Wash hands thoroughly, making sure that all soap residue is off hands. Make sure that all supplies you are using are clean. Avoid using soap to clean the supplies as the residue can harm the SCOBY. Instead, use hot water and apple cider vinegar to act as a mild sterilizer.
Boil 4 litres of filtered water on stovetop. Once boiled, add 8 organic tea bags and 1 cup of sugar. Stir with wooden spoon until all the sugar has dissolved.
Let this mixture cool to room temperature. This can be done overnight, or over a few hours. Place a clean cloth over the mixture while cooling to ensure nothing gets into the tea.
Once steeped tea has cooled, remove the tea bags.
Pour tea mixture into large glass container. If you have a few SCOBYs, you could also portion the tea into a few smaller glass mason jars (about 1.6 litres).
Pour 2 cups of started tea into container. If you’re using a few different SCOBYs and containers, ensure you have at least 2 cups of started tea for each container. You want to leave about 4 inches of room at the top of the jar.
Ensure hands are very clean. Remove all rings. Pour a little bit of apple cider vinegar over hands.
Carefully place SCOBY into the container. The SCOBY may not float, but that’s okay! Ideally at least one end of the SCOBY will be touching the surface of the kombucha, but if not, that’s okay too.
Place a tightly woven, clean cloth over the top of the jar. Secure it with an elastic band.
Set the container(s) in a dark place away from sunlight, somewhere where they won;t be disturbed. I usually store mine in the top shelf of a cabinet.
Let tea ferment for 7-10 days. The longer you let the tea ferment, the more acidic or “vinegary” it’ll taste. The shorter amount of time, the more sugar will be remaining and the sweeter it’ll taste. The amount of time it takes depends on how “healthy” your SCOBY is, how warm the temperature is where it is being stored, and a variety of other factors.
When you think the kombucha might be done, pour a little bit from the container and taste test it. If it’s not fermented enough to your liking, store for another day or so and keep testing. I usually find the sweet spot to be about 8-9 days, but I also prefer my kombucha on the “vinegary” side.
Once the taste is to your liking, chop up any flavourings that like, and ensure hands are very clean again.
Place flavourings at the bottom of the flip-top jars. If you aren’t using fruit, I recommend adding about 1/4 cup of fruit juice or 1 tsp of sugar to the flip top jars. Otherwise, the second fermentation might not happen.
Once flavourings and/or sugar are in the jar, carefully and slowly pour the kombucha from the container into the flip top jars. Make sure to save at least 2 cups of this kombucha in a jar with your SCOBY for your next batch of kombucha.
Seal the jars and store in a dark place for another 2-3 days.
It is VERY IMPORTANT that you “burp” these jars every day by flipping open the top. Otherwise, the gas buildup might break the jars. This is very dangerous.
Taste the flavoured kombucha. Once it is fizzy to your liking, it can be stored in the fridge for up to once month.
Once you want to brew again, simply start from step 1 and repeat. Make sure to clean supplies between every batch of kombucha.