I was so excited when Chris and Derek from Brew Your Bucha reached out to me to try their kombucha brewing kit. They are two local Vancouverites who left their corporate jobs to follow their passion and share their knowledge with all of us. I actually learned how to brew my own kombucha at Holistic Nutrition School and only recently have started brewing regularly. I always want everyone to try brewing their own kombucha because it’s SO cheap and it’s 100 times easier than it seems so I was curious to compare this kit to how I was taught at school and see if it was as easy as it can be. At $5 a bottle, it can be an expensive habit to keep up with and since I have my whole family hooked on this stuff, I decided to keep on brewing!
I loved their kit because they literally send you everything you need from the supplies to the detailed instructions to follow step by step. I got a scoby (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) from school but nothing else so I had to piece together my home brewing kit, until now! Brew Your Bucha has a 2L or 4L kit with various options along with so many resources on their site. I decided to go with this 4L kit because I love drinking kombucha but also because then you always have the ability to brew more or less. If you get the larger kit, it doesn’t mean you have to brew that much. Just adjust the tea/sugar accordingly. In the 4L kit, they send you enough tea and sugar to brew 2 times. If you want to brew only 2 litres at a time, you will have enough for your first 4 brews! They have provided a discount code “NEWBREW” for you to get 10% off their site and they ship to Canada & the U.S.
So before I go further, I want you to know that it’s okay to mess up. Home brewing is not always perfect especially in the beginning when you don’t know what is right and what is off. The first time I finally gathered all my supplies and tried brewing my own, it was during the summer and a heat wave. Unfortunately my kombucha turned sour very quickly because I left it out to ferment too long. Fermentation is a trial and error and it really depends on climate because the hotter your environment, the faster it ferments. In the winter in Vancouver, it takes 3-4 days before I even see any signs or smells of fermentation beginning (sour smell/bubbles).
Once you have the kit and supplies, the basic steps for brewing 4L are:
- Brew your tea (16g) using filtered water in a large pot – it has to be caffeinated, black or green loose leaf tea works well. The kombucha scoby needs the tannins in caffeinated tea but I have done 1/2 herbal and 1/2 black to experiment and it worked out great.
- Add 250g sugar and stir (with a wooden spoon). Don’t worry, the scoby eats most of this sugar because the longer you ferment your kombucha, the less sugar will be left.
- Allow to cool completely. The kit has a built in thermometer on the jar, SO COOL! Otherwise, I’d just leave it overnight to be safe and not kill your scoby.
- Once cooled, add your scoby + 1 cup of raw kombucha (from an old batch). That’s why this kit comes in handy, they send you the scoby in the liquid or otherwise ask some friends and see what they will share with you! You can also buy a dehydrated scoby online and follow those instructions too.
- Cover with a cloth, coffee filter or other fabric that will allow the kombucha to breathe but not allow bugs/germs in. Leave in a dark place outside of direct sunlight.
- Keep tasting your kombucha after about 5 days (always with a wooden or plastic utensil). Warmer climates will ferment faster and cooler climates will ferment slower. If it’s too sweet, leave it longer. If it’s sour enough, move to the next step.
- Once it tastes how you like it, remove the scoby + 1 cup of raw liquid for your next kombucha batch and refrigerate!
- Bottle your kombucha, leaving a bit of space at the top and add a secondary ferment. This is where your kombucha can get some flavour and fizz by adding a sugary secondary ferment. My favourites are frozen blueberries, mango or ginger. Once the bottles have the secondary ferment, make sure they are closed and have an airtight seal. Leave out on the counter for 1-3 days. “Burp” the bottles occasionally to test the taste and release some gas. If you leave too long, they can overflow with all the fizz so it’s best to open them over the sink.
- Once the kombucha is fizzy enough, refrigerate your bottles. This will slow down the fermentation process.
- Drink your beautiful kombucha and impress your friends. You’re a pro now!
Your scoby will create a new scoby like shown below. The size will generally be the size of whatever container you use.
Here’s the finished product! I’m sure it will not last long! Thank you to Brew Your Bucha for offering my readers the code “NEWBREW” for 10% off their purchase. I hope you found this informative. If you have any questions, as always, feel free to contact me @balancingandie on socials or my email.