Howdy, FSG crew! Question: How much is that fancy store-bought kombucha habit setting you back monthly? Is the sweet vinegary goodness weighing down your budget? Are your children’s extra organs looking more valuable by the minute (Just kidding kids, stay in school!) You’ve come to the right place, because I’m about to change your life. Not only is kombucha almost comically easy to make, it is also cheeaap. Dirt cheap. Ramen cheap. Prepare for the most delicious Pineapple Basil buch you’ve ever tasted. Follow me down the rabbit hole, if you dare.
Before doing anything else, you must make or acquire a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast.) Thankfully, we sell SCOBYs right in the store! This SCOBY (sometimes referred to as the mother) is what ingests the sugar in the black tea that we’re about to produce, fermenting it and giving it that vinegar zing we all know and love.
- 14 cups clean water
- 1 cup white sugar
- 8 bags black or green tea (or 2 Tbsp loose leaf)
- 2 Cups starter tea (Included in the bag with the SCOBYs we sell in shop)
- 1 SCOBY
- 1 gallon glass jar (Fifth Season’s pickle jars are an excellent choice)
- Tightly woven cloth (Cheesecloth works well)
1. In a clean pot, bring your water to a boil. Remove from heat and add sugar, stirring to dissolve.
2. Add tea bags and steep as water cools to room temperature. This can take a few hours, but be VERY careful to only add your SCOBY to room temperature liquid, doing otherwise can kill it.
3. Add the sweetened tea to your Jar and/or glass jug, and then gently add the SCOBY with CLEAN hands, add starter tea at this time as well.
4. Cover the opening of the jar with a couple layers of cheesecloth and put rubber bands around the edge to make a good seal. This allows the jar to breathe while still keeping dust and other nasties out.
5. Put your jar in the dark, somewhere room temperature (70-75 degrees F,) kitchen cabinets work well. Leave for 6-10 days.
6. Begin tasting your buch around the sixth day by using a straw to gently draw out a small amount. It will be mildly sweet and slightly vinegar at the beginning and will become progressively less sweet and more vinegary as time goes on.
7. Once your tea reaches the ratio of sweet/vinegar that you prefer, you can move on to the second fermentation, where the real magic happens.
The second fermentation is where we add our flavors! We will also place the kombucha into airtight bottles, allowing the CO2 to infuse into the beverage, giving us carbonation!
● 1⁄2 gallon of kombucha from first fermentation
● 1⁄2 cup chopped pineapple
● 1⁄4 cup loosely packed fresh basil
● 6 16oz Swing Top bottles
Using a blender, puree the pineapple and the basil. You can add a little kombucha to thin the mixture, if necessary. 2. Leaving 3 inches of empty headroom at the top of the bottle, add kombucha to the Swing Top bottles. Distribute your pineapple mixture evenly across your bottles and seal tightly. 3. Keep in the dark at room temperature for 3-10 days until it reaches the carbonation level that you’d like. 4. Transfer bottles to the refrigerator to stop fermentation, enjoy within three weeks. (Optional: strain to remove debris).
*NOTE* It can be helpful to use a plastic water bottle during the fermentation stage if this is your first time brewing. Fill the bottle, leaving two inches at the top. When this bottle is rock hard, you’ll have a good idea that your glass bottles are ready as well. This can help you get a handle on how long fermentation takes in your climate, preventing any bottle explosions.
Our Fifth Season Kombucha Making Kit comes with a 1-gallon glass jar, kombucha SCOBY, cheesecloth, black tea and brewing instructions.