How to brew a refreshing kombucha right at home

Kombucha – fermented tea that’s tangy, effervescent, and good for the gut. This is the tea that’s been stocking up in supermarkets, and, thanks to kombucha aficionados, being patiently brewed in homes too.

While we love how easy it is to pop open a can of kombucha fresh off the shelves, getting this vinegary tea fix from the store can be slightly pricey – which is why many are choosing to brew their kombucha at home instead.

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Scoby in jar (right).

Besides being easier on the wallet, cooking up a delicious kombucha at home lets you control how sweet or sharp you want it to taste. Plus, you get to share a kombucha home-brewing experience with the people you love.

That’s right, with scobys (more on that later) making babies all the time, people are excited about sharing kombucha ingredients like these with one another. The more friends cooking up their own citrusy brews, the better!

@eco.amical

Answer @subanimoktan thank you for 6.5 millions views 🙏 #kombucha #askontiktok #unlockit #kombucha #boochtok #learnontiktok #scoby

♬ Build a B*tch – Bella Poarch

So, if you’re dreaming of sipping on a delicious brew, then read on because we share how you can make a refreshing kombucha right at home! (Psst, you can share your scobys with friends after.)

What is kombucha?

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Scoby in kombucha tea. Credit: Tim-Oliver Metz/ Unsplash

Fermented tea? Sounds a little like kimchi.

But, yes, kombucha is made through the process of fermentation, starting with a regular sweet tea, then after sitting, evolving to become a powerful, slightly alcoholic, fizzy brew.

In other words, kombucha is born out of tea combined with scoby (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) and that’s been left to ferment. So, similar to kimchi that’s got that tangy, vinegary taste, kombucha also packs a fermented punch.

Kombucha’s benefits

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Credit: Tyler Nix/ Unsplash

Part of the reason why so many people have taken to this beverage is that advocates of kombucha have claimed the drink to be a good source of probiotics, “good” bacteria that can balance out “bad” bacteria in the gut and promote better digestive health.

While there are not enough studies to confirm kombucha can be counted as an effective probiotic, many kombucha fans are enthused about how the drink has helped with their gut health.

How to brew kombucha at home

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Credit: Klara Avsenik onUnsplash

If you’re a regular kombucha drinker, then brewing your own at home can help to cut down on your costs, since all the kombucha-specific ingredients you need to start the process are scoby and starter tea.

You’ll be able to grow new scobys from your original one, as well as keep some brewed kombucha to use as a starter, which means you don’t have to keep buying new ingredients the next time you want to satisfy your kombucha cravings!

There are two ways that you can start brewing a kombucha: the first, with a scoby that you get from a friend or from the store, or the second, by making your own scoby from scratch.

Buy kombucha starter tea for S$15 on Shopee Mall.

Making a scoby

Ingredients

  • 7 cups of water
  • ½ cup of white sugar. You can also use cane sugar, beet sugar, or brown sugar.
  • 4 bags of black tea or 1 tablespoon of loose tea.
  • 1 cup unflavoured, unpasturised kombucha

Steps

Making a scoby has three main steps: brewing the tea, adding the starter, and then fermentation.

To brew the tea, you can bring the water to a boil in a pot over the stove. Add in the tea bags and let it steep for as long as you normally would. Then, add sugar and stir until it has dissolved. Finally, make sure to let the tea cool to room temperature before moving on to the next step.

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Credit: Screengrab from HOW TO MAKE A SCOBY FROM SCRATCH / YouTube

Once the tea has cooled, pour it into a gallon jar and add the starter kombucha (the unflavoured, unpasturised kombucha).

To kickstart the fermentation process, cover your glass jar with a paper or tea towel and secure it with a rubber band. This will allow the scoby to ‘breathe’ but, at the same time, keep out dust or other impurities.

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Credit: Screengrab from HOW TO MAKE A SCOBY FROM SCRATCH / YouTube

Place your jar in a dark area that’s away from sunlight, and let it sit for about 1 to 4 weeks until scoby forms.

Making a scoby can be difficult, especially if it’s your first time doing so. An easier way to start your kombucha brewing process is to use a ready-made scoby from a friend or store. So, if you prefer to forego scoby-making, then skip right ahead to the kombucha-brewing steps below!

Get a gallon glass jar for S$39.90 on Shopee.

Making kombucha

Ingredients

  • 14 cups water
  • 1 cup white sugar. You can also use cane sugar, beet sugar, or brown sugar.
  • 8 bags of black tea or 2 tablespoons of loose tea. You can also use green tea, white tea, or oolong tea etc.
  • 2 cups unflavored kombucha
  • 1 or 2 scobys

Steps

With three main steps, you can make a delicious home-brewed kombucha: the first step is to brew the tea, the second is to add the scoby and starter (unflavoured kombucha), and last, to leave the tea to ferment.

