From Karen Ralph
Kombucha is easy to make. This recipe will get you started:
- 8 cups of water (I use tap water)
- 1 cup white sugar*
- 4 black tea bags*
- 2 quart-sized sterilized canning jars
- 1/2 cup of raw kombucha containing a little SCOBY (available at health food stores)
- paper towel and elastic bands or sealer rings
Boil the water, add the sugar and the tea bags, turn off the heat and let the sweet tea cool completely. Remove the teabags and pour the liquid into the quart jars or a large glass jar with a loose-fitting lid and a spigot at the bottom. Gently stir 1/4 cup of the raw kombucha into each jar, cover it with paper towel affixed with a sealer ring or elastic bands, and let the mixture sit undisturbed in a warm place out of direct sunlight (mine lives on top of the fridge).
Within a few days, you will notice tiny bubbles on the edge of the liquid, followed by the beginnings of a film, which will eventually form a thicker veil. This will become your first SCOBY. Let it develop for about a week, allowing the bacteria and yeast to work their magic. When a veil is formed, you can start a new batch and experiment by adding fruit, spices or herbs for flavour, or let it continue to ferment as a plain tea. Taste occasionally, and when it has reached the best flavour for your palate, pour it into a clean bottle with a lid and keep it in the fridge. This will slow down the fermentation. Kombucha is a living thing, and each batch will be slightly different, reflecting fluctuations in temperature, humidity and type of tea used.
*Stuff to keep in mind:
You have to use white sugar. Honey has its own bacteria, which will fight with and kill the bacteria you’re trying to encourage, and other sweeteners won’t work.
Don’t use oily teas like Earl Grey – it has bergamot oil in it. There will be no fermentation. Red Rose has worked the best for me. If you want to use herbal teas, like ones that are fruit based, make sure to include a black or green tea bag. Black and green teas have the nutrients Mr. SCOBY needs to feed on. Once you have a batch going, SCOBYs multiply like rabbits and you can peel off the layers to give away or make more kombucha.
I can personally attest that nothing quenches a raging hangover thirst like a small glass of kombucha in the morning.