Make Fizzy Kombucha at Home (Video)

How to make kombucha fizzy

The cliff notes, 3 steps to fizzy Kombucha

First, make the unflavored kombucha base. Allow the bucha to breathe by using a cloth cover over the container with a rubber band around the top, stop the fermentation when the liquid is still slightly sweet and the new culture has fully formed. This usually takes about 7 to 14 days at room temperature.

Second, bottle the liquid in an air-tight bottle with 1/4” of empty air space at the top. Cutting off access to air creates an environment where yeasts can multiply and carbonate your beverage! Cutting off access to air, you’re trapping the carbon dioxide (bubbles). If you want the butcha to be a crowd pleaser add something to make it taste awesome such as fruit juice, dried fruit, fresh fruit, ginger, honey, frozen fruit, vanilla extract etc.

Third, leave the bottles on the counter for two days up to three weeks until you get fizzes. How fast you get bubbles, will depend depending on the temperature in your house and the juice you use.  Check your bottles often, open and re-seal, until you hear a loud pop when you open the bottle. Transfer to the refrigerator and keep cold until consumed. Flavor is stable for about six weeks and will become more tart with time.

INGREDIENTS & EQUIPMENT

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring one quart of the water to a boil. Remove from heat and add sugar and black tea. Let steep for at least 15 minutes then strain out tea leaves or remove tea bags.
  2. Pour liquid into a  1 or 2 gallon glass jar, available here, or a ceramic stoneware led free crock available here, add the remaining 2 quarts of water.
  3. Add 1/2 Cup of finished Kombucha or 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  4. Put mother culture on top of the tea. Smooth side up. If you have several S.C.O.B.Y.’s, the lightest in color is the top.
  5. Cover with a cloth towel and a rubber band around the top to prevent flying pests to lay eggs in there! Fruit flys love bucha.
  6. Ferment for 5 to 14 days (for fizzy bucha) or for 3 weeks for a strong vinegary tasting bucha.
  7. For unflavored bucha, bottle using flip top or mason jars (with jars with metal lids, use wax paper under the lid to prevent air escaping and lid corrosion). For extra fizzys and the best tasting bucha EVER, flavor your brew just before bottling. Here are some of our favorites..

Fresh pressed or store bought juice: Concord grapes, orange juice, peaches, apples, lemon with honey, ginger and honey. Whatever floats your boat. Just by adding a about 1 cup of juice to 3 quarts of bucha, you’ll get a fizzy wonder drink!

Whole fruit: Cranberry’s and sugar, blueberry’s ginger and sugar, strawberries and sugar (Let these sit over night in a bit of sugar or honey and then lightly warm on the stove to release the juice, strain out the extract for the flavored butcha).

Other whole fruit options to add directly to the final bottling are, frozen or fresh cherry’s with vanilla, blueberrys, strawberries, raspberries. Be creative, this extra step of flavoring your bucha will be rewarded. It’ll soooo good!

Leave at room temperature for 2 days to three weeks or until you hear a pop when you open the bottle. Once you get a good loud pop, immediately put the bottles in the refrigerator. Your trapping the bubbles, so if you let it ferment too long on the counter, you might burst your bottle πŸ™‚

Enjoy! The flavor is stable for about 6 weeks, but get’s more tart with time.

IMG_1997

Several kombucha cultures brewed in a crock. Kombucha really loves a dark environment like this.

Brand new single kombucha culture

A fully formed brand new bucha culture. Notice it’s opaque and cloudy. The color is light because it’s only gone through one brew.

Straining concord grapes to get fresh raw juice!

Organic concord grapes make, THE BEST BUCHA EVER! It’s a ton of work, but worth it. I pressed the grapes and then strained through a fine cheese cloth. I froze the finished juice in mason jars.

concord grape juice. how to make it.

If you don’t want to press your own juice. This is a great brand, it’s organic and not from concentrate.

my favorite kombucha bottles. flip tops. the short 16 oz kind.

My favorite flip top bottles, because they lock in the fizzys, they’re the perfect size 16 oz, and there not as tall as most 16 oz flip tops. These fit in several places in the refrigerator and they fit on the top and bottle shelf of my dishwasher… an important point! You can view my favorite bottles available here. You’re welcome πŸ™‚

***WARNING***: Sometimes you may get a really good fermentation going and when you open the bottle it’ll “blow your wig off”, it may spray all over the place or just start oozing out. Have your glass ready to pour the liquid into so you don’t loose too much! πŸ™‚ This is just fine, it might make a bit of a mess. Pat yourself on the back, you got great bubbles! To combat mess, just put a dish towel on top when you’re opening it. I’m in the habit of always opening a new bottle with a dish cloth on top… just in case! πŸ™‚

Also, if your glass bottle has any imperfections in it and you have got a really bubbly ferment going… and you’re liquid level isn’t right at the top… pressure builds up and it can explode the jar. This has only happened to me once with one of those Italy made clear flip top bottles… it’s never happened with the dark beer flip tops… well, yet! πŸ™‚

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Comments

  1. Shana Strickland says:

    Rashel, Thanks so much for your video and links. I am finding I have spent too much on tea bags and sugar and need to go bulk. Also though- I am having a problem brewing. I just started couple months ago in 1 gallon jar and 2 gallon crock.
    I am finding I am throwing out more than I am drinking. It tastes fine when jarring, but then very fast like vinegar-even next day in fridge. I had no idea what I am doing wrong. YOur video let me know I need to strain the stuff out and yeast. I do have floater scobie stuff, but have no idea what else I am doing wrong. My tea also looks cloudy and not clear. So frustrated. I didn’t see anything moving or moldy πŸ™

  2. HI, Rashel: Thank you for an excellent website, links, videos and advice. Just wanted to let you know that for some reason, the video for how to make the kombucha tea was not working, i.e., I could hear your voice, but the visual image was all green–no picture. Just thought I would let you know. thanks!