To brew the tea, bring the water to a boil in the pot over the stove. Add your tea bags or loose tea leaves of choice into the water, as well as sugar. After you’ve let your tea steep for as long as you normally would, then let the tea cool to room temperature.

Transfer the tea into a jar once it has cooled, and carefully add the scoby to the jar.

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Scoby. Credit: Screengrab from HOW TO MAKE A SCOBY FROM SCRATCH / YouTube

For those who have made their own scoby, simply take your scoby out of the gallon jar and place it into the mixture. You will also want to add 2 cups of the unflavoured kombucha that your scoby is sitting in.

Those who are using store-bought scoby can add that to the jar, pouring in the starter tea that the scoby will most likely be soaking in. (When buying the scoby, look out for ones that come together with the starter kombucha.)

Finally, to allow fermentation to happen, cover the jar with a paper or tea towel and secure it to the jar with a rubber band. Place the jar in a dark area away from the sunlight, letting it sit for 7 to 10 days.

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You should start tasting the tea starting from the seventh day by drawing it out with a paper or plastic straw. The longer that the tea ferments, the more tangy and powerful it will taste.

Once you’re happy with the taste, you can remove the scoby and reserve 2 cups of kombucha to use as a starter for your next batch. The rest of the kombucha tea is ready to go through the next steps, for extra yummy flavour!

Adding flavour to kombucha

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Credit: Shannon Nickerson/ Unsplash

You can drink the unflavoured kombucha as it is, but most people like to continue with the next steps to enjoy it with refreshing flavours and delightful fizz.

Strain the unflavoured kombucha and pour it, using a funnel, into a swing-top bottle. You can add fresh fruit, fruit juice, ginger, or even fresh herbs like rosemary, cinnamon, or basil to your kombucha – just imagine how delicious your kombucha will taste later.

@eco.amical

I used @oteas_ to flavor my kombucha 🌏 #funfacts #holidaytiktok #bochtok #kombucha #zerowaste #ecofriendly #tea #learnontiktok

♬ I AM WOMAN – ❦ emmy meli ❦

Seal the bottle and leave the kombucha to ferment a second time at room temperature for 3 to 10 days. Every day, “burp” your kombucha by popping open the cap and letting the gas come out.

@brittneyherrington

aaand repeat ×20 😅 #kombuchabrewing #kombucha #explosion

♬ original sound – Brittney Herrington

When it’s ready, you can place the kombucha into the fridge to slow down the fermentation process, then serve up a cool, refreshing glass of your very own, home-brewed kombucha!

Buy Hemlock Home Brewing Swing Top Glass Bottles for S$73.99 on Amazon.

Get kombucha scoby & brewing kits in Singapore

Organic Kombucha Scoby

kombucha scoby

This scoby is made with organic tea bags and organic turbinado sugar (partially refined sugar from sugarcane). It also comes with 200ml starter tea that you can use to brew your kombucha.

Get Organic Kombucha Scoby for S$12 on Shopee.

Jamie’s Health and Wellness Powerful Kombucha Scoby

kombucha scoby

Brewed with premium Da Hong Pao tea and soaking in 300ml of starter tea, this palm-sized scoby is enough to start a three-litre kombucha brew.

Get Jamie’s Health and Wellness Powerful Kombucha Scoby for S$10 on Shopee.

Kombucha Works Jun Scoby Green Tea

kombucha scoby

Kombucha Works offers two types of scobys: the Kombucha Scoby which is brewed from black tea and organic cane sugar, and the Jun Scoby which is made from organic premium green tea and raw honey.

If you like a lighter and smoother kombucha taste, or want to start off your kombucha journey with something a little less powerful, then the Jun Scoby is the one to go for.

Get Kombucha Works Kombucha Scoby for S$9 to S$26.90 (depending on the size), or Jun Scoby for S$12.90 to S$29.90 on Shopee.

Kombucha Brewing Kit

kombucha scoby

Besides a kombucha scoby and starter tea, this brewing kit has a cotton cloth cover as well as a glass thermometer strip. This, you can use to measure the temperature of the tea as it cools before adding the starter tea.

Shop Kombucha Brewing Kit for S$15 on Lazada.

Kombucha Tea Starter Kit

kombucha scoby

Have everything you need to make your own kombucha brew with the Kombucha Tea Starter Kit, which has everything from tea blend, scoby, to a four-litre glass jar.

Get the Kombucha Tea Starter Kit for S$69 on Lazada.

Kombucha DIY Brewing Essential Kit

kombucha scoby

The Kombucha DIY Brewing Essential Kit includes a medium-sized kombucha scoby, 400ml starter tea, and a five-litre glass jar. It also has organic cane sugar, and organic black tea leaves, so all you need to do is lay everything out and start the cooking in the kitchen!

Get Kombucha DIY Brewing Essential Kit for S$61 on Lazada.

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