Let’s talk booch. Working with ferments is definitely daunting but once you get the rhythm of it, you start to understand how it works. Do you have a fresh scoby or a dehydrated one? That will change one of the steps, as in if you have a dehydrated one you’ll how to resuscitate it with a store bought kombucha, which is fine and no big deal.
So you’ll need some stuff:
- a really clean gallon size glass jar
- 1 gallon of brewed tea, this can be green, black, a mixture of the both or herbal tea PLUS 1 cup of organic sugar. Ratio:1:1.
- the scoby and ½ cup of store-bought kombucha. This help to activate it faster with its live cultures.
- a coffee filter or a thin t-shirt and a rubber band
Here’s what you’ll do:
1. First you’ll make the sweet tea in a large pot with about 9 to 10 small tea bags per gallon of pure filtered water. Adding 1 cup of regular organic sugar.
2. Once it’s done brewing, let it sit until its room temperature. If you are impatient, add some ice cubes but don’t add your scoby or it’ll die. L
3. Once the tea is super chill, pour it into the gallon jar, leaving a couple of inches from the top. Next, add a ½ cup of the store bought kombucha (it doesn’t have to be store bought, but since this is your first time, you probably don’t have a batch from you previous one. Next batch, you can use a half cup from this one.)
4. Next, you’ll place the scoby into the jar. Make sure your hands are clean! Keep the scoby in the jar and don’t touch it or stick anything that doesn’t belong in there.
5. Using a coffee filter or a clean t-shirt, cover the jar and rubber band it to ward off the flies and dust.
6. Fermentation works best at 70-75 degrees, so try putting it in a warmish spot. I like to either put mine in a room with sunlight but not directly in the ray of it or on the counter next to the fridge.
7. Depending on weather, (when it’s cold it takes longer to ferment, and warmer less days) let it sit for about 7 days before taking a swig of it to taste for tart and sweetness. You can use a straw and sip from under the scoby to check that. We have had different rounds of making it where some ferments took longer, some were mild, some tasted a little vinegary. I think the longer you let it sit the more vinegary it will taste. It is nice to pay close attention to it just to note changes. If you want to make it fizzy, you will want to add fruit juice to it, which I haven’t done yet and don’t know the exact steps but can get them to you if you’d like.
8. You can start to make a second ferment by doing the process again putting a tight lid on it until you want to drink it.
We recycle bottles and bottle top them for freshness. You can also use those bottles with the sling back tops, using a fennel to get the kombucha in there, or one of those tea jars with the pour over spout, although I get freaked out about bacteria from the spout.
I hope this helps you. Seems like a lot I know, but it gets easier and its cheaper and cool to understand how these bacteria live and grow.