Recipe type: Beverage, fermented
Prep time: 
Fermentation time: 
Yield: 1 gallon
  • 15 cups/3.5l (1 gallon less one cup) filtered water
  • 10 tea bags or 10 teaspoons loose-leaf tea- any combination black, green, white, oolong, or pu-erh
  • 1 cup/250 ml raw sugar (6.05 oz./200g by weight) sugar (refined white, or raw, but SCOBY prefers refined)
  • 1 SCOBY (kombucha culture), 4-5 oz/110g or larger by weight
  • 1 cup/250ml starter liquid (mature kombucha from a prior batch)
  • (Optional) Flavorings (e.g. berries, fresh fruit, fruit juice, coconut water, herbs, ginger, etc.)
  • 1 one-gallon/4L or larger glass jar or ceramic container (preferably with spigot at bottom, but not essential)
  • Bottles to hold secondary ferments; pint-, quart-, or half-gallon sized-- bottles with tightly sealable caps, such as growlers, recycled mineral water bottles, or Grolsch-style swing-top bottles
  • Swatch of cloth to cover the opening-- dish towel, tea towel, or paper coffee filter to cover the container's opening (not cheesecloth--flies can get through!)
  • Rubber band
  • Funnel (for bottling)
Make Sweet Tea
  1. NOTE: You want the new SCOBY to form as large in diameter as possible. It forms at the top of the liquid, so if you're using a one-gallon container, be sure you fill the container to just below the neck of the jar (no higher). You might not use the full gallon of sweet tea. You can either brew a little less tea than shown in the recipe, use the extra for another purpose, or even reserve for the next round of 'buch-making.
  2. Boil 1 quart of filtered water (in a tea kettle or 1-gallon or larger pot).
  3. Add tea bags (or if using loose tea, add tea to muslin bags or tea ball) to pot.
  4. Pour boiling water into pot. Add tea. Let steep for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove tea bags from pot. Add sugar and stir to dissolve.
  6. Pour remaining (unheated) filtered water into pot. Wait until the temperature drops to 100°F/38°C or below (otherwise you might kill the SCOBY). Tea is now ready
  7. Dispense tea into the glass or ceramic container.
  1. Rub your hands with vinegar or some of the starter liquid before handling SCOBY. Carefully add the SCOBY to the jar. Pour the starter liquid from the SCOBY on top of the contents.
  2. Cover with a cloth and secure with a rubber band. Store in a dark, well-ventilated area (keep out of direct sunlight). If using a transparent container, wrap a towel around it to minimize light.
  3. Give it some good vibes, and your newly created universe will prosper!
  4. Taste a bit after 7 days by dispensing some from the spigot. If using a container without a spigot, gently insert a straw into the jar (pushing the SCOBY aside). If it's too sweet, let it ferment longer. If you like the taste, it's ready for secondary fermentation and bottling (see next section). If you don't plan on a secondary fermentation, then move it to the fridge (to stop further fermentation) and enjoy!
  5. If it's too tart, then adjust the time next batch. If it's WAY TOO TART, then you can use it as vinegar.
Flavoring & Bottling (aka Secondary Fermentation)
  1. Add various flavorings to a clean glass bottle (that has either a swing top or one with a cap which can tighten.)
  2. Top with plain mature kombucha. Leave no more than ½" of head space in the neck of the bottle. Close tightly.
  3. Ferment an additional 1-7 days in the bottle, depending on the weather (cooler= longer, warmer=shorter). Note that carbonation will build up, so burp bottles occasionally (over the sink) to release gas buildup.
  4. Move to refrigerator and enjoy (or swap with your fellow Fermenters)!
  5. When you like the taste and texture (i.e. bubbles), move to refrigerator.
  6. Serve chilled. Enjoy in moderation.
Recipe by Fermenters Club at https://fermentersclub.com/kombucha/