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Tea With Fizz – Kombucha!

July 8, 2012

My new favourite sparkle

I am proud to say my Kombucha making efforts have produced something really worth bottling! My brew is just as good, if not better, than the store-bought product with just as much zing and just as much, if not more flavour. I am so chuffed!

Making Kombucha is not nearly as mysterious or difficult as it seems. This probiotic drink is fermented from tea, black or green with the addition of sugar to “feed” the SCOBY. The scoby (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria & Yeast) is a live gelatinous collection that can be bought fresh or dried or grown from scratch.

I bought my fresh scoby online and each batch of Kombucha produces a new scoby, so if you would like me to send you one (within Australia), I usually have some spare.

A few things that I have learnt from my experience include:

  • Green tea is quicker to ferment than black
  • All utensils must be very clean
  • Glass jars work best, plastic is not good.
  • Raw sugar works better than honey or malt or other sweeteners
  • Dont rush it, be patient and you will be very impressed with the results

I have been experimenting with the flavour by using different teas. My husband thinks that green tea produces a Kombucha with a “peppery” finish, but I can’t detect it. I have tried rooibos and sencha but prefer the taste of green the best. When bottling, I sometimes add a few slices of ginger to give a spicy twist.

The length of fermentation depends on the weather and/or indoor temperature. It is Winter here in Queensland and the ambient temperature is about 8°C – 22°C. My brew ferments in about 8 days but I expect that it will take less time in Summer. After bottling, you will need to leave the brew at room temperature to encourage carbonation. I let it sit for another week before refrigerating.

I use some swing top bottles that I purchased from a brewing shop – I did try to use the ones from a “reject” shop but the seals were inferior and I didn’t get good carbonation. A friend has just lent me his bottle capper so I am presently scavenging bottles from the back of the pub and I look forward to producing Kombucha stubbies!!

You will need:

400g boiled water
120g sugar
6 teas loose green or black tea (or 6 teabags)
1600g water, boiled & cooled
1 scoby
200g Kombucha tea (to inoculate)
 
Make up the tea with the sugar and 400g water and let cool to room temperature. Add the remainder of the water and Kombucha and pour into a glass jar(s) with some muslin secured on the top as the brew has to breathe. Set aside in a dark warm place, undisturbed for 5 days.
After 5 days, the scoby will have grown a layer on the top and produced some stringy dangly bits. Don’t be alarmed at its appearance. The stringy bits are the waste product of the yeast as it consumes the sugar. Over time the sugar will be consumed and the tea will go from being sweet to acidic.
Taste the brew by using a straw to lift out some tea and check for sweetness. If it is too sweet, leave for another day and check each day until you reach your desired flavour.
Bottle your tea and set aside to carbonate for a week or so.

Day 1

You will come to respect your scoby for the magnificent thing that it is. How it can transform something seemingly ordinary to a tasty probiotic drink full of goodness! Each batch produces a new scoby and these can be stored in the fridge in a jar, covered with kombucha. The only thing that may spoil your scoby is mould. Check it for any BLACK spots regularly and discard immediately if you find some. Mould is usually only present if your utensils are not properly cleaned. The acidic environment of the kombucha is not conducive to growing mould so this is not a common occurence, thankfully…

Have fun, and let me know if you would like a scoby!!

 
 
27 Comments leave one →
  1. Fran Stevenson permalink
    March 23, 2017 12:25 pm

    I am interested in making a batch of Kombucha myself – I would love it if I could get a Scoby from you.

    Regards Fran 😊

    • March 30, 2017 7:39 am

      Hi Fran
      Unfortunately I don’t have any scobies at the moment but if you try a local facebook group, they’re sure to put you in the right direction.

  2. Rochelle Connelly permalink
    March 8, 2015 10:35 pm

    Hi Sarah – I live in Perth and would also love a scoby. My email address is rochelle@delron.com.au if you could possible assist? xx

  3. may permalink
    March 5, 2015 11:51 am

    Hi Sarah, if you don’t mind, I am from Springvale , Victoria 3172. Do you mind sending me the scoby ? Many thanks

    • March 5, 2015 3:43 pm

      Hi may

      I will need to wait until the weather is a bit cooler. It is extremely hot here in Brisbane. Please send me your email and I will msg you the details.

