Home-Brewing-Kombucha Essentially Loved Quilts

Home Brewing Kombucha

I LOVE kombucha and so do my boys (I’m still working on the husband 😆)! Not only is it good for our guts, but it’s a healthy version of soda that I can flavor however I (or my boys) want it! 🤩

Grab your free printable recipe here.


Essentially Loved Quilts kombucha brewing supplies

Ingredients & Supplies

1/2 gal. Mason Jar
6 cups Water
4-5 tsp Black or Green Tea Leaves
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Kombucha SCOBY

2nd Ferment supplies: pint/quart mason jars, swing top glass bottles, or growler. Flavoring options: frozen, dehydrated, or fresh fruit, herbs, or loose-leaf teas.


The Details

The jar or brewing container – this should be at least half a gallon and glass. Once you are ready to move on to larger containers make sure you amend the recipe to correspond with the new size.
Also, if you decide to go the continuous brew method (my fav) glass and stainless are a must… NO plastic. The kombucha is too acidic for the plastic and you will end up with microplastics in your brew and that’s bad juju 😝. When I started my search, I was seeing all sorts of “drink dispensers”, but most had plastic washer rings or parts and you need to stick with stainless and food grade silicone. Details on continuous brew here. 

Essentially Loved Quilts continuous brew kombucha
The Christmas lights are to keep the brew warm in my chilly house during the winter/cold season. 


Water – I’m sure you’re thinking… “what special things do I need to know about water, Tracy?” Well, Darlin’, the water is actually important… you need water without chlorine in it, so if you have tap water you need to filter out your water, let it sit (uncovered) for a few hours to let the chlorine evaporate out, or you can buy it. This important as the chlorine and other chemicals or heavy metals can affect your brew. More info on water here. 

Loose Leaf Tea – the base tea is important because it is partly what feeds your SCOBY (it’s a livingorganism(s)) and the right (or wrong) tea base will affect your brew. The biggest thing to avoid with tea leaves for brewing is essential oil additives, these can harm your SCOBY, so make sure the leaves are just leaves, no extras.
The two most often used are green and black teas for brewing. Black tea is the most common and results in a bolder flavor, whereas green tea is lighter. Other things to think about when choosing your tea is caffeine and other effects/benefits of the tea. I chose green tea (and like this one), because it’s helpful for weight loss (a long-time struggle of mine). I love this article on getting started… it gives some more in depth info, plus she’s a friend 😁.

Sugar – granulated sugar is typical for kombucha as it’s the most accessible, BUT you can use other sweeteners instead, you may have to slowly acclimate your SCOBY to the new sugar. I use a raw, organic for mine. Other sugars include maple syrup, agave, and many other varieties of sugar. Check out this article for sugar options and this article if you want to use syrup for your kombucha brewing. 

SCOBY – last, but definitely not least is our SCOBY… and really the most important part of the kombucha process.
SCOBY stands for
Symbiotic Colony OBacteria and Yeast
The SCOBY can be gotten from various sources… if you’re local to NE Oregon I’d be happy to share one of my SCOBYs with you (I have lots because they grow and create babies 😄, so I have a ”hotel” full of them). Or if you happen to know my travel schedule (HA!) and I’ll be in your area soon, I’d love to share! If those don’t work I highly recommend getting your SCOBY here because it’s a great starter and where I got mine from, so I trust it 😃 (plus they have great base tea and flavorings! 😋).

Essentially Loved Quilts Kombucha SCOBY


 Let’s get started brewing up your first batch of Kombucha!
We’ll talk about the 2nd ferment stuff in a bit… 😉



  • Start your water heating and bring to a boil.
  • While the water is heating, add tea to a tea strainer (again, no plastic please; I like this one because they are a small, veteran family run business with good quality products made here in the US 🤩) and place the strainer in a gallon or half gallon glass jar (stainless also works here).
  • Pour boiled water over tea and let steep for 5-7 min—I cover my container, so all the goodness doesn’t steam out 😁.
Essentially Loved Quilt home brewing kombucha blog post
  • Strain the tea, pulling the strainer from the jar, then stir in sugar until it’s fully dissolved.
  • Let tea cool to 65-95°F or add ice (I’m a busy lady and have things to do 😉) to cool it down quicker.
    If the tea is too hot 100°F or higher it can kill your SCOBY, so make sure the tea is cool enough before adding your SCOBY.

