How to Make Kombucha and Water Kefir

My kitchen has turned into Fermentation Station. Once week, you will find Poolish, Water Kefir, AND Kombucha going at various places in my kitchen. I keep each one several feet away from the other so no cross-fermentation goes on.

If you are looking to improve your and your family’s health big time, start fermenting one of these wonderful beverages! Click HERE to see a brief description of Water Kefir vs. Kombucha.

just to name  few!
just to name few!

Soon I will be making Milk Kefir which is more potent than water kefir as far as getting loaded with Vitamin B and killing bad candida in our bodies. I’m sure you will be seeing a blog post devoted to Milk Kefir in the near future. Right now I am having fun fermenting kombucha and water kefir and watching my kids drink up their homemade brew.

Kombucha

Today, let’s talk BUCH (pronounced booch). For starters, let me say I wish I had known about this delightfully fizzy healing tonic YEARS AGO!

Gather your supplies. You will need:

  1. 1 gallon glass jar – my Wal-Mart has gallon jars for $6.
  2. Generic black tea bags. I used the Aldi equivalent of Lipton tea bags.
  3. A Scoby which is the live culture. I bought mine on Amazon HERE and have found the sellers very helpful.
  4. 1 Cup of Sugar. I’ve been using plain white non-organic sugar, but you can use organic sugar or organic cane sugar. I normally do not eat sugar, but this is safe! The culture eats the sugar. You can get it as tangy as you like.
  5. 1 store bought 16oz bottle of Kombucha made with black tea. I used GT’s Enlightened Organic black tea Kombucha.
  6. Flavors such as fruit juices. Or you can drink it straight up after the first fermentation. Again, do not worry about the sugar. It gets eaten up, leaving you with a cold fizzy, slightly sweet beverage.
  7. Lots and lots of smaller jars. Start saving jars!!!!! Wash them in the dish washer to sanitize.
  8. Water free of fluoride and chlorine. I’m lucky I can use my tap water as we are on a well. It is lovely water full of minerals.
  9. Coffee filters and rubber bands

The total cost for everything I got was around $20. And so far I’m on my fourth gallon! TASTE the savings! If you buy Kombucha, you will spend close to $3 for every16oz of Kombucha. If you buy those though, save the jars!!

Kombucha DIY in Eight Easy Steps.

STEP ONE: Boil water for a large pot of tea. Do NOT try to brew your tea in the big glass jar. I was an idiot and tried it and my jar cracked the instant the boiling water hit the base. DUH. Use at least 3 tea bags in your pot of tea. You may need to make two pots. You can always dilute the teat later.

STEP TWO: Pour one cup of sugar in the tea while it is still warm. Stir to dissolve.

STEP THREE: When the tea in the pot/s is cooled down, pour it into your ultra clean gallon glass jar. Dilute it with cool water until it looks like sun tea, leaving enough room at the top for ONE CUP of premade Kombucha and your Scoby.

STEP FOUR: When your sweet tea feels room temperature (feel it with the tip of your clean finger), pour in 8oz of Kombucha Tea and your Scoby with the juice it arrived in. **Please have your supplies assembled BEFORE your Scoby arrives in the mail. You will want to get it soaking up the sugar in your home brew as soon as possible!

STEP FIVE: Cover the jar with a coffee filter and seal with a rubber band. This lets air escape but keeps out bugs and dirt. FERMENT for up to 7 days. I found 7 days to be just right, but did one batch for 5 and it still came out great. The longer it rests, the more tart it becomes. But rest easy and know that this is very low on the Glycemic Index, very safe if your body does not like sugar.

My very first batches of Kombucha and Water Kefir
My very first batches of Kombucha and Water Kefir

STEP SIX: Gather smaller jars or two half gallon jars that have been sanitized, and their lids. Fill each jar about 1/5th with flavoring. My kids love White Grape Juice because they pretend they are drinking their own sparkling wine. I have also used Knudsen’s Cranberry Raspberry and their Hibiscus juice.

STEP SEVEN: Gently scoop out your Scoby with a large spoon and place it in a glass bowl with 1 Cup of the Kombucha tea. Then pour the rest of your Buch into the smaller jars.

STEP EIGHT: Tightly cap the flavored Kombucha and let them ferment at room temp for another 5-7 days. Now the drink is getting nice and fizzy and oh so lovely! After 5-7 days, place the jars in the fridge. They are ready to enjoy. Drink 4-8oz a day for the maximum benefits.

I like to label my jars with little sticky notes. I write the flavor and the day I poured it into the smaller jar.
I like to label my jars with little sticky notes. I write the flavor and the day I poured it into the smaller jar.

BEGIN again! Start at STEP ONE to begin a new batch. The only difference is instead of using store bought Buch, you now use your Scoby and the Kombucha from the previous batch.

Warnings:

  • Scoby is a scary looking dude. I would advise making your buch when your husband and children are sleeping or away! My husband has seen it and now chokes it down as if it is Witch’s Brew! All the while, my kids beg for more “BUCHA!”
  • In the rare event your Scoby molds, THROW it out and get a new one.
  • Brown slimy strings are normal. It’s all good, do not freak out. You can rinse your Scoby now and then. You can also throw those brown strings out between batches.
  • Write if you have brewing questions. A few weeks ago, I was in your shoes!
Gross, right? It's all raw probiotic goodness, I promise!
Gross, right? It’s all raw probiotic goodness, I promise!

 

The end result is a fizzy golden colored drink, best served chilled! My oldest daughter likes to have hers in a wine glass and pretends she is drinking Champagne. My son says “cheers” or “BUCHA!” and drinks it up in a hurry, then asks for more. I’d drink a quart a day because it is such a treat after drinking mostly water day in and day out, but 4-8oz a day is plenty. BOTTOMS UP!