01 02 03 Crunchologie: Kombucha 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33



It wasn’t love at first sight.  It was much too vinegary, and not very sweet. 

Yet…something kept bringing me back.  Maybe fate?  It seemed we were meant for each other.

Maybe it was the bubbles that tickled my nose and danced on my tongue.  Maybe it was the crisp bite and refreshing tang…. OR maybe it was my body screaming for more B vitamins, enzymes, and probiotics. Believe it or not, kombucha is packed with nourishment. 

Whatever it was, I was hooked.  We’re talking spending $4 dollars a bottle, because now I had to have it.  This wasn’t just a fling. This was a long-term love affair. 

Three years, a husband, and a baby later, and kombucha and I are still going strong.  I also have managed to bring them over to the dark delicious side. So now there are three of us going crazy for this beverage.   

Obviously, we couldn’t afford to continue to feed this addiction at these outrageous prices.  SO, we took the only other option - I started brewing my own. 

I got my scoby (or mother) from my mom.   You can purchase one online or get one from a friend who already brews kombucha. 

WARNING: If you have never seen a scoby- don’t be alarmed.  They won’t bite.  However (full disclosure) they are, in fact, a little freaky looking (and feeling).
They are “Symbiotic Cultures Of Bacteria and Yeast.”  SCOBY.  AKA - little factories pumping out probiotics, vitamin B, enzymes, and acids.  (The good kind. You know, acetic, gluconic and lactic.  Don’t worry, we’re not tripping on anything over here). 

I set up my brewing system using a glass drink dispenser.  The spout near the bottom of the dispenser makes it so easy to fill my bottles when it is time for the secondary fermentation.  Once this first system was established and my scoby was big enough, I split it and set up a second system…we drink a LOT of kombucha. 

But I digress…let’s brew some kombucha! 

20 bags of organic black tea
2 cups of sugar
24 cups of filtered water
3-4 cups kombucha (from a previous batch, a friend, or the store)

Boil 4-6 cups of water and then let the tea bags steep.  Stir in the sugar now also, so it can dissolve.  I let the tea bags steep until the water is cool.  Add this mixture and the rest of the water to your container.  Your container should have the komucha and scoby in it already. Cover it all with a cotton cloth or tea towel, secured with a rubber band. You want your scoby to be able to breathe, but you want to keep the fruit flies out.  And that’s it. Really. It’s that easy. 

Wait 3-5 days and taste your kombucha. It should be slightly vinegar-y and a little fizzy.  If it has the balance of sweet and sour you like, then you can either drink it right then or place it into bottles for immediate refrigeration or a secondary fermentation. 

I like to place my kombucha in these flip top bottles with a little fruit or juice at the bottom.  I have used pineapple, cherries, blueberries, lemon juice, ginger slices, grape juice concentrate, raspberries, and any combinations of the above.  Use your imagination! The ideas truly are limitless.  One of my friends even puts herbs in hers.  Go crazy! Figure out what you like.

For a fizzier drink, let the bottles of kombucha sit unrefrigerated for 2-3 days more in the bottles until a secondary fermentation is complete! I stick all my bottles into the fridge at this point.  Mostly because I like to drink it cold, but also because refrigeration slows down the fermentation process so my bottles are less likely to explode due to built up pressure. 

And finally… ENJOY! Cheers!  

Extra tips:
Don’t use anything with metal on it to brew your kombucha.
Use organic tea – the scoby can’t break down the fluoride on non-organic tea.
Use regular sugar – the scoby can’t really convert other sugars/sweeteners.
About twice a year, I buy a bottle of raw kombucha from the store and add it to my brew. It adds some new strains of bacteria and seems to perk up my SCOBY if it is looking a little gloomy. 


Nourishing Traditions, by Sally Fallon

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