How to Make Kombucha Tea at Home: a Simple Recipe for 1 Gallon Batch

Published by Jean Paul on

How to Make Kombucha Tea at Home: a Simple Recipe for 1 Gallon Batch

How to Make Kombucha Tea at Home: a Simple Recipe for 1 Gallon Batch

Kombucha tea has gained popularity in recent years for its health benefits and unique flavor. This fermented beverage is made from tea, sugar, and a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY). It is believed to have originated in China over 2,000 years ago and has since spread to other parts of the world.

While you can easily find kombucha in stores, making it at home can be a fun and rewarding experience. Not only can you customize the flavor to your liking, but you can also save money in the long run. In this article, we will provide a simple recipe for making a 1-gallon batch of kombucha tea at home. Before we dive into the recipe, let’s take a closer look at the ingredients and equipment you’ll need.


1. Water: It is important to use filtered water, as chlorine and other chemicals in tap water can harm the SCOBY.
2. Tea: You can use black, green, or white tea. Avoid flavored teas or those with oils, as they can have a negative impact on the fermentation process.
3. Sugar: White sugar is commonly used, as it provides the nutrients necessary for the SCOBY to thrive.
4. SCOBY: You can purchase a SCOBY online or ask a friend who brews kombucha to give you one. You will also need some of the liquid from a previous batch of kombucha, as this will help kickstart the fermentation process.


1. 1-gallon glass jar
2. Cloth or paper coffee filter
3. Rubber band
4. Funnel
5. Plastic or wooden stirring utensil (avoid metal)
6. Bottles for storing the brewed kombucha
7. Strainer (optional)

Now that you have gathered all the necessary ingredients and equipment, it’s time to start brewing your kombucha tea.

Step 1: Prepare the Sweet Tea Solution

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, then remove it from heat. Add 1 cup of sugar and stir until it dissolves. Next, add 4 to 6 tea bags or the equivalent amount of loose tea to the pot. Let the tea steep for 5 to 7 minutes, then remove the tea bags or strain out the loose tea.

Step 2: Dilute the Solution

Add 12 cups of cold water to the sweet tea solution, then pour it into the 1-gallon glass jar. Make sure the mixture is at room temperature before proceeding to the next step, as hot liquid can harm the SCOBY.

Step 3: Add the SCOBY and Starter Tea

Carefully place the SCOBY into the jar using a plastic or wooden utensil. Along with the SCOBY, add 2 cups of starter tea from a previous batch of kombucha. This liquid will help to lower the pH of the sweet tea solution, creating an environment in which the SCOBY can thrive.

Step 4: Cover the Jar

Place a cloth or paper coffee filter over the top of the jar and secure it with a rubber band. This will allow the mixture to breathe while keeping out dust, insects, and other contaminants.

Step 5: Fermentation

Store the jar in a warm, dark place (ideally around 75-85°F) and leave it undisturbed for 7 to 10 days. During this time, the SCOBY will consume the sugar and produce acetic acid, lactic acid, and carbon dioxide, transforming the sweet tea solution into kombucha.

Step 6: Taste Test

After 7 days, gently insert a straw beneath the SCOBY and take a sip of the liquid. If it tastes sweet, continue to ferment the kombucha for a few more days. If it tastes too sour, the fermentation process has gone too far. The ideal taste is slightly sweet and slightly vinegary.

Step 7: Bottle the Kombucha

Once the kombucha has reached the desired flavor, it’s time to bottle it. Use a funnel to transfer the liquid into clean glass bottles, leaving about an inch of headspace at the top of each bottle. You can drink the kombucha as is, or you can add fruit juice, herbs, or spices for extra flavor.

Step 8: Second Fermentation (Optional)

If you prefer a fizzy kombucha, you can opt for a second fermentation. Seal the bottles and store them at room temperature for 1 to 3 days to allow carbonation to build up. Keep an eye on the bottles, as too much pressure can cause them to explode. Once the desired level of carbonation is reached, move the bottles to the refrigerator to slow down the fermentation process.

Step 9: Enjoy!

Your homemade kombucha is now ready to drink. Remember to save about 2 cups of the liquid and the SCOBY for a new batch of kombucha. With proper care, the SCOBY can be reused for many batches of kombucha.

In conclusion, making kombucha tea at home is a simple and rewarding process. With just a few ingredients and some patience, you can brew a delicious and healthy beverage that you can enjoy at any time. Whether you’re a kombucha enthusiast or a beginner looking to try something new, this recipe is a great starting point for your home brewing journey. Feel free to experiment with different flavors and ingredients to create your own unique kombucha blends. Cheers to good health and happy brewing!


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