Kombucha Basics: The First Ferment

Eats & Drinks

Want to start brewing your own kombucha but maintaining your brew seems like daunting task? In our Kombucha Basics series will show you that keeping your kombucha healthy and happy is actually really simple! You just need the right tools, a little time, and a little love.

Clean all tools with hot water and let cool slightly before using.

The supplies you will need:

  • 1 quart mason jar.
  • Pitcher or jar to pour your kombucha into for bottling.
  • Jar or bowl for the scoby.
  • Spatula or ladle to stir the kombucha.*
  • Mesh strainer (optional)


  • 1 cup sugar (See notes)
  • 2-3 tablespoons or 2-3 bags unflavored black tea
  • 4 cups boiled water
  • 8 cups filtered chlorine-free water


The first step to making healthy kombucha is to wash your hands and your work surface. This is essential if you are planning on taking out the scoby with your hands.

1. Stir your kombucha to mix the yeast evenly.

2. Transfer your scoby and two cups of starter liquid from your brewing vessel into your clean jar or bowl.

3. Pour the rest of your kombucha into your clean pitcher or jar. You can strain your kombucha at this point if you want to remove the extra yeast. (See notes for what to do with the yeast)

4. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. I use a kettle for this and it’s much faster than in a saucepan!

5. Pour your sugar (1 cup) into your 1 quart jar and add your tea.

6. Pour the water into your jar, stir, and let steep for 15 minutes.

  • Once the tea is finished steeping, remove the tea bags or strain the tea (if   using loose-leaf).

7. Rinse your brewing vessel and pour 8 cups of filtered chlorine-free water into it. (see notes)

8. Pour the hot sweet tea into the brewing vessel.

9. Pour the reserved starter liquid into the brewing vessel, followed by the scoby.

10. Cover with a clean cloth secured with a rubber band, or a brewer cap. (See notes)

Store your kombucha in a warm, ventilated area out of direct sunlight. It can take anywhere from 7 to 21 days for a batch of kombucha to ferment. For me, it usually takes about a week for a brew to be ready during the Summer, and around 10-12 days in the Winter.


*Do not keep kombucha in metal or leave metal tools in your kombucha.

I use Organic Raw Cane Sugar, but I’ve heard some people use White Table Sugar, Turbinado sugar, Muscovado sugar, or many other types of sugar.

Don’t throw away your extra yeast! You can make a sourdough starter with it.

If using tap water, Brita filtered water will work. I use our own filtered well water. You can also boil your water for 10 minutes, then let cool to room temperature.

You can buy a scoby and a brewer cap from Kombucha Kamp.

Share your kombucha pics on our MeWe group at https://mewe.com/join/5wildeflowers.

Eats & Drinks


READ PART 2: Click here to learn how to make your kombucha fizzy and carbonated!