa Barbara, since she always wants to see new places.

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