I did a whole post about how to bring back your kombucha. But I realized, I never did a post about starting booch in the first place! There are a million articles, blog posts and more about making kombucha but I wanted to tell you how I do it and the products I use to make kombucha.
I almost exclusively use Cultures For Health for all of my culture needs and Farmhouse Teas for our second batch needs. We do collect a commission from links at absolutely no cost to you. This helps us keep our blog and homestead up and running. You can read more that part here. Back to CFH and FHT.
The reason is because they are pretty much a one stop shop when it comes to all thing fermented or cultured. That being said, this post is heavily linked with their products but also products that we use on our homestead. Feel free to click through the links to find what you need.
Vessel– I use one very similar to this one but mine is a thrift store find. You can absolutely use something smaller but make sure it is glass.
SCOBY– I bought mine from CFH. I have enjoyed their other cultures and have been very happy with their SCOBY and other cultures.
First Ferment Tea- This is where it gets a little tricky. While I love CFH, I prefer the Three Sisters Black tea blend from FHT. I’ve tried other tea blends and they’re okay, but I really like this tea for my base blend.
Second Ferment Teas- For my second ferment, I really like the Strawberry Mojitio and the Mango from FHT. Those are specific to their kombucha teas. BUT they also have some great teas that work with a second ferment. The first is their iced tea blends. If you like iced tea then you can make it on its own, but I don’t. I prefer to do a second ferment with it instead. The other is using their herbal teas. They have so many different fruity flavors that really make your booch delicious.
Bottles- I really like old GT kombucha bottles, but it can get confusing when I end up having to buy some and can’t remember which is which. So I also get these swing top or Grolsch bottles. I use these swing tops for everything from booch, tea, lemonade or creamers.
Pulled from Bringing Back Your Booch from here
First, brew your new sweet tea. I like my tea a little stronger and sweeter so I use 6 teaspoons of half black/ half green tea. While I have a kettle going for water, I add a cold brew filter to a wide mouth, half gallon mason jar and add my tea to the filter. Once the water is boiling, I pour over the filter and let it sit for about 10 minutes or until I remember I have it steeping. I could set a timer, but I usually don’t remember I even have one.
***** Very important! Use dechlorinated water!!!!! If you are on city water or are unsure if you have chlorinated water, use bottled spring water or leave a gallon of water out on the counter for 24 hours. If you use chlorinated water you will kill all the good bacteria we are trying to grow!******
While the tea is steeping I add about a quart of cold water to my vessel. I also use ice to get the water nice and cold so that I can keep the process to a minimum time wise. I use a vessel very similar to this, but mine is a thrift store find. The biggest thing to remember is that any spigot that you use will get clogged with debris from the SCOBY so make sure you are cleaning it whenever you make a new batch of booch. Rinse REALLY well because we do want GOOD bacteria to grow, not the bad kind.
Once the tea is done steeping, I remove the filter and compost the tea. Then I stir in about 1 1/4 cup of plain sugar into the mason jar with the tea. I stir until the sugar is almost completely dissolved. Then I add the tea to the vessel and add about another 2.5-3 quarts of cold water. I usually just use the half gallon mason jar so I can get any tea or sugar that is left behind. Before adding your SCOBY and starter tea, make sure that none of it is more than about 70*. If it is, add more ice or cold water if necessary to hit that 70*. A little colder is fine, too hot and it will cook your SCOBY and probably kill it.
Once your sweet tea is cool and in the vessel, add your starter and then finally your SCOBY. It’s worth repeating though, you don’t want to add your starter or SCOBY to tea that is too warm because it will kill your SCOBY. Anything over 75* will start to cook the good bacteria and yeast that makes up your SCOBY.
This is all called your first brew. This takes the longest time but gives you just under a gallon of booch for pennies compared to the store.
I love kombucha. As a former soda addict, it gives me the fizziness and flavor from soda without having all those harsh chemicals.