  4. Anonymous permalink
    February 18, 2015 9:14 pm

    Hi Sarah, I am also keen to start making komboucha. I live in Brisbane and wondered if I can get a Scoby from you? I’ve enjoyed reading your page. Thanks Liz

    • February 19, 2015 9:21 pm

      Hi Liz, if you send me a msg, I can organise one for you!

  5. Bronwyn Finerty permalink
    February 9, 2015 3:46 pm

    Hi Sarah I got a scoby from you on Saturday and just wondering if you can make it without adding additional kombucha but just using the sweet tea?

    • February 9, 2015 4:30 pm

      Yes you can but it will be much slower to ferment. Add another 10 days or so in this weather.

      • Bronwyn Finerty permalink
        February 10, 2015 8:17 am

        Thanks

  6. Rae permalink
    February 1, 2015 7:33 am

    I received the scoby you posted Sarah. Wish me good luck as I venture for the first time into the exciting world of brewing kombucha tea. Thank you so much for sharing your scoby I am very appreciative.

  7. Rae permalink
    January 21, 2015 11:22 am

    Hi Sarah. I am on the southern gold coast and would love to get a scoby from you if you think it would survive the trip down. I have been thinking about making kombucha for so long but I was a bit overwhelmed by what to do. Thank you for such clear instructions. I now feel it is something I could handle.

    • January 22, 2015 4:22 pm

      Hi Rae,

      It should be fine if the weather stays cooler. Message me your address and I’ll send the details.

      • January 23, 2015 8:59 pm

        Rae, please email me your your email address so I can contact you.

  8. January 17, 2015 8:58 pm

    Hi! I’m wondering if you have any Scoby and/or water kefir grains available? I’m keen on having a go at making Kombucha, kraut and water kefir. Also, what is and where can I get Kombucha tea?

    • January 17, 2015 10:33 pm

      Hi sue Ann, where do you live? I have spare scobies but no kefir grains. It is so hot here in Brisbane that I don’t think the scoby would survive the postage. If you live in Brisbane perhaps you could collect one from me. You will need a starter bottle of kombucha that you can get from a health food shop.

  9. Kelly permalink
    January 3, 2015 7:14 pm

    I’m thinking of trying your recipe where do I get snobby from I’m from nsw 2257

    • January 3, 2015 10:00 pm

      Hi Kelly, I can post you one when I get back from holiday, but it won’t be until the end of January. Otherwise you could try and ask at farmers markets or on eBay.

  10. December 17, 2014 9:46 am

    Hi, I was just checking with you, I ordered a scoby on line and it had black spots on it. It’s that normal?

    • December 17, 2014 12:28 pm

      It’s not normal but not unusual. Tiny pin spots can be yeast sediment. The test is to make a brew and see if the spots get bigger or disappear.

  11. Angela Neely permalink
    December 14, 2014 4:37 pm

    I would love to make my own kombucha, how can I get a scoby to start with?

    • December 14, 2014 5:12 pm

      Where do u live Angela? I may be able to send you one.

      • Anonymous permalink
        January 23, 2015 10:51 am

        Sorry Sarah, I only just found your reply. I’d really appreciate some Scoby so I can brew my own Kombucha. I live in Victoria, maybe I should email you my address.

      • Angela Neely permalink
        January 23, 2015 10:54 am

        Hi Sarah, I’m sorry for my late reply, I’ve only just discovered yours. I’d really appreciate a scoby, I live in Victoria. I’ll supply my email address and will pass on my postal to you when I hear from you via emal. Many thanks, Angela.

      • Angela Neely permalink
        January 24, 2015 7:24 am

        My address is 62 Kathryn Crescent, Yarrawonga, Victoria, 3730

      • January 28, 2015 1:50 pm

        Hi Angela, I’m not sure it would survive the trip to country Victoria in this heat. If you want to take a chance, please pay $7 via paypal from my site and I will post for you.

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