This post will go into detail about the first and second fermentation in the process of making kombucha. If you need a SCOBY to start your Kombucha adventure, contact us or visit our product store! If you made it here because you purchased on of our SCOBYs thank you for your support!
- Make a SCOBY(1 to 4 weeks) – to make the “mother”- OR visit our product store to order one!
- First Fermentation 6 to 10 days) – to make the actual kombucha
- Second Fermentation (3 to 10 days) – to carbonate the kombucha
So you’ve got a new SCOBY and you’re ready to get this adventure rollin’ we are going to start with the first fermentation. The first fermentation is where you actually make the kombucha. If you don’t already have a scoby you will need to get one! Visit out product store or contact us now to order one!
First Fermentation Ingredients:
- 14 cups (3.5 quarts, 3.3 L) clean water
- 1 cup (200 g) white sugar
- 8 bags black or green tea (or 2 Tbsp loose leaf)
- 2 cups (470 mL) unflavored kombucha (from a previous batch)
- 1 or 2 SCOBYs (depending on how many containers you’re using, 1 per container)
- A large glass (two jars holding at least ½ gallon (1.9 L) each, or one jug holding at least 1 gallon (3.7 L)
- Tightly woven cloth (coffee filters, paper towels, napkins, cheese cloth)
First Fermentation Instructions:
- Bring water to a boil in a clean pot. Remove from heat and dissolve sugar into it.
- Add the tea and allow to steep while water cools to room temperature (a few hours). Again, MUST be room temperature. Don’t risk killing your SCOBY in hot water.
- With clean hands, gently remove your SCOBY from the tea and place on an equally as clean plate. You can rinse out the jar if you want (without soap), but it’s not necessary.
- Pour the sweetened tea into your jar(s), then pour in unflavored starter kombucha (if you’re using two jars, pour ½ of the starter kombucha into each).
- Gently place SCOBY into jar then cover with a few layers of the tightly woven cloth and secure with a rubber band.
- Set the jar(s) somewhere dark, still, and room temperature (70-75 degrees F, 21-24 C) for anywhere from 6 to 10 days. Begin tasting the tea at about 6 days by gently drawing out some of the tea with a paper straw (using your finger to hold the tea in the straw, don’t use your mouth). It should be mildly sweet and slightly vinegary. The warmer the air temperature, the faster the kombucha will ferment. The longer the tea ferments, the more sugar molecules will be eaten up, the less sweet it will be.
- Reserve 2 cups from this batch to use as starter kombucha for your next batch (just leave it in the jar with SCOBY(s)). The rest can move into the second and final fermentation.
3. Homemade Kombucha: The Second Fermentation
The final step and negotiable the best part of the process! The second fermentation is where the real magic happens. It’s where you can play around with sweet, fruity flavors that will not only make your homemade kombucha taste better than store-bought, but will give those good bacteria the power to kick it into high carbonation gear, bringing everything together into effervescent bliss. Let’s finish this.
Second Fermentation Ingredients:
- Homemade kombucha from the first fermentation
- Sweetener (fruit, honey, or sugar). Here are a few ideas per 1 cup kombucha:
- 1 to 2 Tbsp. mashed fruit or fruit juice
- A slice of orange
- 1 to 2 tsp honey
- a piece of peppermint candy
- a piece of candied ginger
- *to add chia seeds, see below under “things to note”
- A few flip top fermentation bottles (bottles meant for fermentation have an airtight seal, which will prevent carbonation from escaping. If you don’t have these, canning jars will do an alright job, though they aren’t truly airtight.)
Second Fermentation Instructions:
- Strain kombucha and funnel into bottles, leaving about 1 1/2 inches at the top (3.8 cm).
- Add your chosen sweetener and seal tightly with lid.
- Let ferment somewhere dark and room temperature for 3 to 10 days.
- If desired, strain out fruit before serving. Place in fridge to slow the carbonation process.