My very first batch of kombucha was made without a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) using my homemade apple cider vinegar, and it took about 3 weeks to do its thing. Now that my SCOBY is big enough, the kombucha only takes about a week to make. I think I’ve found the perfect recipe because each bottle usually makes it’s own little SCOBY. Those baby SCOBY are great chicken snacks.
I reuse these kombucha bottles that I’ve been saving. One gallon of kombucha makes 7 bottles plus a little extra to keep with the SCOBY in the refrigerator between batches. This time I added diced strawberries in most of them and a bit of minced ginger in the other. They will sit on my counter to ferment a bit and get bubbly before going in the refrigerator.
Each batch only requires 8 organic black teabags and 1 cup of organic sugar plus the gallon of water. Much more cost-effective than paying $4 a bottle at the grocery store.
My kombucha recipe:
1 gallon of water
8 organic black teabags
1 cup of organic sugar
Bring the water to a boil and add the teabags. Remove from heat and steep for about 10-15 minutes. Add the sugar and stir until dissolved. Let the mixture cool to room temperature. If your SCOBY (mother) has been in the refrigerator, take it out and let it come up to room temperature.
Once the tea mixture has cooled, add it to a clean gallon-size glass jar. Add your SCOBY and the liquid from the SCOBY container. Cover with cheesecloth secured with a tie or rubber band. Set it out of the way out of direct sunlight (I put mine in an open cupboard above the stove because my house is on the cool side … this way it gets a bit of heat). Check your kombucha every few days. You’ll know it is ready when it has a slight vinegary smell. You can also pour a bit into a glass and taste it. If there is no sweetness left from the sugar, it’s done. How long you leave it is completely up to you. You can determine how strong it is by how long you leave it to sit.
Bottle the kombucha in clean bottles. If you want a bit of fizz, leave the bottles at room temperature until they have the amount of fizz you want. After that they can go in the refrigerator. I’ve kept mine easily for a couple of weeks with no problems.