Traditional 1-Gallon Kombucha Recipe
Ingredients for 1-Gallon Batch
- 3 quarts of water
- 3/4 to 1-oz Tea (4-8 teaspoons, or 6-110 tea bags)
- 1/2 to 1-cup sugar
- SCOBY (Kombucha mother)
- 8-16 ounces of Kombucha “Starter Tea” (Finished kombucha)
- Glass Jars (food grade)
- 1-gallon pot (or bigger)
- Scent-free, all-natural soap
- Re-useable tea bag/ strainer (if using loose-leaf tea)
- Cloth to cover the jar
- Rubber band & Labels
Step 1: SWEET TEA
Wash your hands! Bring the water to a gentle boil in a pot about one minute (but don’t over-boil). Turn off the heat and stir in sugar. Steep tea from 15 minutes to 2 hours while the sweet tea cools <100°F. You can put your pot in an ice bath to encourage cooling.
Step 2: ADD CULTURE
Once the sweet tea has cooled below 98°F, remove the tea bag(s) & pour it into the clean, sanitized jar. Add Starter Kombucha and SCOBY. Cover the jar with a clean cloth, secure with a rubber band, and label it with the date and flavor.
Step 3: FERMENTATION
Store your jar of brewing Kombucha in a warm, dark place, undisturbed, for 10-20 days depending on temperature and how “strong” you like it. After 10 days you can test your kombucha to see if it tastes “done” according to your preference, refrigerate to halt fermentation. As time goes on, it should become less sweet and more sour. Warmer temperatures result in faster brewing.
Step 4: SCOBY STORAGE
Save at least 1/2 cup of SCOBY and 1-2 cups of “starter” (finished kombucha) to start your next batch. Extra SCOBYs must be stored soaking in finished kombucha, in a dark place for several weeks or in the fridge for up to 6 months.
Step 5: BOTTLING/ CARBONATION
Fill clean, sanitized bottles with your finished kombucha. To carbonate, add 2-3 tablespoons of sugar per gallon then store in a dark, warm place for 2-6 weeks (check daily and burp if needed). Refrigerate before serving. Added fruit can spoil, so keep fruit flavored kombucha refrigerated. Without fruit, kombucha can stay good for months.
Need more help? Email email@example.com, it is included with your starter kit.
If it tastes bad, don’t drink it! Avoid contamination and keep it clean! Starting a Kombucha regimen can cause detox, so don’t start drinking it heavily during pregnancy. Listen to your body! We are educators – not doctors. Do not force yourself to drink Kombucha if you think something is wrong. If you have health concerns, see a doctor. Lion Heart Kombucha and its distributors are not responsible for your home creations.
Tips & Tricks from the Pros
Clean your supplies well and sanitize before use. We recommend acid=based sanitizers. Rinse out soap well and do not use anti-bacterial soap or bleach.
Herbs may be used before, during, or after the primary fermentation process. You can brew the herbs with the sweet tea, or create a “kombucha tincture” by soaking herbs in strong kombucha to extract flavor and medicinal properties.
Kombucha has much less caffeine than tea. The longer it ferments, the less caffeine it will have. For even lower caffeine, pre-soak your tea for 30 seconds before using it to make the sweet tea.
Ginger and Kombucha go wonderfully together! However, ginger can inhibit the growth of some bacteria strains, so don’t use it in the primary fermentation. Instead, add ginger in the bottling process. Ginger juice, ginger tea, or ginger pulp all work fabulously to flavor Kombucha and can contribute to carbonation.
Selecting a Brewing Vessel
Only use fermentation-grade containers for fermenting kombucha. Glass mason/ pickle jars are a great choice, or for larger batches you can use sauerkraut crocks or stainless-steel wine fermenters. Kombucha should avoid contact with metal except for fermentation-grade stainless steel.
Brown strings or chunks of yeast are often mistaken for mold. Kombucha mold starts out as speckles that grow and spread which can resemble bread mold. If your Kombucha molds, toss it out immediately and disinfect EVERYTHING.
They LOVE kombucha! Keep them out by cleaning your kitchen regularly, don’t leave old fruit sitting around, make vinegar fly traps or grow carnivorous plants (venous fly traps are great!). Keep a cloth on your brewing jar that fruit flies cannot fit through.
Do I have to use sugar?
Kombucha will grow with very little sugar or using substitutes like maple syrup or honey. However, organic cane sugar ferments better and it is what is used to make most commercial brands. A healthy Kombucha culture will consume most of the sugar before you drink it by converting it into amino acids.