  3. Hi Rachel. I watched your video and couldn’t hear all. I’m deaf. I wonder should I leave kombucha to cool? How much cool or what temperature should I put scoby with the mix?

  4. glynn korrel says:

    I used about 5% Raw ACV to help lower the pH but read somewhere that it would have converted my SCOBY into a ACV Mother culture. Is that true? In your video you say you can use ACV but does it have to be Pasteurised ACV?

  5. How large of a scoby do you need – I cannot believe how hard it is to get one around here – I did find a 2″x2″ one for 10.00 seems high.. not sure how much I can make with such a little piece. Also – how much ginger would you add to the final ferm. and do you recommend adding sugar too?

    Thanks!!!

  6. Can I just pay you to make it for me? haha πŸ™‚

  7. hi, thanks for this how to video, i have a scoby problem. when i put my newly grown scoby into the first batch of kombucha it sank. is this alright? i don’t want to kill it, i also want to have homemade kombucha to enjoy. i hope you know the answer. thanks

  8. Hi, I was wondering if I could get more information on how to flavor kombucha. Advice for amounts of ingredients would be very helpful. I noticed you had amounts list for juice, however not much information for the whole fruit option or the adding ingredients to final bottling option. It would be helpful if you could tell me how much whole fruit and sugar you would use per 3 quart batch for the whole fruit option. Also, If you could tell me what ingredients you would add to your kombucha and how you would do it if you decide to stick the ingredients in at the final bottling. Adding the ingredients during the final bottling will probably be the way I will do it. I now all this is up to personal preference, but if you could give me a starting point, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you

  9. Hi, this is my first time making kombucha and I found three small dead ants in my kombucha and I removed them. Is the kombucha and the scoby still safe to drink and use?

    • Nathaniel, Yes your bucha is safe to drink and the scoby is fine too. I would recommend fixing your cover though, if ants can get in then fruit flys can too… and those guys can do some damage if they can get in. I usually use two cotton dish cloths with two rubber bands, it keeps everything out. Use this a a warning to cover your stuff better, you’ll be alright now in winter, but when summer comes… buggies love bucha.

      • I had the rubber bands and dish clothes but they still got inside somehow. I am now using better rubber bands and I will be putting double sided sticky tape around the base of my jars.

  10. Sarah in CA says:

    I ordered a SCOBY but it got put in the refrigerator for 3 weeks, now I realize that it should have been kept at room temperature. Is the SCoby still usable or do I need to order a new one? Thanks for help out with this one. My son is eager to start brewing up some Kombacha.
    Sarah

    • Should be fine. Give it a while longer than usual with the first brew. Make sure the new culture is fully formed before you use the tea.

  11. I’ve experimented with water kefir in the flip-top bottles and every time they’ve exploded on me. It’s awful.I heard kombucha is easier. Where did you buy those giant crocks?

    • I have two Ohio Stoneware 3 gallon Crocks, you can find them here http://amzn.to/1bQ4fER. They also come in 1 and 2 gallon sizes. They’re easy to clean and bucha loves a dark environment to brew πŸ™‚

      • Rashel, First off I would like to thank you for your very helpful web site and YouTube video on making Kombucha. I am a first time maker of the Kombucha and have just ordered my starter kit for brewing. I took your advice and ordered the SCOBY KAMP from Mother’s Culture and the 3 gallon stoneware crock. My question is, the circumference of the SCOBY is much smaller than the circumference of the 3 gallon crock. When I make my first batch in the crock, do I us the small SCOBY and just lay it on the top of the starter brew? Will the SCOBY increase to the diameter of the 3 gallon crock during the first brew or do I have to start smaller and allow the SCOBY to increase in diameter over time?

        • Yes use your new crock with the smaller culture. Once you brew your first batch, The new baby culture (scoby), will be the size of your crock. I’d start making it in a smaller amount like 1 gallon, then once your culture is acclimated to your environment and scoby is the size of your pot you can make the full batch. Good work! You have the perfect set up.

  12. Rashel, I don’t drink black, green, or white tea (for religious reasons), I do drink herbal teas though. Can you make this without the black tea and use something else that’s a tisane…otherwise called herbal tea? Thanks!

    • Kombucha needs the caffeine from either green, white or black tea. The whole point though of making kombucha is that it eats the sugar and caffeine… that’s it’s food source and it turns it into a delicious beverage. You gotta have the tea to make kombucha. If you thoroughly ferment it… I pretty sure the levels of caffeine are really low. However, if you’re still against using black tea… well, you’ll have to switch to something else… like maybe kefir water grains… you may really like those!

