Friday, January 10, 2014


I have fallen in love with kombucha however, not right away, it is definitely an acquired taste. At the farmer's market there is a woman who sells all kinds of flavors of kombucha. The last time we went I bought half a gallon, and drank from it all week. Man I felt good, I decided that I wanted to make it my self.

I had read plenty of blogs on the topic, and even found someone who was willing to trade me some of my elderby syrup for a SCOBY. Okay I knew I needed a SCOBY, but in everything I read I had never seen one. How would I know if she was really giving me a SCOBY? Off to do some research. I went to Cultures for Health (affiliate link on right) which includes videos, FAQ, troubleshooting, and more geared towards making kombucha. So, here is what I learned.

Photo credit not my SCOBY
So, this is what a SCOBY looks like, this is an older SCOBY. I received one mature, along with a baby. I also learned that SCOBY is an acronym for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. This guy is actually alive, and needs sugar to keep on living. I found this out when I realized I had no green, white, or black organic tea. You can not make it with a flavored tea or you can kill the SCOBY. Flavored teas can interfere with the PH levels, which are also important for a healthy SCOBY, and fermentation. You can purchase PH testing strips from Cultures for Health.

Once the kombucha meets your taste you can then added flavor to it. For flavoring you can add any type of juice and drink it right away. Herbs, and fruits can be used to flavor the kombucha as well, but will need sit sealed in a jar for a couple of days.

My SCOBYs, you can see the more mature one on the bottom, and the baby on the top.
My issue was due to the lack of organic tea, I had to find out how to keep it healthy while I ordered some. I learned that you can easily keep the SCOBY alive by just adding a 1/4 cup of sugar per quart of filtered water. This is only a good solution for short term storage. I have both of my SCOBY's in a quart jar with some filtered water (also important) on the kitchen counter, they both appear to be happy. Wow!!! really I have another SCOBY that has formed, even without the tea or vinegar? I wonder if it will survive. You can store a SCOBY in some sugar tea from a previous batch of kombucha, but if you don't have any this is a good option. I love the idea of using a coffee filter and rubber band to cover the jar.

It is said that white sugar produces the best kombucha because it is the easiest one for the SCOBY to ingest. Due to toxins that  may be present in store bought white sugar Cultures for Health recommends using organic evaporated cane crystals. I plan on using Turbinado raw cane sugar, the site says that using this brand makes it harder for the SCOBY to ingest. However, considering that, that is what was used in my SCOBY to begin with it should be fine. As a matter of fact that is the sugar I used to store it in, and again it is doing fine. If you are given a SCOBY be sure to find out what type of sugar was used.

My organic green tea came, but due to being under the weather I have not been able to start my kombucha. One issue is that I have to make the sugar tea which for a gallon I need 13 -14 cups of boiled water with the sugar, and than let it cool which could take all day. However, one other item I ordered with my tea is a book called Mastering Fermentation: Recipes for Making and Cooking with Fermented Foods. The book states to start it they way they make sweet tea here in the south. Take 3 cups of filtered water, boil it with 1 cup of sugar, take 2 Tbsp of loose tea or 8 tea bags and let it steep for a 1/2 hour.  Pour it into the jar, I use a knife to absorb the hot water so the jar won't break, and add the rest of the water and cool to 98 degrees F.

I'm excited to start making my own kombucha, and creating wonderful healthy flavors.

I shared this post on Wildcrafting Wednesdays.


  1. Hi, Am already a follower of your via GFC, now started following you via G+ aswell.

    my blog:

  2. You'll have fun with your SCOBY! I like kumbocha but it can be expensive to purchase. Cultivating your own is a great way to save on the expense. I've seen special containers for making kumbocha that allow you to draw from the bottom and add new tea to the top. Good luck!

  3. I love Kombucha! Your scoby looks nice and healthy. Looking forward to finding out how you make your kombucha.