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The Simple Guide to Kickass Kombucha

It’s a big day everyone! The day your intestinal microbiota have been begging you for. The day you say goodbye to expensive store bought kombucha. The day you become a brewmaster as I impart on you the secrets of homemade kombucha!

The goal of this guide is to be your one stop shop for homemade kombucha brewage, from SCOBY-less to fermented perfection. No hopping around the interwebs. No fuss. No confusion. Because making homemade kombucha is so simple (albeit a bit slow), and I hope after reading this you’ll give it a whirl! Let’s hop right to it.

How to make homemade kombucha recipe with kombucha in a mason jar

How to Make Homemade Kombucha: Overview

This post will go into detail about each step in the process of making kombucha. For succinct instructions, scroll to the bottom where a recipe card lays out the basics of making homemade kombucha. The general order of things goes something like this (you can jump around this tutorial by clicking the links below):

  1. Make SCOBY (1 to 4 weeks) – to make the “mother”
  2. First Fermentation (6 to 10 days) – to make the actual kombucha
  3. Second Fermentation (3 to 10 days) – to carbonate the kombucha

You can also click to jump to a few useful resources:

How to Make Kombucha Video

Before we start, here are some general notes that are consistent throughout the whole homemade kombucha process.

  • No metal or plastic containers. Metal can react with the acidic kombucha and hurt your SCOBY, while plastic can house nasty bacteria that you don’t want sneaking in.
  • Clean is key. A recurring theme in kombucha brewing is that EVERYTHING must be CLEAN! We’re creating the perfect environment for good bacterial growth, but if a bad bacteria slips in, it could ruin your batch (and make you pretty sick).
  • Temperature plays a role. Fermentation goes a bit quicker in warmer temperatures, and a bit slower in colder.
  • No mold zone. If you see any mold growing on your SCOBY or in the tea (which I understand can be difficult to discern from the hideous SCOBY, but will generally be green, white, or black), then toss your whole batch.

Print the Homemade Kombucha Guide

By popular demand, I’ve created a printable PDF with all the instructions from this post. Enter your email below and I’ll send it to ya!

How to make homemade kombucha recipe flavored with kombucha flip top bottle

1. How to make a homemade kombucha SCOBY

The SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is the mother of the kombucha, providing bacteria and yeast to ferment the sweet tea, protecting the tea from outside contaminants, and providing a loose seal to keep a bit of the carbonation in. Yes, it’s scary and alien looking and Buzzfeed did a whole article about how ugly this mama is…but it’s the very essence of kombucha! It brings the love and flavor and magic!

How to make homemade kombucha recipe holding a kombucha SCOBY mother

Making a SCOBY Ingredients:

  • 7 cups (1.6 L) clean water
  • ½ cup (100 g) white sugar
  • 4 bags black tea (or 1 Tbsp loose tea)
  • 1 cup (235 mL) unpasteurized, unflavored store bought kombucha
  • A large glass or ceramic container (two jars holding at least ½ gallon (1.9 L) each, or one jug holding at least 1 gallon (3.7 L)). Alternatively, use a glass jug with a built in spigot to make pouring the kombucha out easier!
  • Tightly woven cloth (coffee filters, paper towels, napkins, cheese cloth)
  • Rubberbands

Making a SCOBY Instructions:

  1. Bring water to a boil in a clean pot. Remove from heat and dissolve sugar into it.
  2. Add the tea and allow to steep while water cools to room temperature (a few hours). Only when water is at room temperature is it ready to work with (test by drawing out some water with a paper straw, using your finger to keep the ‘buch in the straw).
  3. Pour the sweetened tea into your jar(s), then pour store-bought kombucha in (if you’re using two jars, pour ½ of the storebought kombucha into each), making sure to include any little gunkies that may be at the bottom. These are good!
  4. Cover with a few layers of the tightly woven cloth (keeps out bugs and debris) and secure with a rubber band.
  5. Set somewhere dark, still, and room temperature (70-75 degrees F, 21-24 C), like a cupboard, for 1 to 4 weeks, until a ¼ inch (½ cm) SCOBY has formed.
  6. Keep SCOBY in its original tea until you’re ready to brew your first batch. The SCOBY should live and grow for years if treated with love. The tea you used to make the SCOBY, however, is very vinegary and should be tossed. Don’t use this tea as the starter to your first fermentation!

