Large fermentation-grade jar (I use a jar with a tap, but they’re not completely necessary)
Clean, lint-free tea towel
Large elastic band/string
21gloose leaf teaI like a blend of green tea and Earl Grey, but you can experiment based on preferences
200mlkombucha ‘mother’/starter liquid from a previous batch
1SCOBYsee recipe below
Before preparing your kombucha, make sure that all equipment is clean and ideally sterilised, including the jar, saucepan, and a large mixing spoon or spatula.
For this recipe, I use a formula of 1 litre water : 210 grams sugar : 21g tea. You can make as much or as little kombucha as you like, but sticking to these ratios will provide the best results.
Boil three litres of water in a large saucepan. Once the water comes to a boil, remove from the heat. Add the sugar and mix until completely dissolved. Add the tea and mix once more. Leave to cool down to room temperature. This can take up to 2-3 hours. Don’t move onto the next step until cooled down.
Strain the cooled tea into the jar and add the SCOBY and ‘mother’ kombucha. Leave 5cm space at the top of the jar. Mix gently to combine, then cover the lid with a clean tea towel, then hold it in place with an elastic band or piece of string.
Leave to ferment for 6-10 days. The fermentation time will depend on conditions. I’d suggest storing in a relatively cool, dry place without too much light. Ideally keep away from radiators, the oven, and direct sunlight. Also avoid cupboards, as air circulation is important. After 4 days taste a teaspoon of the liquid. It should be slightly sweet and mildly vinegary.
Once ready (after 6-10 days, dependent on taste – the longer you leave it, the more acidic it will taste) carefully transfer the kombucha to sterilised bottles for the second fermentation, leaving around an inch of space at the top of the bottle. This step carbonates the kombucha. Store in the same place as the first fermentation.
Save your SCOBY and 200ml of the liquid for your next batch. This will last for a while in the fridge, providing it’s in a glass jar and covered.
OPTIONAL: you can flavour the kombucha at this point. Add approximately 2tbsp (taste dependent) of your desired flavouring to the bottom of the bottle. I like apple juice and a sliver of ginger; mango pulp; or stewed rhubarb and ginger.
After 3-5 days, the kombucha will be carbonated and ready to drink. Store in the fridge to stop/slow the fermentation process.
TIP: The initial fermentation process takes at least 6 days. In this case, I’d suggest starting again as soon as the first batch is bottled.