Have you seen bottles of kombucha appear in the store and wonder what this hippy elixir is? For a great in depth e-book on the wonders of kombucha and how to make it, visit Kombucha Kamp here: Kombucha DIY Guide.
Kombucha is a fizzy fermented beverage made from sweetened tea. A SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) is added to sweetened tea and after a week or so, the yeast and bacteria eat up the sugar and you are left with a wonderfully sour, sparkling beverage.
There are a few ways you can start your own kombucha culture. The best way to to obtain a SCOBY from a trusted source. Kombucha Kamp offers SCOBY’s with a 100% guarantee. My current Kombucha brewers are using SCOBY’s from Kombucha Kamp and they are happy! The SCOBY’s I received from them were thick and beautiful (if you can call a gelatinous blob beautiful) and produce a wonderfully flavored kombucha.
Another advantage to ordering one is the support you get. Kombucha Kamp provides awesome online support and a guarantee. You might be able to find cheaper dehydrated SCOBY’s elsewhere and while they are easier to ship, I don’t recommend them. They are prone to failure and if they do work, they can take quite a while.
Another way to get a SCOBY is to find someone near you who is already making it. If you get a SCOBY from a friend, make sure it’s a healthy SCOBY that has been used with black tea and sugar in the right ratios (or combination of black tea and other unflavored teas).
I used to suggest people grow their own SCOBY from raw kombucha but people have been having mixed results on that recently. Many of the big brewers changed their recipes which I suspect is why it doesn’t always work. If you still would like to try, check out Food Renegades tutorial on it here: How to Grow a SCOBY. And this is a comparison between 3 different SCOBY’s: Kombucha SCOBY Experiment.
Kombucha Tea Recipe
Now that you have your SCOBY, you can get your system set up. Kombucha Kamp has great instructions for doing this here: Kombucha Tea Recipe.
How to set up a Continuous Brewing System:
How to set up your own: http://www.picklemetoo.com/2012/03/kombucha-continuous-brewing-system
Or you can purchase everything you need to get started from Kombucha Kamp here.
Here are some ideas for flavoring your kombucha. Some are links to recipe and some are just simple instructions. For the simple ones, add the recommended ingredients and let set at room temp for 2-3 days. You can adjust the amount of juice/fruit to taste. Try your own combinations and have fun! If you want me to add your recipe, comment below.
- Lemonade Kombucha: 1-2 tbsp lemon juice in about 11 oz kombucha
- Food Renegade’s “How to Brew Flavored Kombucha“
- Apple Pie Kombucha: 1/4 cup apple cider + 1 cinnamon stick per quart.
- Vanilla: Add 1-2 tsp vanilla.
- Fresh or frozen berries: Add about 1/4 cup of your berry of choice per quart .
- Orange Cream Kombucha: 1/4 cup orange juice, 2 tsp vanilla per quart.
- Orange Cream Kombucha II: Zest and juice from 1 orange, 2 tsp vanilla per quart.
- Coffee Kombucha Yes, coffee kombucha. Just make sure you use a spare SCOBY since you shouldn’t reuse it for Kombucha tea. Coffee isn’t the ideal SCOBY environment.
- Peppermint: Add peppermint extract to taste, a few drops at a time.
- Ginger: Add a few thin slices of fresh ginger.
- Lemon Ginger Kombucha
- Cherry Vanilla Kombucha
- Root Beer Kombucha from Cultured Food Life
- Apricot and Star Anise Kombucha (my current favorite)
- 10 Recipes and Tips from Kombucha Kamp
- Orange Spice Kombucha
- Strawberry Hibiscus Kombucha
- Blueberry Lavender
- Kombucha Ketchup and BBQ Sauce
- Pumpkin Pie Kombucha
- Spicy Pineapple Cranberry Kombucha
**I am affiliated with Kombucha Kamp (full disclosure). Purchasing through my links will earn me a small commission. Obviously you don’t have to use my links but if you like what you see on my webpage, please consider helping support this page. Thanks!