Things to note when making your SCOBY:

  • No decaf. The SCOBY doesn’t like decaf tea and will not grow as well if fed it (SCOBY = my spirit animal)
  • Only black tea. Similarly, the SCOBY doesn’t grow as well with green or fruity teas. By all means, once your SCOBY is big and strong you can use green tea, but for now stick with black.
  • No honey. Honey can contain botulism bacteria that, when grown exponentially as bacteria and yeast tend to do in kombucha, can be dangerous. You can use honey in the second fermentation, once there are a higher number of good bacteria to fight off the bad, but for now, stick to sugar.
  • Don’t mess with it! You won’t see anything but a few bubbles in the first few days. But then one day a thin, translucent layer will form, eventually thickening into a full on SCOBY. If it floats sideways or sinks, leave it! It’s just doing it’s SCOBY thang.
  • It’s all in the proportions. As I mentioned, I made two SCOBYs with this recipe, and you could probably make more. As long as you keep the proportions in check (7 c water : 1 c starter : 4 bags tea : 1/2 c sugar), you’ll be fine. Also note that this is the same proportion we’ll use in the first fermentation, but on a larger scale to make more ‘buch!
  • Got leftovers? Never throw your SCOBY away! Share the kombucha love by gifting it to a friend, or make it into a delicious gummy candy!
How to make kombucha
How to make homemade kombucha recipe with kombucha and SCOBY in a large jar

2. Homemade kombucha: The first fermentation

So you’ve got a newbie SCOBY and you’re ready to get this komboo-choo train rollin’. This first fermentation is where you actually make the kombucha.

First Fermentation Ingredients:

  • 14 cups (3.5 quarts, 3.3 L) clean water
  • 1 cup (200 g) white sugar
  • 8 bags black or green tea (or 2 Tbsp loose leaf)
  • 2 cups (470 mL) unflavored kombucha (either from a previous batch or unpasteurized, unflavored store bought kombucha
  • 1 or 2 SCOBYs (depending on how many containers you’re using, 1 per container)
  • A large glass or ceramic container (two jars holding at least ½ gallon (1.9 L) each, or one jug holding at least 1 gallon (3.7 L)). Alternatively, use a glass jug with a built in spigot to make pouring the kombucha out easier!
  • Tightly woven cloth (coffee filters, paper towels, napkins, cheese cloth)
  • Rubberbands

First Fermentation Instructions:

  1. Bring water to a boil in a clean pot. Remove from heat and dissolve sugar into it.
  2. Add the tea and allow to steep while water cools to room temperature (a few hours). Again, MUST be room temperature. Don’t risk killing your SCOBY in hot water.
  3. With hands AS CLEAN AS A SURGEON’S (really clean), gently remove your SCOBY from the tea and place on an equally as clean plate. You can rinse out the jar if you want (without soap), but it’s not necessary.
  4. Pour the sweetened tea into your jar(s), then pour in unflavored starter kombucha (if you’re using two jars, pour ½ of the starter kombucha into each).
  5. Gently place SCOBY into jar then cover with a few layers of the tightly woven cloth and secure with a rubber band.
  6. Set the jar(s) somewhere dark, still, and room temperature (70-75 degrees F, 21-24 C) for anywhere from 6 to 10 days. Begin tasting the tea at about 6 days by gently drawing out some of the tea with a paper straw (using your finger to hold the tea in the straw, don’t use your mouth). It should be mildly sweet and slightly vinegary.  The warmer the air temperature, the faster the kombucha will ferment. The longer the tea ferments, the more sugar molecules will be eaten up, the less sweet it will be.
  7. Reserve 2 cups from this batch to use as starter kombucha for your next batch (just leave it in the jar with SCOBY(s)). The rest can move into the second and final fermentation.

