From JookWiki

Kombucha is one of the only drinks that I enjoy. Here's a list of reasons I like it:

  • It's fizzy
  • It comes in a wide variety of flavours
  • It feels more hydrating than soft drinks to me

A lot of the Internet push it as a health drink. I don't care about this aspect enough to investigate.

Note that the hydrating feeling is just a feeling. Usually when drinking soda or coffee I need water nearby to somehow balance a feeling I identify as dehydration. It could be that I'm responding to sugars or some other taste. Regardless I don't need that with kombucha, and that's a benefit.

Getting started[edit | edit source]

There's a lot of good guides for starting to brew kombucha online.

You'll need to buy the following:

  • Starter kombucha liquid (known as the starter tea or SCOBY)
  • A glass jar with cloth to cover it
  • Flip-top bottles than can deal with high pressure inside
  • A water filter if your tap water is bad (mine is)

Most of these can easily be found online from shops dedicated to selling kombucha.

It's also worth buying a heating pad and thermostat. The setup I use is a 25W heating pad and Inkbird ITC-308 set to 26 degrees Celsius with the probe taped to the glass.

First fermentation[edit | edit source]


  • Large jar for brewing
  • Cloth to cover the jar
  • Elastic bands to hold the cloth in place
  • Large containers for holding water
  • 1L container for starter liquid
  • Metric measuring cups
  • Water filter
  • Wooden spoon
  • Stove
  • Pot for boiling

Ingredients for a 1L batch:

  • 200mL starter kombucha liquid
  • 640mL filtered water for filling the batch
  • 160mL water for tea
  • 50g raw sugar
  • 4g black tea (I use 2 Lipton black tea bags)

Multiply these by the number of litres you're making.


  1. Wash the brewing jar using hot water and a cloth, no detergent or vinegar
  2. Refrigerate and filter the filler water
  3. Boil tea water on the stove
  4. Put the tea in the water
  5. Close the lid on the pot and let it brew for 10 minutes
  6. Add the sugar to the tea
  7. Stir tea with wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved
  8. Pour chilled water in to the large jar
  9. Pour tea in to large jar
  10. Wait 5 minutes for the tea to cool
  11. Pour starter liquid in to the jar
  12. Cover the jar with cloth and elastic bands
  13. Write down the date on the jar with a marker

Exact measurements don't matter that much, just approximate. Do make sure to round down instead of up so you don't make too much liquid.

This takes around 30 minutes.

Second fermentation[edit | edit source]


  • 12 750mL flip-top bottles


  • Kombucha
  • Cane sugar
  • Measuring cups
  • Funnels
  • Blender (I use a nutribullet)
  • Various fruits


  1. Set aside starter liquid for next brew (include the gross pellicle)
  2. Pick an empty bottle
  3. Cut and blend up some fruit
  4. Using the funnel, pour the blended fruit until the bottle is around a third filled
  5. Stir the kombucha
  6. Using the funnel, fill the rest of the bottle with kombucha
  7. Number the bottle with a marker and write down its contents somewhere
  8. Repeat from step 2 until you have no kombucha left

This takes around 1.5 hours.

After two days or so your kombucha should be ready to drink. Refrigerate it before opening.

Safety warning: Always open the kombucha outside with safety glasses on, pointed away from you. The pressure inside the bottles can be intense and lead to huge spurts of kombucha and the flip-top bottle lid going flying. No, this isn't a joke.

SCOBY hotels[edit | edit source]

SCOBY hotels are separate fermentations of kombucha intended as a backup or source for starter tea. This lets you stop brewing for a while or handle situations where one of your brews get mold.

To make one:

  • Create a small first fermentation
  • Don't harvest it
  • Add some more sweet tea every couple of months

Brew log[edit | edit source]

2019[edit | edit source]

I did a few brews in 2019 but didn't write them down.

Eventually I didn't have the energy to keep brewing and my brew went vile. Don't do that.

2022-01-16 to 2022-01-31[edit | edit source]

  • Brewed for two weeks
  • Opened after three days
  • Bottle 1: Blueberry, banana and apple puree
  • Bottles 2-4: Apple
  • Bottle 5: Mango and orange
  • Bottle 6: Mango and banana
  • Bottle 7: Half full, mango and banana
  • All bottles except bottle 1 opened violently, I lost a lot of kombucha
  • Apparently I should have fermented in the fridge, not out of the fridge
  • Despite my sketchy brewing attempt, they all came out really good

2022-01-31 to 2022-02-21[edit | edit source]

  • Was supposed to be a shorter first fermentation, bust instead was very long
  • Used a jug to mix flavoured kombucha before pouring in to bottles
  • Refrigerating second fermentation to hopefully reduce violence
  • Apple, banana, some orange juice, raw
  • Tasted 2022-02-27, tasted pretty bad
  • Lesson learned: Second fermentation needs to be done unrefrigerated
  • Tasted 2022-03-03 after second fermentation done properly, things taste better
  • Apple flavour was kind of OK
  • Banana was definitely not good
  • Orange juice was weak
  • Raw kombucha tastes like ... nothing? Not a fan.

