You’re in rude health when… You’re mother to a SCOBY. You like big booch and you cannot lie. You’re effervescent.
Brewing your own Kombucha is easier than you might think.
Black or green tea (bags or loose tea)
Freshly filtered water
Some raw Kombucha or apple cider vinegar
Kombucha SCOBY (borrowed from a friend, purchased online or grown from some raw Kombucha)
A wide-mouth glass jar
Glass bottles with stoppers
We recommend visiting https://happykombucha.co.uk where you’ll find everything you need.
- In a big wide-mouth glass jar, make a strong tea with boiling water, using about 3 tea bags per litre. Half fill the glass jar. Note that Kombucha fermentation is an aerobic process, meaning it needs to be in contact with air, which is why a wide-mouth jar is best.
- Now add sugar to the strong tea. Taste as you go. We recommend beginning with about 100g of sugar per litre. Stir well to dissolve.
- Once brewed, remove the tea bags or loose tea, and top up the glass jar to just over three-quarters full with cold water. The infusion should now be body temperature warm, which is cool enough for you to add the raw Kombucha – about 50–100ml per litre – and the SCOBY. If you don’t have any raw Kombucha, use raw apple cider vinegar, but only about 30ml per litre.
- The SCOBY will float happily to the top, sink or sit on its side. All are fine, as long as within a few days a SCOBY has settled or formed on the top of the sweet tea. If no SCOBY forms you will have to start again.
- Cover your jar with a piece of muslin and secure with a rubber band. This will reduce the risk of mould.
- Leave your Kombucha to ferment in a warm, airy but not sun-drenched spot, at about 24–30°C. If it’s cold, your ferment will take many weeks. At the right temperature, it will take between 10–14 days.
- Insert a straw to the side and underneath the SCOBY every day to taste your Kombucha. When it’s just the right level of sweet/sour, remove the SCOBY using your hands and place it in a bowl, immersed in some of the newly made Kombucha. This SCOBY and the liquid are now ready to be added to a new batch of freshly made sweetened tea. And so, the cycle continues.
- Before you bottle it’s always good to stir the Kombucha up in the brewing vessel, that way you will mix in the yeast which usually sits at the bottom. This yeast will help to create fizz when you bottle the Kombucha.
BOTTLING IT PLAIN – You can bottle this plain Kombucha or you can flavour it. If you are keeping it plain, fill bottles to about seven-eighths full, seal and refrigerate. If you want some fizz, leave out at room temperature in a cardboard box for a few days to carbonate. Once pressurised, refrigerate.
FLAVOURING IT – Fill your bottles to about three-quarters full, and then add whatever flavours you like, although ginger does work powerfully well because of its invigorating flavour profile and the fact that it contains a lively selection of its own lactic acid bacteria and yeasts. We recommend lemon juice and grated ginger, fresh pomegranate juice and some seeds, grated turmeric and ginger root, grated ginger root and chopped lemongrass, chopped mint and lime juice, crushed raspberries, fresh apple juice, crushed blueberries.
Don’t fill the bottles more than seven-eighths full. Seal the bottles, and then leave out at room temperature, in a cardboard box for safety, for 2–3 days until pressurised. Refrigerate.
Don’t have time to brew your own? We’ve got you covered. Exact same process. Two flavours. Less work. Try our new Rude Health Kombucha. Available from Waitrose and Planet Organic. Don’t walk, run.
WARNING SCOBY ABUSE! USE SUGAR, REAL SUGAR.
Kombucha is a living drink made with a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), therefore it has to be treated like any living thing. With care. The bacteria and yeast like to be in a warm, acidic environment, and they need two things to flourish and do their magic. Tea and sugar. It needs to be real tea (black or green) and real sugar. No herbal tea, rooibos or other tea alternative works. And the same goes for sugar. The yeast can only survive when you feed it real sugar. The purer, the better. So, don’t feed your SCOBY coconut sugar or stevia because it won’t thrive, in fact it will starve bacteria and yeast.