Things to note about the first fermentation:

  • In this step, unlike in the making of the SCOBY, you can use other teas besides black. Feel free to experiment with green, white, oolong, or combinations of them. Fruit teas should be mixed with a few black tea bags to ensure the SCOBY mama gets what she needs to thrive.
  • Once the SCOBY gets to be about an inch (2.5 cm) thick, peel off a few layers to create a second SCOBY (you can share the love and gift this to a friend!)
How to make homemade kombucha recipe with kombucha and SCOBY in a large jar

3. Homemade kombucha: The second fermentation

The final step and negotiably the best part of the process! The second fermentation is where the real magic happens. It’s where you can play around with sweet, fruity flavors that will not only make your homemade kombucha taste better than store-bought, but will give those good bacteria the power to kick it into high carbonation gear, bringing everything together into effervescent bliss. Let’s finish this.

Second Fermentation Ingredients:

  • Homemade kombucha from the first fermentation
  • Sweetener (fruit, honey, or sugar). Here are a few ideas per 1 cup kombucha:  
    • 1 to 2 Tbsp mashed fruit or fruit juice
    • A slice of orange
    • 1 to 2 tsp honey
    • a piece of peppermint candy
    • a piece of candied ginger
    • *to add chia seeds, see below under “things to note”
  • A few flip top fermentation bottles (bottles meant for fermentation have an airtight seal, which will prevent carbonation from escaping. If you don’t have these, canning jars will do an alright job, though they aren’t truly airtight.)

Second Fermentation Instructions:

  1. Strain kombucha and funnel into bottles, leaving about 1 1/2 inches at the top (3.8 cm).
  2. Add your chosen sweetener and seal tightly with lid.
  3. Let ferment somewhere dark and room temperature for 3 to 10 days.
  4. If desired, strain out fruit before serving. Place in fridge to slow the carbonation process.

Things to note about the second fermentation:

  • Your jars can explode if the pressure becomes too high! For your first few batches while you’re still getting the hang of how kombucha reacts to your environment, bottle a portion of it in a plastic bottle. This will act as a gauge for how the others are doing. When the plastic bottle is rock solid, the rest are probably done. “Burp” them by opening each to release some pressure, then place them in the refrigerator to slow fermentation.
  • Carefully open bottles over the sink with a towel in hand.
  • The more sugar/fruit you add, the faster the kombucha will ferment and become carbonated.
  • Chia seeds are my favorite addition to kombucha. Rather than adding these to the ‘buch when we add the sweetener, we’ll stir these in at the very end after the kombucha has been carbonated. Use 1 Tbsp of chia seeds per 1 cup of kombucha. Stir in the seeds and allow them to do their absorbing thang for a few hours, stirring every once in a while to keep them from clumping.
How to make homemade kombucha recipe flavored with kombucha flip top bottle and mason jars

Favorite Kombucha Flavors

I’m always experimenting with new flavors of kombucha. I’m always adding new kombucha flavors to this list, but here are a few of my favorites:

Mango Kombucha
Blueberry Kombucha

Ginger Pepper Kombucha
Pineapple Basil Kombucha
Strawberry Kombucha (perfect for a Kombucha Ice Cream Float)
Peach Pie Kombucha
Mojito Kombucha
Lemon Ginger Kombucha (great in a Kombucha Radler)
Apple Cinnamon Kombucha
Pumpkin Spice Kombucha

How to make homemade kombucha recipe flavored with kombucha flip top bottle

Supplies Needed for Making Kombucha

Below is a list of the supplies needed to make kombucha. The links are affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you make a purchase (I’ve only included products I know and trust).

  • Black tea: Plain black tea lays the base for your kombucha.
  • Store bought starter tea: You’ll need a starter tea to get things going (but can use your home brewed kombucha to start the following batches).
  • Large glass or ceramic container: Aim for one that’s at least 1 gallon, but two 1/2 gallon jars will also work! I’ve also been using a large jar with a plastic spigot recently, and it makes pouring the kombucha so much easier.
  • Cheese cloth: Allows your kombucha to breathe while keeping dust and critters out.
  • Flip top fermentation bottles: These bottles have a tight seal specifically designed to keep the carbonation in (hellooo fizz!)
  • Starter kit: Want kombucha sooner than later? This bundle includes most of the equipment you need plus it comes with a ready-made SCOBY.
Hot to make kombucha

