I love the springtime, partly because it’s a good excuse to day drink, but mostly because it’s a nice escape from being cooped up inside all winter. I’m ready to retire my cold-weather hot chocolate for something light and refreshing. Specifically for the spring season, I love the idea of homebrewing some kombucha for an insta-worthy refresher. So, I did just that.
With inspiration from Pinterest (and my sisters), and sourcing a “SCOBY” from a coworker, I made a black tea and ginger kombucha.
Most days after work I just want a glass of wine or IPA – but lately I have been switching those out for a homemade bottle of kombucha
3 1/2 quartswater
1 cupsugar (regular granulated sugar works best)
8 bagsblack tea, green tea, or a mix (or 2 tablespoons loose tea)
2 cupsstarter tea from last batch of kombucha or store-bought kombucha (unpasteurized, neutral-flavored)
1scoby per fermentation jar, homemade or purchased online
Optional flavoring extras for bottling
1 to 2 cupschopped fruit
2 to 3 cupsfruit juice
1 to 2 tablespoonsflavored tea (like hibiscus or Earl Grey)
2 to 4 tablespoonsfresh herbs or spices
Make the tea base: Bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar to dissolve. Drop in the tea and allow it to steep until the water has cooled. Depending on the size of your pot, this will take a few hours. You can speed up the cooling process by placing the pot in an ice bath.
Add the starter tea: Once the tea is cool, remove the tea bags or strain out the loose tea. Stir in the starter tea.
Transfer to jars and add the scoby: Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon glass jar and gently slide the scoby into the jar. Cover the mouth of the jar with a few layers of coffee filters secured with a rubber band.
Ferment for 7 to 10 days: Keep the jar somewhere not to hot and not too cold – out of direct sunlight.
After 7 days, taste test the brew. It should be not too sweet and not too sour.
Bottle the finished kombucha: When you like the taste bottle the kombucha & store the SCOBY in a bowl with a cup of starter tea.
Carbonate and refrigerate the finished kombucha: Store the bottles for 1-3 days out of direct sunlight for the brew to carbonate and then refridgerate.
Make a fresh batch of kombucha: Clean the jar being used for kombucha fermentation. Combine the starter tea from your last batch of kombucha with the fresh batch of sugary tea, and pour it into the fermentation jar. Slide the scoby on top, cover, and ferment for 7 to 10 days.