  13. After you transfer the bucha to the 1-gallon jars and add flavoring, do you bottle it right away or let it sit in the gallon jars for a specific amount of time? I am trying the whole fruit option with necatarines, brown sugar, and lime. I can see how you could bottle it right away with fruit juice but I want to strain the fruit chunks out before I bottle it. Do I let it brew with the fruit in a gallon jar for 2-4 days and then bottle it and let the bottles also sit for 2-4 days? If I do let it sit in the gallon jar do I cover it with a cloth or cap it? Thanks! Love your video!

    • After I flavor the bucha I bottle it right away. You don’t have to though…. you could let it sit for 2 days at room temperature and then strain out your added ingredients… then bottle in an air tight container if you want to get fizzys. Let it sit until the bottles pop when you check them. Since you’re adding sugar, you’ll have a very very fizzy drink. Careful when you bottle it, it’ll probably get fizzy quick. If you just leave it and forget about it for many days you could get an explosive jar πŸ™‚

  14. Is there any way to preserve the new bucha culture it do you typically need to be constantly making fresh batches of butch

    • I keep a back up bucha culture in the refrigerator with some fresh tea and 1/2 a cup of the finished batch for up to two months… and it has still cultured fine for me when I used it again. G
      et some friends and family in to make it… incase yours stops working for some reason, you can always get one back πŸ™‚

  15. Christine M. says:

    Excited to try out your favorite flip-top bottles! I clicked thru your Amazon link to purchase them, and while reading reviews, several people were mentioning that the seals are only good for several (maybe 8?) uses. From your experience, has this been an issue? And if so, where do you get the replacement seals?
    Thanks for your excellent article! Can’t wait to try your method for that lovely fizzy kombucha!

    • I’ve used my bottles over 10 times now and the seals are still good. The replacement seals are available in bulk on Amazon for very inexpensive. I haven’t had to replace mine yet.

  16. Just read the article written about you in the January Moosletter. You have inspired me to not only to get cracking on making more cheese, but to try some of these flavored Kombucha’s. Sally Fallon of the Weston Price Foundation has been at the top of my favorites list for many years. I have pinned you in several areas to my Pintrest, hoping that others will Pin, See, Read, and Learn of the many health benefits that come from Nourishing themselves and their families properly. You Go Girl.

  17. Rashel, I just started a new batch using your recipe. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for sharing! Regina

    • Regina,
      Awesome! I’m glad you’re trying it! I make this recipe every two weeks… it’s always turned out great πŸ™‚ I’m pretty sure you’ll love it. If I say the word “Bucha” around here I have two little toddler feet that run into the kitchen as fast as they can πŸ˜‰
      It’s everyones favorite drink around here… even over wine & beer! πŸ™‚

  18. I have been making kombucha for years in gallon jars and you got me to thinking while washing dishes, about making it in larger containers. How do you heft those large crocks of kombucha around? Do you just prep them on a dedicated space of counter and keep them there until you bottle?

    • Carolyn,
      Yup, I just keep them on my counter. Each crock holds 2 gallons. I find that bucha really likes to brew in led free stoneware. They help keep a steady temperature, they keep a dark environment, and the cultures grow really well in them. I wouldn’t want to get any bigger than 2 gallons though… because they’d be too heavy if I got over the 2 gallon pt.

      • That is probably very true. I have bottom heat for my jars right now as our kitchen is cold this time of year. I am going to order 2 of those puppies and use the jars for other things if I can remember where I put the lids. We’ve moved so who knows.

  19. Arvel Harris says:

    Isabella will have all your recipes to choose from rather than digging out the hand written ones that our grandmother’s wrote back in 1900. Janis made copies of some of Ella’s grandmother’s recipe’s that described using butter in a recipe about as big as a hen egg as a christmas gift.

    • Grandaddy,
      I wish I could go back to your great grandmother’s time. Sounds like we’d get along really well. A Christmas gift of a homemade butter sounds like solid gold to us! πŸ™‚ Thanks for your comments and reading the blog πŸ™‚

  20. What a great tutorial! Thank you!

  21. LOL….I’m still not sure what it is, but I know how to make it! Really looks good!

    • Hey Vivian, it’s a probiotic drink πŸ™‚ If you find yourself in a health food store… take a look in the refrigerated section… you’ll find several brands of kombucha. Try out a GT’s Kombucha strawberry or grape flavor… I think you’ll like it! πŸ™‚

Trackbacks

  1. […] Our Brewing Kombucha playlist begins with “How To Make Kombucha” – which includes a great description of what Kombucha is. The second video is presented by Rashel Harris from The Promiseland Farm – you may be hard pressed in finding a better video example. I especially liked how Rashel explains the different bottles and how to add flavour – be sure to visit the Promise Land Farm website for a full description and instructions. […]

  2. […] for a long time and miss handled. That’s a lot of brain damage just to get hold of real raw SCOBY fermented Kombucha that has the best ratio of organic acids, enzymes and […]

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