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Kombucha Primary Fermentation Recipe

a kombucha scoby floats on the top of sweet tea inside of a mason jar.

Kombucha SCOBYs are symbiotic colonies of bacteria and yeasts. The gelatinous SCOBY structure comprises polysaccharides produced by bacteria and yeast. In this blog, you’ll learn how to grow your own kombucha SCOBY, the best places to buy a SCOBY, how to make kombucha, and how to store kombucha SCOBYs. 

Ingredients

Scale
  • 50 grams organic sugar

  • 5 grams organic tea

  • about 1000 mL water

  • 1 liter glass jar

  • 1 kombucha SCOBY

Instructions

  1. Gather your ingredients: You can use green tea or black tea for the best results. I prefer to use organic sencha green tea. You have the option of using loose leaf tea or tea bags. You will also need organic cane sugar. You can make kombucha with other types of sugar if you prefer, such as maple syrup or honey. 
  2. Brew your sweet tea: Boil your water and dissolve the sugar. Steep the tea in the hot water for 5 minutes. If using tea bags, simply remove them. If using loose leaf tea, strain all the tea leaves from the mixture.
  3. Cool and add your SCOBY: allow the sweet tea mixture to cool completely. It should be room temperature. Once it is cool, add the kombucha SCOBY. Some SCOBYs float, others may sink to the bottom, either way it’s fine. Cover the jar with a cloth lid and rubber-band. You must use a cloth lid to allow oxygen flow. 
  4. Maintain a good temperature for 7 days: Keep the jar of sweet tea with the SCOBY at moderate room temperature, out of direct sunlight for seven days. Temperature should be between 65-78 degrees F.
  5. Feed SCOBY more sweet tea & Repeat: After 7 days you should see you SCOBY is thicker or another SCOBY is forming on the surface. The fermented tea is now ready for flavoring and bottling. Make a fresh quart of sweet tea as in the previous directions. Remove the SCOBY from fermented liquid and place it in the jar of fresh sweet tea. Add a tablespoon of already fermented tea to the fresh batch.
  6. Bottle the fermented tea and flavor: This is known as secondary fermentation. You need pressure safe glass bottles and fruit juice for flavoring. I typically fill the bottles half way with fermented sweet tea and half way with juice. Once the bottles are sealed, carbonation builds in the bottles. Secondary fermentation can take anywhere from 5 to 12 days. 

 

Notes

See links below for secondary fermentation and flavoring recipes

Keywords: kombucha, primary fermentation, fermented drinks