make it at home kombucha The fermented tea drink kombucha can be made at home with a few simple ingredients and a whole lot of patience. Some people drink it for its potential health benefits as a probiotic beverage; others like it because of its unique flavor and fizz. To start brewing your first batch you’ll need: Makes 1 Gallon of Kombucha 8 teabags of Green, Black, or other caffeinated tea 1 cup of sugar 3 ½ quarts of filtered water A mother culture or SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast; buy one online or grow your own using raw kombucha) 2 cups of raw, unflavored kombucha 1 gallon glass jar A sheet of paper towel and a rubber band Boil water. Add sugar and stir to dissolve. Add teabags. Let the mixture sit out until it cools to room temperature. Protip: Boil 1 quart of water, and add then add the rest to speed the cooling process. Once the mixture has cooled, add it to the gallon jar along with the SCOBY and kombucha. Protip: the raw kombucha prevents the growth of harmful bacteria or mold by maintaining a certain minimum pH. Cover with a sheet of paper towel or another tightly woven cloth and secure it in place with a rubber band. Let the mixture sit in a dark, relatively warm area with adequate airflow for 7-10 days until the desired flavor has been achieved. When you are satisfied with the level of fermentation, remove the SCOBY and refrigerate the kombucha to halt the fermentation process. (Protip: Make sure to reserve 2 cups of tea from this batch for your next batch.) Optional: a second fermentation can be performed to infuse flavors and extra bubbliness into your kombucha by adding sugar or fruit/juice to the kombucha and letting it sit for 1-3 days. 10
BY BLAZE BERNSTEIN PHOTO BY CAROLINA SALAZAR-PARANHOS Some notes: Be aware that Penn Appétit is not responsible for any illness or other health issues that may arise from brewing your own kombucha. People sensitive to alcohol, such as pregnant women and children, may choose to avoid home brewed kombucha as there is some alcohol (likely less than 1% by volume) created in the brewing process. Additionally, if you see or otherwise sense anything out of the ordinary (such as harmful mold on the culture), it is better to discard the whole batch including the SCOBY than to take any risks.