The Simple Guide to Kickass Kombucha

These instructions outline how to make homemade kombucha. For more in-depth instructions and tips, see the article above this recipe card.
Print Pin Rate
Course: Beverages (Non-Alcoholic)
Cuisine: American
Keyword: homemade kombucha, how to make a scoby, how to make kombucha, kombucha
Diet: Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Raw, Vegan, Vegetarian
Time: 60 minutes or more
Servings: 16 cups
Calories: 50kcal
Author: Sarah Bond
4.87 from 123 votes

INGREDIENTS

Making a SCOBY
First Fermentation
  • 14 cups clean water 3.5 quarts, 3.3 L
  • 1 cup white sugar 200 g
  • 8 bags black or green tea or 2 Tbsp loose leaf
  • 2 cups unflavored kombucha (from previous batch or store-bought kombucha) 470 mL
  • 1 or 2 SCOBYs 1 per container
Second Fermentation
  • Homemade kombucha from the first fermentation
  • Sweetener

INSTRUCTIONS

Making a SCOBY

  • Make Tea: Bring water to a boil in a clean pot. Remove from heat and dissolve sugar into it. Add the tea and allow to steep while water cools to room temperature. Only when water is at room temperature (test by drawing out some water with a straw), is it ready to work with!
  • Add Starter: Pour the sweetened tea into your jar(s), then pour store-bought kombucha in (if you’re using two jars, pour ½ of the store bought kombucha into each).
  • Ferment: Cover with a few layers of the tightly woven cloth and secure with a rubber band. Set somewhere dark and room temperature (70-75 degrees F, 21-24 C) for 1 to 4 weeks, until a ¼ inch (½ cm) SCOBY has formed.

First Fermentation

  • Make Tea: Bring water to a boil in a clean pot. Remove from heat and dissolve sugar into it. Add the tea and allow to steep while water cools to room temperature. 
  • Add Starter: With really clean hands, gently remove your SCOBY from the tea and place on a clean plate. Rinse out jar(s). Pour the sweetened tea into your jar(s), then pour in starter kombucha.
  • Ferment: Gently place SCOBY into jar then cover with a few layers of the tightly woven cloth and secure with a rubber band. Set the jar(s) somewhere dark and room temperature (70-75 degrees F, 21-24 C) for anywhere from 6 to 10 days. Begin tasting the tea at about 6 days by gently drawing out some of the tea with a straw.  The longer the tea ferments, the more sugar molecules will be eaten up, the less sweet it will be.
  • And Repeat: Reserve 2 cups from this batch to use as starter kombucha for your next batch (just leave it in the jar with the SCOBY(s)). The rest can move into the second fermentation.

Second Fermentation

  • Flavor: Strain kombucha and funnel into bottles, leaving about 1 1/2 inches at the top (3.8 cm). Add your chosen sweetener and seal tightly with lid.
  • Ferment: Let ferment somewhere dark and room temperature for 3 to 10 days.
  • Serve: If desired, strain out fruit before serving. Place in fridge to slow the carbonation process.

NUTRITION

Serving: 1cup (depends on fermentation length) | Calories: 50kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Sodium: 13mg | Sugar: 12g
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Homemade Kombucha FAQs

Can you get drunk off of kombucha? Most kombucha contains less than 0.5% ABV (for reference, beer has about 5% ABV), so it is not likely that you will get drunk from kombucha.

What are the side effects of kombucha? The high amount of probiotics in kombucha mean that drinking too much can lead to GI discomfort (bloating and in some cases diarrhea). Kombucha also contains caffeine and sugar, which may also effect you.

What are the health benefits of kombucha? Kombucha contains probiotics, which contribute to a healthy gut microbiome (and in turn, help regulate weight and obesity). It also contains antioxidants and polyphenols.

Can you put kombucha in the refrigerator? When you put kombucha in the refrigerator, fermentation slows down dramatically. You can therefore store it in the fridge if you need to take a break from fermenting, or to chill it prior to serving.

Can you use no-calorie sugars (like Stevia, Splenda etc.)? This is one of few recipes where you really cannot use sugar substitutes. BUT you won’t actually be consuming that whole 1 cup of sugar. The sugar is food for the bacteria and yeast. They’ll basically eat it all up and produce wonderful things like acidity and carbonation, and the finished kombucha will be much lower in sugar as a result.

