Kombucha is a favored probiotic that is both refreshing and health promoting. Store bought Kombucha runs from $2.50 to $7.00 for roughly 12 ounces. Meanwhile 128 ounces, in a gallon, costs roughly $1.50 to make. That’s equal to buy one, get nine free if you’re making it yourself. That’s math even a tired mom can calculate. Making Kombucha is so easy it’s laughable. Make it one time and you’ll wish you had done it earlier. 

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A Kombucha SCOBY  (Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast) can be gifted from a friend, purchased online like this one or this one or by using a store bought bottle of Kombucha like this one, this one or this one. All three options are equally good. If you are choosing to make a SCOBY from a store bought bottle, choose an unflavored bottle with the most particulates in the bottle. If flavored Kombucha is the only option, it’s fine. If a bottle with no particulate is the only option, it’s fine. 

In a stainless steel pot, heat up one cup of water and three to four  organic black tea bags or loose leaf black tea of the equivalent (3 to 4 teaspoons). Steep the tea for 3 to 5 minutes or longer if you like. Herbal teas can be added to the mix. Herbal tea with medicinal qualities that are brewed into Kombucha are amplified in their medicinal qualities. Click here to read more. 

Pour one half cup of organic sugar to the hot tea. This sugar is consumed in the fermentation process. If you are too busy, and the tea is already cooled, the sugar can be added to the tea, it will still be consumed, it just may not fully dissolve, which is fine. Organic sugar should be used to ensure the optimal nutritional quantity of the tea. 

Pour the cooled sweet tea into a quart mason jar or glass jar. When the tea is room temperature, meaning you can stick your finger in the sweet tea and stir it around for ten seconds without it being too hot or too cold, add the Kombucha bottle from the store to the quart mason jar. If the tea is hot at this time, the beneficial aspects of the Kombucha will be killed by the heat and impede the process.

Once the sweet tea and store bought Kombucha have been added to the mason jar, fill the jar to one inch of the top with filtered water. Top the jar with a coffee filter or cloth and secure it in place with a rubber band. If the liquid in the jar is too high, it will cause the SCOBY to bulge the top of the vessel and attract fruit flies to lay their eggs on top of the coffee filter which will leach into the brew.

A new SCOBY will form on top of the mason jar. The SCOBY will grow to the size of the vessel as it is sealing the tea, preserving it from contamination. If you use a very wide mouth vessel, you will have a very wide SCOBY. On the contrary, if you have a very narrow vessel, the SCOBY will have a very narrow and small SCOBY.

Writing the date with a Sharpie marker, on top of the coffee filter, enables you to know the time the SCOBY is formed. The time depends on the temperature of your house, as well as the air flow where the vessel is placed. It usually takes anywhere from a week to three weeks for the SCOBY to form. It will start out as a thin pancake and get thicker as it brews. The thin pancake is just as beneficial as the thick one. 

The coffee filter can be removed to check the status of the SCOBY. This SCOBY is very durable and can be touched, picked up with your fingers, removed with a utensil or poked. Do not allow the SCOBY to come in contact with freezing temperatures, very hot environments like boiling liquid, direct sunlight or metal utensils (stainless steel, plastic or wooden are all fine to use with the SCOBY and Kombucha). 

During the brewing process, the Kombucha consumes the caffeine in the tea, as well as the sugar. Brewing Kombucha for the first time can be a bit scary and you’re not sure what the SCOBY should look like – it is very common to feel the SCOBY has gone moldy. Click here to see more images of healthy SCOBYs, and click here to see moldy SCOBYs.

Sometimes the SCOBY will have different colors within the SCOBY itself. It may also have particulate pieces surrounding the SCOBY or falling from the bottom of the SCOBY. All of these are fine. Pour the liquid out of the mason jar into another glass, being sure to leave one cup of the Kombucha as the starter for the next batch. Once you have a SCOBY made, a gallon vessel can be used to allow more Kombucha in the end. If brewing a gallon of Kombucha, add one cup of organic sugar and one cup of the previous batch of Kombucha, as well as the sweet tea (eight to twelve tea bags) to the gallon. The rest of the vessel if filled with filtered or spring water to one inch headroom.

Kombucha can be flavored into any and every flavor imaginable. From left to right, these Kombucha flavors include mango, strawberry banana, ginger, unflavored and grape. If you are using a flavored juice to flavor your Kombucha, be sure the ingredients are clean and do not contain any food colors, agave syrup or other fake and unnatural sweeteners and chemicals. Fill the jar a third of the way full, or less, with the juice then fill to the top with the freshly brewed Kombucha. If ginger is chosen as a flavor, juice fresh ginger in a juicer like this one and fill the bottom of the jar with the ginger juice. More ginger than what fills the bottom of the jar will contain a lot of heat. Frozen fruit can be used for flavoring. Fruit used to flavor Kombucha is also a probiotic treat.

To watch a video on how to make a Kombucha SCOBY from a store bought bottle of Kombucha click here

*Nourishing Plot is written by Becky Plotner, ND, traditional naturopath, CGP, D.PSc. who sees clients in Rossville, Georgia. She works as a Certified GAPS Practitioner who sees clients in her office, Skype and phone. She has been published in Wise Traditions, spoken at two Weston A. Price Conferences, Certified GAPS Practitioner Trainings, has been on many radio shows, television shows and writes for Nourishing Plot. Since her son was delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia, through food, she continued her education specializing in Leaky Gut and parasitology through Duke University, finishing with distinction. She is a Chapter Leader for The Weston A. Price Foundation. [email protected]

“GAPS™ and Gut and Psychology Syndrome™ are the trademark and copyright of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. The right of Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Patent and Designs Act 1988.



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