What is kombucha, how to make it & what you should know

Kombucha home brew

As little children, growing up at home in the south, most, if not all of us were raised with a glass of sweet tea in our hands.Memories of mom going to the fridge for a glass of that cold, sweet tea only to find it spoiled from sitting in that fridge to long, still lingers. Mostly because one sip or smell of that tea resulted in one of those human sounds, something like Ughhhh! Followed by a disgusted face and then down the drain it went.

Today, we know different, well some of us. That spoiled tea was actually fermenting, as all tea with sugar will eventually. Especially when left to sit in a warm place with a cloth on the jar instead of a tight fitting lid. We know today that fermented tea becomes kombucha, in time, and the most powerful probiotic of our time. All that “wasted” tea, mom tossed down the drain, contained enough cancer killing properties, and ability to keep you, & your family, cancer free, for life!

In the US, kombucha is just starting to become popular and here we are in the 21st century. Over seas, in many Asian countries, kombucha has been a part of most everyone’s lives for 1000’s of years. In the far reaches of Russia, a while back, scientists traveling the globe, stumbled upon a village of ancient people where kombucha had been homemade and the recipe handed down through all of their generations. Not a single person, through all their generations, had ever died from cancer.

In fact, cancer was not found in their people…ever. Upon investigation, looking at everything the village people consumed, the scientists discovered their kombucha recipe. After testing this kombucha the scientist learned an incredible thing. Kombucha killed cancer cells when directly applied. Those that would be interested in trying kombucha would be happy to know that kombucha comes in many flavors. Flavors such as blueberry or raspberry, ginger or even like a green smoothie mix.

Kombucha is sold in many sixes but you will most likely find it in 16 oz. bottles. Flavors such as Gingerberry and multigreen, gingerade and citrus are among popular flavors. Still some like the original flavors of kombucha. How does it taste? Surprisingly not like mom’s “spoiled” tea! In fact, kombucha resembles a weak wine and when mixed with juices, to ferment together, takes on a great healthy taste that most people will find pleasing.  Just a bottle a day is all you need to reap the benefits of this awesome probiotic drink.

Usually kombucha in 16 oz. bottles sales for around $4.00 and some change. In retail stores, usually around $3.35 a bottle. Kombucha is so great, drinking this daily could get expensive. One way to fix that is to learn to make it at home. With an initial investment of the price of a bag of sugar, a box of good organic black or green tea (I suggest black to start with) and a bottle of organic raw kombucha, you could make 3 gallon of kombucha yourself.

TO MAKE KOMBUCHA AT HOME first you need a kombucha scoby, or a mother. You should either grow your own or get one from someone who does and has an extra one. Every time a batch of kombucha is made a new scoby grows, called a scoby baby. This scoby is used to make a new batch and so on.

Kombucha scoby


  • Purchase a bottle of raw organic kombucha or take some from someone’s home brew.
  • Allow this to ferment in a warm location with a cheese cloth and rubber band on top to keep the insects and dust out.
  • Watch for the scoby to grow on top. It will start as a white glaze and get thicker over time. This takes about 10 days, longer if the room temperature is more cool than warm.
  • Once the scoby gets about a 1/4 inch thick it is ready to be used. Brew up 6 black or green tea bags in a gallon of water..
  • Allow the tea to cool to room temperature
  • Sweeten with sugar to taste and float the scoby on top.
  • Allow to sit and ferment in a warm place for 5-10 days or until it ferments to a taste you link. This can take longer in winter.
  • Make sure to lightly over the tea the same as before when you grew the scoby. A new scoby will grow in this batch. Use the baby to make the next batch or pass it on to a friend. You can discard your used scoby after the fermentation is done.
  • After the tea becomes kombucha, if you wish, mix it with some juice for flavor such as cranberry. Allow this mix to sit for another 24 hours to marry and ferment the juice.
  • Place a top on the kombucha and place it in the fridge until you want to use it. This will stop the fermentation. I like to bottle my kombucha into old kombucha jars for individual servings.

One gallon fills 7-8 16 oz. jars with juice. So next time that gallon of tea in your fridge seems a little unpalatable, remember what you have the start of instead of heading to your kitchen drain!


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