How to Make Kombucha Scoby
A kombucha scoby is a home for the bacteria and yeast that eventually turn into kombucha. The scoby, which is an acronym for Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast, floats on the surface of the fermenting kombucha. It starts as a thin film and thickens to about a quarter or third of an inch in size before the kombucha is ready. A kombucha scoby is easy to make at home, but it does take about 2-4 weeks, which is important to keep in mind when you are developing your scoby.
7 cups (1.65 liters) water
½ cup (118.29 ml) white sugar
4 teabags of black tea
1 cup (236.58 ml) of unflavored, unpasteurized store-bought kombucha
Mixing Tea and Bottled Kombucha
Bring water to a boil.Add 7 cups (1.65 liters) of water to a large pot and bring it to a boil, then remove the pot from the heat.
Add sugar and the tea bags to the water.Mix in the ½ cup (118.29 ml) of sugar into the hot water and stir it until it’s completely dissolved. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the 4 tea bags.
Let the tea cool.Let the tea sit and cool until it reaches room temperature. Then take out and discard the tea bags.
Combine the tea and bottled kombucha.Pour all of the cooled sweet tea that you just made into a large, clean jar. Then pour 1 cup (236.58 ml) of the unflavored, store-bought kombucha into the jar. If there is a small kombucha scoby forming in the store-bought kombucha bottle, make sure that you add it to the jar as well.
- If you do have a small scoby in the jar, it will grow from a “baby” scoby to a larger “mother” scoby.
- Don’t worry if you don’t have a small scoby in the bottle; a scoby will still develop in your jar.
Developing the Scoby
Cover the jar.Once you have combined the kombucha and the sweet tea, cover the jar with a few layers of cheesecloth, coffee filters, or paper towels. Then take a rubber band to tightly band the coverings over the jar at the rim.
Place the jar out of direct sunlight.Put the jar in a cupboard or corner away from direct sunlight in an average room-temperature room of around 70 °F (21 °C) (around 21.11 C).
- Direct sunlight can hinder the development of the kombucha scoby.
Store the kombucha for 1-4 weeks.Keep the kombucha sealed for 1-4 weeks, checking on it a couple times a week.
- By the end of the first week you should see bubbles forming at the top of the liquid, then you will see a thin film forming on top.
- When the scoby is finished developing, it should be about ¼ inch (6.35 mm).
Remove the kombucha scoby.When the kombucha scoby is opaque and about ¼ inch (6.35 mm) thick, it is ready to use. Remove it and use it to brew your own kombucha tea!
- Dispose of most of the liquid that you used to make the scoby, as it will taste very acidic and strong. Keep about 1 cup (236. 58 ml) if you are planning to make kombucha.
- If your scoby starts to develop mold or smells rancid, it likely means that bad bacteria are forming on the scoby and that you should throw it out and start again.
Using Your Scoby to Make Kombucha
Heat 6 cups (1.42 liters) of water.To start making a half gallon of kombucha, place 6 cups (1.42 liters) of water on the stove and heat until almost boiling, then take the pot off the heat.
Place sugar and tea bags in the water.While the water is still hot, add ½ cup (118.29 ml) of sugar and stir until it dissolves. Then add 4 tea bags into the water to steep.
Let the tea cool to around 75 degrees F (23.88 C).Let the tea sit and cool to about 75 degrees F (23.88 C). If you want a strong tea taste in your kombucha, leave the teabags in until the tea cools. If you want a mild tea taste, remove the teabags after about 10-15 minutes.
Remove teabags and add starter tea.After the tea has cooled to 75 degrees F (23.88 C), remove the teabags if you haven’t already. Pour the sweet tea into a large clean jar and add 1 cup (236.58 ml) of the starter tea you developed when you were making the kombucha scoby. If you already disposed of all the starter tea, substitute 1 cup (236.58 ml) of distilled white vinegar.
Add the scoby.Carefully drop the scoby you developed into the jar of liquid. The scoby should float to the top and cover the liquid in the jar.
Cover the top of the jar.Place a coffee filter or cheesecloth on the top of the jar of kombucha and use a rubber band to bind the cover in place.
Let the kombucha sit for one to three weeks.Place the kombucha in a cupboard or on a counter away from direct sunlight to sit at about 68-85 degrees F (20-29.44 C). Do not pick up or shake the kombucha while it is developing.
- If you like kombucha with a sweeter taste, leave it to sit for only a week or a week and a half. If you like a stronger and more vinegary taste, leave it to sit for two or three weeks.
Pour kombucha out and keep the scoby in the jar.When you are ready to serve it, pour most of the kombucha liquid out from the jar and retain the scoby and about a cup (236.58 ml) of liquid inside. You can use the scoby and starter tea for another batch of kombucha.
- If you are not going to drink all of the kombucha, place it in a sealed bottle and put it in the refrigerator.
QuestionCan I use green tea instead of black tea?WikiHow Editor 284648Community AnswerYou can. The taste of the kombucha will be different, of course. Make sure to brew the tea at the right temperature so your kombucha won't end up too bitter.Thanks!
QuestionWhat will happen if I forget where I put the jar with the scoby and leave it for a month?The hobbit_2Community AnswerDepending on how much tea you have in the jar, the worst thing that could happen is that you will have a super thick scoby.Thanks!
To make a kombucha scoby, start by bringing 7 cups of water to a boil. Next, remove the pot from the heat, add the sugar and tea bags, and let the mixture cool to room temperature. Then, remove the tea bags, and combine the tea and store-bought kombucha in a jar. Cover the jar with several paper towels or coffee filters, and wrap them tightly around the rim with a rubber band. Store the jars in a room-temperature area away from direct sunlight, and let it sit for 1 to 4 weeks until the scoby is opaque and about ¼ inch thick.
- Try to use glass bottles as opposed to plastic when making kombucha so that the chemicals from the plastic don’t interfere with its development.
- Be careful when you are taking the scoby out of the bottle so that it doesn’t break.
Video: Beginners Guide To Fermentation: Kombucha Making
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