How to Make Kombucha Recipe

Portland 'Buch

5-Step Kombucha Recipe

Makes about 2 ½ quarts

This recipe combines the brewing techniques of Nourishing Traditions
by Sally Fallon-Morell and Kombucha Phenomenon  by Betsy Pryor. These methods ensure the most health-promoting properties in the finished drink. If you drink kombucha as part of the treatment of a health condition you should always brew according to a recipe that relies upon these techniques.

The space where you brew kombucha can be kept as cool as 65 degrees F, or as warm as 75 degrees F. To hasten the fermentation in cooler conditions add up to 2 cups of finished kombucha to the brew. Above 75 degrees F the fermentation accelerates, and the tea can easily become too tart, tasting of vinegar within only a few short days. Always remember to use non-reactive kitchen utensils washed with non-toxic dish soap (rather than detergent).

3 quarts clean water (well, spring, or filtered)

1 cup evaporated cane sugar

4 tea bags organic, black tea or 2 tablespoons loose-leaf, organic, black tea in a large muslin tea bag or other tea strainer

½ cup finished kombucha or ¼ cup apple cider vinegar

1 kombucha mushroom (s.c.o.b.y.)

Step 1: Brew Sweetened Tea

Bring one quart of the water to a boil. Remove from the heat. Pour the water into a one-gallon heat safe glass bowl or wide-mouth jar. Add the sugar and the tea. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.  Cover and steep the tea for as little as 15 minutes, or until cool. Remove the tea bag. Add the remaining 2 quarts of water.

Step 2: Acidify and Culture the Tea

Add ½ cup kombucha from a previous batch or ¼ cup apple cider vinegar (this acidifies the tea and prevents contamination from other microorganisms). Place the mushroom, dark-side down, in the liquid.

Step 3: A Cover, a Label, and a Place

If you are using a bowl, cross several strips of masking tape over the top (to keep the cover from falling into the liquid). Cover with a tightly-woven cloth or paper towel. Secure the cover tightly with a string or rubber band. Fasten a label to the jar with the date it was made. Store in a warm (about 70 degrees F), well-ventilated place, away from fruit bowls, compost bins, and houseplants, and out of direct sunlight.

Step 4: Fermentation Time

Depending upon the room temperature, the kombucha will be ready after 6-12 days. Kombucha is ready to drink when the liquid looks relatively translucent and a ‘baby’ kombucha mushroom has formed above the mother. Most people prefer kombucha slightly sweet to pleasingly tart. After about one week taste it daily. When the flavor suits your taste, bottle the tea.

Step 5: Bottle and Chill

To bottle kombucha, remove the mother and the baby mushroom from the brew. Use a non-reactive funnel and glass jars or bottles with tightly fitting lids (or flip-top bottles). Fill the jars to the top, leaving only ¼-inch of headspace. Place a sheet of wax paper underneath the lid. (The paper prevents the acidic kombucha from corroding the lid.) Store in the refrigerator.

To restore effervescence to chilled kombucha, remove from the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Strain the tea just before serving. Keep one or both of the s.c.o.b.y.s to make additional batches of kombucha. Extra s.c.o.b.y.s can be composted along with other kitchen waste.

This was shared at the Probiotic Food ChallengeDetox Challenge, Fat Tuesday, and Slightly Indulgent Tuesday.

About Dori

I develop recipes, blog, teach, and consult about gluten-free recipes, fermentation techniques, and nutrient-dense foods. Visit (Some posts contain affiliate links which help to pay for this site.)
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18 Responses to How to Make Kombucha Recipe

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  5. roberta says:

    this is the best kombucha website i’ve found. In my previous post i asked what you do with the mother after you’ve removed it. Well the answer is “duh” make another batch! thanks again

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  9. Karen says:

    I’m new at brewing Kombucha and I been having good success so far. But I’ve noticed in a brew I have going right now that from a string that’s hanging from the Scoby a big cloudy blob has formed at the bottom of the jar. About the size of a small apple,that’s the best way I can describe it. I know the strings are normal but have never seen this cloud formation.Does it sound normal to you? If you have time could you let me know what you think.
    Thank you.
    Karen Hamilton

    • Dori says:

      Hi Karen,
      I suspect that it’s just culture, I’m looking at some kombucha that is just about finished and it has a big cloudy blob hanging from the SCOBY. I’ve also left a tea bag in the brew accidentally and it looked very strange! Can you e-mail me a picture? Then we could know for sure!
      dori at nourishing

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  11. Maya Kahn-Abrams says:

    Where can i get kombucha mushrooms? I asked my local co-op but they didn’t have them.

  12. Julie says:

    Where do I store the jar of extra scoby’s? In the frig or in a cupboard?


    • Dori says:

      Hi Julie,
      Thanks for your question!
      You can keep them either place (in the refrigerator of in the cupbopard). Just be sure that there is enough liquid (sweetened tea or kombucha) in the container to cover the s.c.o.b.y..
      Best wishes,

  13. Strider says:

    Hey, I have done a few brews of kombucha but my last 2 brews have been a bit watery tasting, very fizzy but not much body. I use the same recipe, the same sugar, and put it in my hot water cupboard which stays the same temp. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.


    • Dori says:

      Hi Strider –
      I would suggest that the tea is perhaps not steeping as long. Brews that I steep for 10 minutes are light and refreshing. When I let teas steep until the water cools (like 1-2 hours) give a more full bodied flavor. Try a long steep on a robust tea like pu erh for a thick, rich brew. I’d love to know how it goes!

  14. Marshy says:

    I made a nice SCOBY in a big bowl from store-bought buch, so now I am making the real brew without the store-bought-ness in it. This time I accidentally brewed the tea in the jar and just scooped the loose leaf tea out. Of course, a few days later I look and it seems theres a new scoby forming but the bits of leaf on top looks like is forming dark colors around them..I suppose I will find out if its mold? Other than that, it looks like a transparent SCOBY is forming and lots of brown yeast floating around.

    Thanks for your time Dori :)

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