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How to make Kombucha at home

First fermentation instructions

1.       Wash your culturing jar with soapy lukewarm water. 

2.      Sterilize all your equipment, ensure that all sterilization agents are properly washed out before you start.
Milton is food safe and a good household sterilization option.

TIP: Beware when washing your jar in too warm water - it can crack if the temperature difference between the jar and water was too great.

3.       Make sugar tea solution

Sugar tea solution:
900ml water
3 tea bags OR 5g loose tea (2tsp)
50g sugar (1/4 cup)

4.       Add your SCOBY and starter liquid to the sugar tea when it has cooled down. Place a cover cloth on top of the brewing vessel and secure it with a rubber band.

5.       Store at 24 – 30°C out of direct sunlight for 1 week.

Tip: For the first batch you will use the starter liquid provided. For recurring batches, use a little bit of your previous Kombucha batch as the starter liquid. The starter liquid should be approximately 10% of the total liquid.

6.       Kombucha can culture anywhere between 8 and 21 days depending on your taste! From day 8 start tasting daily with a clean, sterile spoon until you are happy with the flavour.

7.       Insert a pH strip along with your daily tasting regime. When the pH of Kombucha drops below 4 then it is safe to drink as no other microorganisms can survive, but 3.5 is generally considered a good pH for a finished brew. Still, the pH strips do not indicate that your brew is ready, only that it is protected and brewing safely. Taste will indicate if the brew is complete.

MASTER BREWER TIP: pH strips can assist you in achieving a consistent taste once you have established at which pH you like your brew! You will train your taste buds to know what your Kombucha tastes like at its various pH levels.

No pH strip? No worries! People have been making Kombucha without pH monitors for ages. Just make sure that your Kombucha stays within the culturing temperature range and all will be well.

8.       When you are happy with the taste gently remove the SCOBY (with clean hands) and 300 ml of finished Kombucha brew. Place it in a covered sterile jar and refrigerate until your next brew.

Second fermentation instructions

Carbonation and flavouring occurs during second fermentation. Adding a little bit of sugar will assist with further fermentation which in turn aids in carbonation, ensuring a lovely fizzy drink!

Second fermentation is not a prerequisite for making Kombucha, you can also consume the Kombucha just as is, the choice is yours!

1.      Add 1.5 tsp of white sugar into your clean, sterilised second fermentation bottle. You can also add flavours or infusions now.

2.    Leave at room temperature for 2-3 days to carbonate. This is putting the "fizz" into your Kombucha. Refrigerate and consume when cold

       WARNING: Second fermentation bottles should always have an airtight seal to ensure proper carbonation. Bottles need to be burped regularly as there could be a large build-up of carbonation and can result in a big explosion if the pressure is not released.