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A mason jar filled with kombucha with lemons and fresh ginger sitting on the table next to the glass.

Homemade Kombucha Recipe

Learn how to make this delicious and probiotic homemade kombucha, or use our continuous brew method to have this drink available every single day!
5 from 5 votes
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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Chinese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Fermentation Time: 7 days
Total Time: 7 days 15 minutes
Servings: 16 cups
Author: Carolyn Thomas

Equipment

  • 1 Gallon Glass Jar with Lid

Ingredients

  • 1 SCOBY purchase or get from a friend
  • 1 cup kombucha starter culture (or kombucha from a previous batch)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 16 cups water
  • 6 bags black tea or equivalent loose leaf tea

Instructions

  • With clean hands, place SCOBY and starter in the 2 ½ gallon crock.
  • In a separate jar (a gallon jar works nicely), dissolve the sugar in about ½ gallon of boiling water. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
  • Add tea bags. Brew for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add remaining water to make a full gallon, and remove tea bags.
  • Make sure the tea is cooled enough to the touch, and add to the crock. (If your tea is too hot, you can kill your SCOBY.)
  • The first batch of kombucha will be completely ready within 5-7 days. If you are weaning off sweetened drinks and a first-time kombucha drinker, you can start drinking a couple of days earlier for a sweeter/milder kombucha.
  • Feed your kombucha (or repeat the process of making a gallon of cooled sweet tea) about once per week.

Video

Notes

  • Grab your Kombucha SCOBY here.
  • Get a Kombucha Starter Kit here.
  • Find your favorite Kombucha loose leaf tea flavors here.
  • Fruit flies are attracted to the smell of fermentations. To prevent them from getting inside our crock, we place a tea towel over the opening of the crock before placing the lid on.
  • Do not add hot tea to your SCOBY. This can burn your SCOBY which will kill it and cause mold growth. Cooled tea to body temperature is best.
  • If you forget to feed your continuous brew weekly (or if it sits too long) the SCOBY won’t go bad, but the kombucha will turn tangy and close to a vinegar (depending on how long it sits out).
  • If your kombucha gets too acidic, you can bottle it and place it into a dark pantry, it will continue to ferment and is great for use in salad dressings or other recipes where apple cider vinegar is called for.
  • You can bottle/refrigerate, or do a second fermentation to flavor your kombucha and make it fizzier (more like soda). 
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