Be sure all equipment is clean and rinse thoroughly so no traces of soap remain – you may also use vinegar to clean your equipment.
Brew the tea by bringing water to a boil and adding the tea bags. Allow the tea to steep until cool and remove the tea bags.
Add sugar to the tea and stir until dissolved.
Allow to cool to room temperature. This is very important as hot tea will kill the scoby.
Place the kombucha from a previous batch and the sweetened tea into the continuous brew container.
Add the scoby.
Put a piece of cheesecloth over the top of the jar and secure with a rubber band – this allows air in but keeps bugs and dust out.
Place the jar in an out of the way place and allow to ferment
If your kitchen is warm, the kombucha will ferment more quickly, so for the first batch, taste it after a few days. Once the taste is to your liking, follow the steps below.
Prepare the tea as above, sweeten and allow to cool completely.
Drain the fermented kombucha into the desired container. Since we keg ours, we use clean tubing and drain it directly into the keg. My containers are on top of the refrigerator and this allows them to be emptied without moving. The tubing used is food grade and does not come into contact with the scoby.
Leave about 20% of the batch in the container to use for the next batch. You can see the layers of the scoby, as well as, the yeast sediment in the bottom.
Now you are ready to refill the container with new sweetened tea to feed the scoby. Add the tea gently. I pour it right on top of the scoby which may sink or be pushed down during this process but always rises to the top again. There is no need to mix the new tea mixture with the amount left from the previous batch, the fermentation process takes care of this!
Cover the top with a lid or tightly woven cloth and secure with a rubber band. Allow the fresh batch 10 days to 3 weeks to ferment. The time will depend on the batch size and the size of your scoby. Taste the kombucha every week or so until the desired taste is acquired.
Prep time does not include 10 days - 3 weeks fermenting time.
Tips For Making Homemade Kombucha;
Make sure to use non-chlorinated water as chlorine will kill the scoby.
The scoby needs sugar to live on – honey, rapadura or sugar substitutes will not work.