My SCOBY sank to the bottom! Is it okay? Yes! Your kombucha SCOBY may sink or float around the container. This is totally normal and nothing to worry about. It will likely float back to the top eventually, or a second SCOBY may form on top (which is also okay).

How to make easy homemade kombucha, the fizzy fermented tea, with just 4 ingredients! All you need is black tea, sugar, water, and starter tea.

Homemade Kombucha: Bringing it all together

I drew this way professional depiction of the whole process for the visual learners. If you have any questions or hesitations about brewing homemade kombucha, don’t hesitate to comment below and I’ll help ya out! Happy brewing!

How to make homemade kombucha recipe diagram

Print the Homemade Kombucha Guide

By popular demand, I’ve created a printable PDF with all the instructions from this post. Enter your email below and it will be sent to you!

Hi, I’m Sarah!

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  1. Molly says:

    First off, thank you Sarah for all the great instructions. 🙂 My SCOBY grew pretty well (I thought) in 8 days. I prepped my sweet tea and when I pulled the SCOBY out, it was thinner than I thought and still had a few holes in it. My container wasn’t quite large enough so I had to split the tea into two jars (a big and little one) so I carved off about 1/4 to put in the smaller jar and left the bulk of it for the big one. Sooo…. I’m thinking this will all be okay, but maybe take longer to ferment. Do you think that may be true or did I just screw it up? Or perhaps I should learn my lesson and just let the things really grow?
    Thanks again!

    1. Sarah says:

      This should be fine! Now you’ll just have two SCOBYs – just let them grow to be a little thicker and you’ll be good to go!

  2. Heather Smith says:

    Im so frustrated, discovered today that me beautiful scobi has fruit flies 😪😪😪 i guess i have to start over

    1. Sarah says:

      Ah, so sorry to hear it, Heather! Be sure to check out this article on ways I like to prevent flies.

  3. Soleil says:

    I have a stupid question, and everybody is more than welcome to laugh at me, because I sure am! I had someone kindly gift me a scoby yesterday and I put it in the fridge!! 🤦‍♀️ I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m rushing home now to take it out (I’m at the store buying starter tea) is my scoby ok or did I ruin my kombucha before even starting??

    1. Sarah says:

      No stupid questions here! It should be fine with such a short time in the fridge, just use it as normal 😀

  4. Erica says:

    Everything in one place! Ilove to print this to share with a friend who is new to homebrewing kombucha when I gift them with a baby scoby.5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      So happy to hear it, Erica! Love that you’re sharing the joy of kombucha with your friends 😀

  5. Taylor says:

    Hi! I really excited to try this out but I have a few questions first.
    1. Any black tea? English breakfast, earl grey? Or does it have to be just “black tea”?
    2. Once you have the scoby, after 2nd fermentation, and you can save the scoby and starter tea for another batch, where do you store it until then? In the fridge?
    3. For making the scoby, can I just use a 2L jar? Does there need to be room in the jar for any reason?

    I think that’s all the questions I can think about now. Thanks!

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Taylor!
      1. Plain black tea is best (Earl Grey is a no no, it has added oils). More on best teas here.

      2. Best to just start a new batch right away (or within a few days). Here’s how to take longer breaks.

      3. You can use a 2L jar, no need for a bigger one 🙂

  6. Debbie says:

    Hi Sarah, thanks for these great instructions, my scoby has been growing for 5 weeks now but does not appear to be getting thicker! Should I feed him more sugar?

    1. Sarah says:

      Yes you could try adding a bit more sugar, though it may also need a bit more starter kombucha. It sounds like there probably wasn’t enough of the. bacteria and yeast in your starter to really get it going.

  7. Natalie says:

    I have a pretty dumb question! Do I have to put the finished kombucha into individual bottles, or can I just leave it in my gallon jar and serve/store it from there? I wasn’t sure if the fermentation process would be effected if I just left it in a bigger container rather than smaller ones. Trying to make my shopping list and deciding if I should pick up some bottles!

    1. Sarah says:

      You’ll need to transfer it to a separate jar from the SCOBY, ideally one that you can seal shut to form carbonation. The smaller bottles are ideal for carbonating (when you open it, it loses some carbonation – so if all your kombucha is in one jug it all loses some carbonation upon opening).

