I had to wait a week for my second batch, you only had to wait 2 days! No fair. =)
If you didn’t get a chance, go check out my post on Homemade Kombucha Part 1 for the intro on what kombucha is, and how to start making your own at home.
After your first batch has fermented for as long as you wish, you are ready to transfer your SCOBY to your next batch. It is the same process as previously, only now you have your baby SCOBY ready to go to ferment this fresh sweet tea.
Step 1: Boil the water, mix in the sugar, and add the tea bags. Let steep and cool to room temperature. You cannot add a SCOBY to hot or even warm tea, or it may kill the bacteria & yeast.
Step 2: Once cool, add the cup of starter kombucha liquid and pour the sweet tea into your clean, sterile containers. Take the SCOBY out of your first jars, it is ok to use your hands, as long as you’ve washed them first! This is what a baby SCOBY may look like if you used a green tea/spirulina starter kombucha…
You can see how thin this first culture is, and that is ok. It will thicken with each batch of kombucha brewed. And, once it becomes very thick, it is actually recommended that you remove the bottom layer(s) and give to a friend to start a new batch or throw it out. Kombucha cultures can outlive their usefulness.
Step 3: Carefully place the SCOBY on top of your fresh sweet tea. It may float along the top, or it may sink to the bottom, it may even float around sideways. Those are all fine, a new culture will form along the top if your first SCOBY does not float.
Also, any size SCOBY can ferment any size container, the culture will grow to fit the size of the jar. Larger batches may take longer when transferring a smaller SCOBY to the larger container.
Step 4: Once the SCOBY is removed from the tea, you can now enjoy your kombucha! You can drink it as is, or refrigerate it for a week or so. If you’d like it more carbonated, simply close the jar, and leave in a cool dark place undisturbed for another 2-3 days. The probiotics inside will continue fermenting, and carbonate your drink.
And that’s all there is to it! Once you get used to the process, you can switch out your SCOBY and have fresh jars of kombucha ready to drink in about 10 minutes once a week. Once you have a thriving, healthy culture, you can continue propagating to as many batches as you please, or give some to a friend to try.
Since I’m still somewhat new to this homebrew kombucha, I haven’t had a chance to experiment much. But you know with me, there is some serious experimentation in my future! I’m going to let my culture get nice and strong, then branch out to green and maybe white tea. It is not a good idea to use any tea with oils in it, like earl grey or bergamot. Also if you do try different mixes, make sure to throw in a black tea batch in between so the SCOBY gets all the nutrients it needs to keep producing.
Then there are so many infusion possibilities! Once the kombucha tea base is made, I want to try adding lemon, lavender, strawberries, and rosemary. Maybe some raspberries or blackberries or mint. This project will keep me dreaming all summer long I’m sure!
What do you think? Is kombucha making something you’d like to try or have tried? Feel free to tell us your experiences in the comments!