Your DIY Guide For Making Kombucha at Home

The following post was originally featured on The Fitnessista and written by Gina H.| who is part of POPSUGAR Select Fitness.

Hi! Hope you enjoyed your weekend! Ours was very relaxing and included some of the usual suspects: a trip to Mission to ride the carousel| takeout from Tender Greens| and relaxing. When I posted the following kombucha pic on Instagram| I got quite a few requests for an updated homemade kombucha post. Here it is! (Curious to learn more about kombucha? Check out this post.)

After about a year (maybe a little longer?) of inconsistently making kombucha at home| I finally made some that tastes even better than store-bought stuff.

It was getting really close| and I was happy with the flavor combos I’d tried| but it was always a little too tangy| too sweet| not fizzy enough| etc. After quite a bit of experimentation| I got the result I’d been searching for; it was a glorious moment indeed. A warm embrace was shared with the kombucha jar before holding the scoby in the air like a baby Simba while singing a celebratory chant. (Ok| just in my mind.)

What I’ve learned in my homemade kombucha adventures:

¡ª?I follow the steps in this post| but will outline them again| updated with the current techniques.

Homemade Flavored Kombucha

From The Fitnessista

Homemade Flavored Kombucha

Notes

The quality of the scoby (the starter bacteria that looks like a flat| opaque gummy disk) makes all the difference in the world. I got an awesome scoby from Amazon| but I’ve also ordered a dud that ended up molding. (A little tidbit about mold: a lot of people are rightfully fearful about making moldy or bad kombucha. If the batch is bad| it’s an obvious thing. You will know it s bad just by looking at it. The scoby will have blue or greenish patches on it| and well| it will look like mold. Don’t drink it; throw it away to start over.) The scoby I picked up from the farmer’s market in Ocean Beach is a BEAST.

Scoby handling guidelines: always make sure your hands| tools| container| anything that comes in contact with the scoby| are fully sanitized. Do not touch the scoby (or stir your kombucha) with anything metal; it can destroy it. Use wood or plastic tools instead.

The duration for your kombucha fermentation will vary based on your climate and taste preferences. In hot Tucson| it was ready in about a week. In cooler weather| it could take up to two weeks. Be patient| young grasshopper.

Some things that work well to flavor:

?Fruit juice (apple| berry| orange)

?Berries (raspberries| blueberries| strawberries)

Herbs (lavender| dried ginger| mint)

To each jar or bottle| add some juice| herbs (if you’d like) and (this is KEY) some dried fruit (like dried cranberries or raisins). The sugar in the dried fruit will continue to feed the bacteria| and will also make the kombucha fizzy. Another thing that helps will fizz factor: dried ginger. This stuff is particularly awesome; a little (like a hefty pinch for each Mason jar) goes a long way. Pour the kombucha into each jar or bottle| but be sure to leave at least 2 cups of kombucha in the original jar to use as your “starter tea” for the next batch.

A little tip: I only use one scoby for a max of two batches of kombucha| and then will switch over to the baby scoby. They become weaker with each batch| so it’s good to switch to a new scoby after a couple of rounds.

Hope this helped those of you who were considering making your own kombucha!