  8. Vicki Richards says:

    Hi Sarah, I’ve just bought a 8 litre dispenser jar, question is for my first ferment, do I just double the ingredients from making the 4 litre eg : 14 cups of water to 28 cups double the tea and sugar. Thanks in advance Vicki

    1. Sarah says:

      Yep exactly! Double everything, except for the SCOBY – 1 SCOBY will be enough. 😀

  9. Dillon Hill says:

    Great guide! I’m making this for my girlfriends birthday and I have a bit of a newbie question…

    My SCOBY split into two. There’s the big original one and then a thinner baby SCOBY.

    I was thinking about adding the baby to a new gallon container with 2 cups of starter, then keeping the original SCOBY in 2 cups starter in the original gallon container. I want to be running two F1s at a time.

    I know I will be able to start a new F1 immediately with the original SCOBY, but would that be the case with the baby in a new jar? Or should I leave it in the starter to grow bigger first?5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      As long as the baby is about 1/4 inch thick, you can use it (along with 2 cups of starter) to start another batch! 😀

  10. Tim Landon says:

    Coffee filters work well to cover jars too

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks for the tip, Tim! 😀

  11. Sydney says:

    Thank you so much for making this guide! I am currently doing the first fermentation and I’ve noticed what looks like a new “SCOBY” forming at the top of my mixture (the real SCOBY has sunk to the bottom). Once I’m done with the first fermentation, do I keep/save this new “SCOBY” or do I only move forward using the original SCOBY?

    1. Sarah says:

      You can use both SCOBYs (either in the same jar, or start two batches).

  12. EM says:

    I noticed up above it said Stevia or other substitutes cannot be used. Will it work fine if used or is it really not possible with anything other than normal sugar?

    1. Sarah says:

      You will need to use sugar to make the kombucha and SCOBY. But note that you aren’t actually consuming this sugar – the bacteria and yeast are! You can read all about it here.

      And while you do need real sugar for the first fermentation, you can use sugar alternatives to sweeten the drink before you consume it.

  13. Adrian says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Back again. It’s been two weeks since I began the brew to make a scoby. I got a couple bubbles after the first week, but all I have got now is sediment at the bottom. I read somewhere that if I am seeing a lot of sediment at the bottom it actually means that the culture is active but that I just do not have a pellicle, and that I can actually take the top of what I have now to start the first fermentation. Is this right? Or should I just be a little more patient or even start over?5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Adrian! So do you have anything growing on top? It may be a very thin layer now after just 2 weeks, but it should grow to be thicker soon.

  14. Kari says:

    Love the detailed info. TY

    How do I know if my SCOBY is ok or if there is bad growth? It’s very patchy & strange looking. I’am afraid its gone bad. Just started trying to grow my own about a week ago.

    1. Sarah says:

      Feel free to check out our article on what mold looks like here, or we have a Facebook group where you can post a photo to get other brewers’ input.

  15. Steph says:

    Hi Sarah,

    I have a question – I’m growing my scoby right now and I’m thinking it’ll be ready for the first fermentation in a few days. But I am leaving to go out of town next week (for about 10 days), so I won’t be at home in the time frame suggested to start the second fermentation. What should I do?

    Should I double the sugar for the first fermentation (making the actual kombucha)?

    Thanks!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      I would drain off a little of the kombucha that has been made, then replace it with fresh sweet tea. This will “feed” the kombucha until you get home. More on taking a break from brewing here!

  16. Trish says:

    Hi, weird question. After 2nd fermentation I put my bucha into bottles and put them into the fridge to get cold before we drink them. Here is what is weird, each bottle seems to grow (or something) a glob. we need to strain it to get the glob out before we drink it. Would love to not have a glob that people need to fish out before they drink. It’s kinda icky looking, the bucha tastes great just has a glob blob.

