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Brew your own Booch Kombucha recipe and photos by Keely Ganong

Ingredients

  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 bags black tea or Tbsp loose leaf
  • 1 symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY)
  • 1-2 cups unflavored fermented kombucha (can be from a previous batch or unpasteurized, unflavored store bought kombucha)

Supplies

  • A gallon (or larger) glass container
  • Tightly woven cloth (either coffee filters, cheese cloth, paper towels, or napkins)
  • Rubberbands
  • Kombucha bottles with caps to seal

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MAKE THE TEA

Bring water to a boil then remove from heat. Add sugar and stir until dissolved. Add tea and leave to steep for at least an hour in the pot, until room temperature. Strain the tea leaves or remove tea bags.

INITIAL FERMENTATION

Transfer your sweetened tea into a clean glass jar(s). Strain the tea while maintaining a clean space and having clean hands. Add your SCOBY to the jar and pour in the 1-2 cups of already fermented kombucha. Secure a tightly woven cloth in place over the opening of the jar with a rubber band.

Let the kombucha ferment in a dark and cool part of your house where it won’t be disturbed. Leave it to ferment for 7-21 days. The longer you let it ferment the more vinegary it will turn out as more sugar is being taken in from the SCOBY. After a week, begin tasting it, aiming for a balance of sweetness and tartness that tastes right to you. Each brew will always be slightly different because of the varied fermentation time. (Note: a warmer climate will speed up fermentation process)

The great thing about this process is that it is sustainable. Once the initial fermentation is complete, a new SCOBY will form at the top of the kombucha. This SCOBY can be saved for the next brew by storing it in a jar with 1-2 cups of reserved kombucha tea.

symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast

FLAVOR

Flavoring your kombucha is optional. If you want to spice up the tea a little bit and get creative with the flavors, now is the time to do it. Once you have removed your SCOBY with clean hands and have it set aside with the reserved kombucha, transfer the kombucha into one (or multiple smaller) new jars. The ways to flavor kombucha are endless. Depending on what you prefer, you can add small (whole or mashed) fresh fruit, fruit juice, or add herbs and spices into the jars. Even better, combine a little bit of everything. When I make kombucha, I like to change up the flavoring every time. My last made kombucha was flavored with apple juice, lemon juice, and mashed ginger. Seal jars tightly after flavors are added and allow to infuse at room temperature for 1-2 days.

BOTTLE

Strain your kombucha into clean sealable bottles. A tight cap makes sure that carbon dioxide does not escape and the kombucha can be carbonated. If you are already an avid kombucha drinker, repurpose old store bought kombucha bottles for this. Fill bottles up leaving a little less than an inch of space from the top. Set aside sealed bottles to ferment out of direct sunlight for 1-10 days. To make sure that the kombucha won’t completely explode when opened, crack the seals slightly to check for carbonation daily.

REFRIGERATE AND ENJOY

Refrigerate after carbonation is complete to your liking. Once the kombucha is cold in your fridge, it can finally be enjoyed. Have fun experimenting with different flavors and balances of sweetness and tartness. Enjoy your kombucha poured over ice for a refreshing drink on a nice day.

Recipe inspired by Preserved Goods

Created By
Keely Ganong
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