2022-02-21 to 2022-03-25[edit | edit source]

  • This was supposed to be on time, but it was way off
  • I didn't have bottles ready to harvest during all this
  • Instead I made an extra 2L and put it in a jar as a SCOBY hotel
  • Dumped the rest on the ground outside during a flood

2022-03-25 to 2022-04-16[edit | edit source]

  • Aimed to harvest between April 1 to April 8
  • Got a heating pad and bottle brush for cleaning
  • The heating pad is a bit too hot so I bought a thermostat for it
  • The brush was too dense and didn't deal with narrow bottles, I ended up breaking it
  • Fed some left over sweet tea to SCOBY hotel
  • I made apple and some orange flavors
  • Bottles 3, 5, 6 were apple
  • Bottles 2, R, and unlabeled were orange
  • Tastes weak, not sure why. Maybe long brew in the cold? Or not enough sugar in second fermentation?

2022-04-16 to 2022-05-18[edit | edit source]

  • Aimed to harvest after two weeks, took a month instead
  • Stopped heating after two weeks
  • Decided to use this batch for testing
  • Bottle 5 is half apple rest kombucha
  • Bottle Q is a third apple rest kombucha
  • Bottle 6 is half apple rest kombucha plus two teaspoons of sugar
  • Bottle R is a third apple rest kombucha plus two teaspoons of sugar
  • Bottle 3 is the same as Q
  • Bottle 7 is the same as R
  • Will ferment for a few days then note taste
  • 2022-05-21: Chilled bottles 5, Q, 6 and R
  • No bottles had any pressure building
  • Blind taste test: 6 and Q were sweet and tasty, 5 and R were not tasty, 5 was pasty
  • 2022-05-23: Chilled bottles 3 and 7
  • 2022-05-26: Tasted bottle 7, very sour

2022-05-18 to 2022-07-05[edit | edit source]

  • Harvest June 1st after two weeks
  • Clean bottles, brew tea and do fruit prep the day before
  • Brewing at a constant 24 degrees
  • Managed to do fruit prep but had executive dysfunction and failed the rest

2022-07-05 to 2022-07-19[edit | edit source]

  • Aimed to harvest after a week, took two weeks
  • Brewed at a constant 24 degrees
  • Made a bit too much by accident
  • Copied recipes and chilling according to 2022-04-16
  • Bottle 5 is half apple rest kombucha
  • Bottle 7 is a third apple rest kombucha
  • Bottle 3 is half apple rest kombucha plus two teaspoons of sugar
  • Bottle 6 is a third apple rest kombucha plus two teaspoons of sugar
  • Bottle blank is half apple rest kombucha
  • Bottle 2 is a third apple rest kombucha
  • Bottle R is a third apple rest kombucha
  • Bottle 4 is half apple rest kombucha
  • 2022-07-22: Chilled bottles 5, 7, 3, 6
  • 2022-07-23: Taste tested
  • 3 was good but watery taste with a thick composition
  • 5 had a watery taste and composition
  • 6 had more of an apple taste with nice fizz, good composition
  • 7 was fizzy and tasteless, thick composition
  • I didn't stir, so I might have to see if there's a relation between bottle order and taste
  • I wonder if I caught the brew as it transitioned from sweet to sour making it bland
  • 2022-07-25: Chilled bottles blank, 2, R, 4
  • 4 was watery but fizzier and stronger
  • 2 was kind of flat, not much taste
  • blank was kind of sour though I opened it late
  • I gave R to a family member
  • I bought more flip top bottles

2022-07-19 to 2022-08-11[edit | edit source]

  • Aim to harvest August 2nd, 10 days later
  • Brewing at a constant 24 degrees
  • I just blended up 6 apples (1.5 litres) and mixed it with the 4 litres of Kombucha
  • I added 6 desert spoons of sugar to the mix for the last 3 bottles
  • I'll start my next brew from the SCOBY hotel when I feel like it
  • Brew is a lot more even and less explosive
  • The brew was way too long, it all tastes sour

2023-01-06[edit | edit source]

  • Leaving my SCOBY hotel alone with no maintenance for 4 months got it to mold
  • I had checked my SCOBY hotel a week or so earlier to find no mold
  • Honestly I wasn't having good Kombucha results anyway
  • Might move on to another brewing hobby