    1. Sarah says:

      This is a totally normal byproduct of fermentation (basically just the start of a new SCOBY). You can just strain them out before serving! 😀

  17. Andrew Beveridge says:

    Hi I’m refilling my container for the first fermentation. Can I double the ingredients to make twice the amount? For example 28 cups of water and 2 cups of sugar?5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Yep, sure can! Be sure to double the starter kombucha too 😀

  18. Mollie says:

    I’ve made several batches of this booch so far and it’s been amazing! I do have a question though, I’m going on a trip and will not be making a new batch for a week or so, how should I leave my scoby? Should I make a batch of the 7:1/2 water and sugar and leave it in that until I brew again?5 stars

  19. Sam says:

    Well KICKASS worked for me – meaning this was the place to stop and learn!!
    I have just finished making my first scoby and it came out excellent! I wanted to peep so many times however I left it and let it do it’s thing and only checked once.
    Today I have moved the scoby into the FIRST fermentation process with the scoby made and with 2 cups of the kumbuca liquid from the scoby making. This is where my question comes in: what do you do with the remainder of the liquid from the scoby making batch? As mentioned I took out 2 cups for the FIRST fermentation. Is it simply to throw away?
    The drawing you had looked so complicated however now that I am in the stages of making it – it makes sense!! lol Thank you 🙂 Stay safe everyone <3

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Sam! That’s correct, you can throw away the remaining SCOBY liquid (or if you really don’t want to waste, bottle it and keep it in the fridge as a strong starter kombucha in case you ever need some).

  20. Kruti Gajjar says:

    Hey ! Can scoby be formed during second fermentation cycle ? Is it normal ?

    1. Sarah says:

      Yep that’s totally normal! SCOBYs are natural byproducts of the fermentation so they will naturally occur.

  21. Sam says:

    RE: Hi Sam! That’s correct, you can throw away the remaining SCOBY liquid (or if you really don’t want to waste, bottle it and keep it in the fridge as a strong starter kombucha in case you ever need some).

    Good morning,
    Thank you very much and that’s great to know. I’m not sure if that question comes up often however maybe add it to the already awesome instructions you have kindly written out. I will put it in the fridge today and pass on to a friend and and start a SCOBY for her. I’m starting to see this process is much like sourdough starter – lots of learning in the beginning but it just get’s better with time 🙂 Thanks again and I’m excited about the process. Take care & stay safe!

  22. Trev says:

    Great recipe. Really simple and well explained.
    Will there be any bad outcomes if I use more than 2 Scoby?

    1. Sarah says:

      Nope that should be fine, the fermentation will likely just go more quickly 😀

  23. Audrey says:

    Hi! Love this guide! A few months ago I made my first SCOBY with a different recipe than yours and everything was great but my first taste of second ferment was SOUR. After reading your recipe, I’m seeing that I shouldn’t have used the tea from my SCOBY growing. Makes sense. Any way, I made a second batch of first ferment right away and kind of just left it. That was at the end of May. I was going to attempt another batch of kombucha but I’m nervous. I have 2 scobys that both look healthy. Do you think it’s ok to start over with some store bought starter kombucha and a new batch of tea with these scobys? Hope this all makes sense 🙈5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Those SCOBYs should be fine to use! They live for years, so a few months of being dormant shouldn’t have mattered too much 😀

  24. Scott says:

    Hi! I am on week two of growing my SCOBY with good progress (about 1/8″). I am going to let it grow a bit longer. When I start my first official batch, can I use the tea from my SCOBY growing as starter tea or should I use a bottle of unflavored/unfiltered for my first official fermentation? I have seen using SCOBY growth tea as a suggestion in other places, but I followed your steps so I wanted to ask the source!5 stars

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Scott! You actually can use the liquid from growing the SCOBY (I used to recommend against it, but have since learned that that’s not the case, so you may see that old recommendation in places on the site still).

  25. Nancy says:

    Can I bottle them in clean beer bottles with a cap crimper? I won’t be able to burp them but they will be sealed. Will that be ok?

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Nancy! I don’t have experience with this so I can’t say for sure. Sorry about that!

  26. Laura says:

    Thanks for this awesome site – so much good info. I’ve just finished my (first) first ferment using a scoby gifted by a friend. It seems to have gone well except a huge dark growth about the size of my fist has grown underneath it. After researching I’m pretty sure this is a yeast growth(?). I’m going away for a week next weekend so was planning to store my scoby in a hotel for the next few days and start a second first ferment right before i leave so it can brew while I’m away … but should i store the yeast growth in my scoby hotel or dispose of it? Cheers

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi Laura! Just leave the yeast growth in with the SCOBY – it helps fuel the fermentation 😀

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