I brew the kombucha in these large jars from Bed, Bath & Beyond.Each week I spend about 1hr making new tea and filling jars.Starting with clean containers (I have 2 one gallon containers with spouts):Add 1 cup sugar into each clean jarBrew 16 organic black tea bags (basically, follow the tea instructions for making 1 gallon of tea – if you tend to like stronger flavor use more tea bags) in a stainless saucepot (pretty concentrated), then when it cools a little, I pour the tea into each of the 2 jars.I use a long spoon to dissolve the sugar (we use organic sugar) into the tea. (many people use white store sugar because the scoby “eats” it and it is not in the end product)
I add any water needed to fill the jars, then stir the water into the tea. I adjust the water temp to make sure my tea is room temp before adding the scobys.Next I stir in approx. 1 – 2 cups of starter kombucha, then I float the scobys on the top of the tea. (if they don’t float on top – it’s ok. . .no worries)(Remember scobys grow/multiply each time, so don’t fill the containers to the top. I like to keep the scobys floating just below the neck of the containers so they have plenty of room to expand.)I cover my jars with a clean coffee filter or paper towel or cotton cloth and rubber band. (Some people use the glass lids that come w/the jars, but I want to make sure no flies can get in, and there’s enough air getting through.)I let the kombucha brew about 1 week. I sample the brew using the handy spouts to see if it’s ready to bottle. (Monica’s note. . .I just assume it’s ready and go for it! So I just plan to bottle every week on Tuesday’s)Filling the bottles:When the brew is ready I add a small amount of fruit to each clean bottle. (ex: 1 diced strawberry, 1 fig, a few slices of ginger, blended blueberries, blended raspberries, lavendar flowers, etc…)I use the spouts of the large containers to fill each of my small bottles with kombucha. (these can sit out for 3-5 days for a 2nd brewing. ..be careful. .. if your glass is thin, the glasses can burst) After 3-5 days, put your bottled kombucha in a refrigerator so the brewing process stops.After I’ve drained the kombucha to below the container’s spout, then with clean hands I remove the scobys & remaining starter liquid into a glass bowl.I leave the scobys there while I wash the glass containers and brew the next batch of tea.When that tea is ready and in the containers with the sugar & water needed, then I add the scoby & starter liquid and leave it to brew again.When you open your kombucha bottles, place a kitchen towel over the lid just in case your kombucha spews. . .if you don’t, you might end up with kombucha on your ceiling. You might also put the bottle in a bowl, cover the top and then open. . that way, if it does spew. ..all the liquid stays in the bowl and can still be used.There. . .now THAT is science at home! Cultured food at it’s finest and so fun and interesting. Please share your recipe and let us know what flavors you like best!Notes from other Kombucha recipes per gallonStart with 3 1/2 quarts of water and organic black tea. Boil the tea according to instructions on the tea container, add sugar. Remove tea bags then allow mixture to cool. Once cool, add in 2 cups of the original tea – you should have approx. 1 gallon ready to sit out for 1 week.then for your 2nd ferment – flavoring suggestions:use 2/3 cup fresh or store bought organic juice, or2-4 TBL fresh herbs or spices (ginger as an example)Be sure to move the bottles to a fridge after 3-5 days. When you are ready to drink the final product, add in drops of stevia for sweetener or any other healthy option. Some love lime juice added in and small amount of juice (apple, pear, peach, grape, etc.) We serve ours over ice. Our favorite concoction is 2nd Ferment with Ginger, then when serving, serve with freshly squeeze lime and a sprig of mint.Last tip: if you have a large family, you might like your 2nd brew to be in larger jars so you can serve more people easily.