How to Make Kombucha

1st fermentation

If this is your first time making kombucha, welcome to the club! Making kombucha at home is fun and easy to do. We think you’ll be a pro in no time! 

Some Things We Need to Get Started:

For all remaining ingredients, please refer to below chart for measurements based on batch size:

  • 13-14 cups -OR- 4-6 cups of filtered/purified water
  • 1 cup -OR- ¼ cup cane sugar
  • 6-8 -OR- 1-2 black and/or green tea bags. We recommend black tea for fuller taste).  You may also use 3-5 tsp of loose tea. 
  • Note: We recommend using a tea ball infuser or similar product to ensure no loose tea remains in jar when fermenting.

What do you need to make kombucha


Before you begin, ensure all jars and brewing equipment are thoroughly cleanedThis is extremely important and will help prevent mold in your kombucha.

Kombucha brewing has 2 stages: The 1st fermentation and 2nd fermentation process (bottling and flavoring). Follow these simple instructions to make your very own kombucha.

Below steps are measurements for the 1 Gallon jar.  Adjust measurements with above chart if using 1 Quart jar.  Now let's get started... 


Step 1

Bring approximately 4 cups of filtered water to a boil and remove from heat. Add 3-5 bags of tea (or 3-5 tsp of loose tea) and let steep for 7-10 minutes.

Step 2

While tea is still warm, add sugar & stir until dissolved. Remove tea bags or any loose leaf tea, leaving only sweet tea liquid. 

TIP: You can experiment with more or less tea and sugar to your desired taste. You can also try different types of tea and sugar. If this is your first brew, we recommend the above amounts as a starting point.

Step 3

Once cooled, pour your sweet tea liquid into the fermenting jar. Fill jar with the remaining 10 cups of cool filtered water, leaving enough space to add your scoby and starter liquid after tea cools to room temperature (preferably 68º-85º F).

If you are using a fermenting jar from Joshua Tree Kombucha, fill to 3-4 inches below the top of the jar.

Step 4

Once your sweet tea mix is cool, pour in starter liquid & scoby culture.

Important: DO NOT put your SCOBY and starter liquid in hot tea! If tea is too hot, you could kill the scoby. Be kind to the scoby! (Sweetened tea should be cooled to room temperature.)

 TIP: Your scoby may sink to the bottom or float somewhere near the top. Either is fine. Sinking does not mean you have a dead scoby.  Sometimes the weight of the liquid will push the scoby to the bottom.  In time, your brew will produce co2 and push the scoby back near the top.

Step 5

Cover container with clean cloth or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band. Your kombucha needs to breathe in order to ferment.

And now we wait...

Set aside for 5-14 days (ideally between 68°-85° F or room temperature) until your kombucha has reached your desired taste. 

After 5 days, taste your brew with clean straw. If too sweet, let ferment longer. The longer it ferments, the more acidic and less sweet it will become.

TIP: Cold temperatures are almost always the cause of mold. Keep your brew warm!

If you are brewing during the winter months, consider getting a heat wrap or moving the brew to a warmer part of your home. Warmth will speed the fermentation process as well.

Once you find your optimal taste, your Kombucha is ready for bottling! Proceed to the 2nd fermentation process.

See our complete scoby care guide for maintenance tips. 

5 comments

  • Hello there,
    This is my first time making kombucha. Can I consume the Kombucha from the first fermentation or is it necessary to do both processes?

    Ana Rosa Garcia
  • You can leave it in the bag and keep it at room temperature. Don’t let it get too cold!

    Curtis @ Joshua Tree Kombucha
  • Hi there. If I don’t want to start the first brew till the new year, how should I store the SCOBY you sent me between now and then?

    DW
  • Hi Jessica, the starter liquid is the liquid your SCOBY arrived in. Just add it to your brew to get the fermentation process started. :)

    Chris @ Joshua Tree Kombucha
  • Hi – I purchased your scoby from the internet and am now making the kombucha. I just realized we need  ”starter liquid”.Please advise what the starter liquid is?
    Thanks,
    Jessica a

    Jessica

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