Essentially Loved Quilts cooling kombucha with ice for home brewing kombucha blog post

  • When cool enough, add the SCOBY and 1/2 cup of the kombucha brew the SCOBY was previously in--this helps acclimate it to its new environment.
  • Allow the kombucha to brew for ~7+ days depending on how sweet/tart you want it—this can also vary depending on how warm it’s environment is… in summer it will brew faster, winter may take longer if your home is cooler.
    I’ve brewed as quickly as three days before, but usually it takes about a week. If sugar is an issue for you, you can let it brew longer to allow to SCOBY to use up more of the sugar.
  • Once the brew is to taste or desired pH, pull out the SCOBY and ½-1 cup of the brew, then add remaining brew to bottles or jars for flavoring. Repeat the above steps to start a new batch of kombucha.

Essentially Loved Quilts Home Brewing Kombucha blog post bottling first fermented kombucha


  • Add flavorings to bottles and let sit for 24+ hours to flavor and fizz--burp bottles once a day to relieve pressure.

Essentially Loved Quilts Home Brewing Kombucha blog post Adding flavoring to bottled tea for second fermentation


     To get your printable version of the directions click here.


    Let’s talk 2nd ferment equipment really quick…

    Bottles/Jars – I tried mason jars (pint and quart) when I first started, but my 2nd ferments really lacked the fizzy bubbly I was wanting for the boys (more soda-ish than juice-ish). Then I tried flip-top glass bottles and voila! I had fizzy (healthy) soda 🥳! There are tricks you can try (a raisin or small piece of ginger) to up the fizzy-ante, but I find the bottles easiest. I also found that glass growlers work great as well, so if you’re wanting to just have one flavor at a time from a ½ gallon recipe those would be a great option and another one I use on the regular. These are the glass flip-top bottles I use and love and I do have one 32oz one as well.
    Size will really depend on how much you want in a serving at a time or how many flavors you want from one batch.

    Essentially Loved Quilts home brewing kombucha blog post bottle options for 2nd ferment


    Flavorings – You can use fresh, dried, freeze-dried, or frozen fruits as well as herbs and even teas to flavor your kombucha. I think the only one I haven’t used is freeze-dried, but only because I don’t have access to lots of it, otherwise I use all of the above. With teas you do need to use about 1 tsp of tea for 16oz bottle versus a pre-made flavoring like these, which only use ½ a tsp of flavoring per 16oz bottle.
    When making your own flavorings from go light only amount to start with and add more to the next batch if you find it wasn’t enough or you could also re-flavor with more for a second-second 😅ferment—it’s easier to add more than to have to take away.

    Essentially Loved Quilts Home Brewing Kombucha blog post the many options of flavoring the second ferment
    Here you can see some of my teas, kombucha flavorings, and the little jar in the back has dehydrated lemon peel. All of these make great options for flavoring 2nd ferment kombucha. 


    Why…? Why do I want to even start this crazy, crunchy thing???

    Lol! Great question! In a nutshell… for your health! The longer answer is it’s a GREAT replacement for soda!! It was a big reason why I did it, not that we drank a lot of soda, but it was far more often than this “crunchy” mom would have liked. It also has some great probiotics in it that are easier for your body to accept than a pill (and cheaper). It’s also waaaay cheaper to brew your own kombucha at home than it is to buy it for $3-5+ per 12-16oz bottle. Brewing it at home is less than a $1 per 16oz bottle. And last, but not least there are some awesome health benefits to drinking kombucha on the regular. I’ll leave you with this article to help you get a better handle on why kombucha is good for you and a good switch to make. Here's another brief article talking about gut health


    Don't forget to grab your printable directions for making your own kombucha! 


    👉🏻 And please let me know what questions you have about Kombucha... I probably missed some details that you're curious about 😅 and depending on the questions I may write a follow up post or just update this one 😉.

    Essentially Loved Quilts home brewing kombucha blog post finished kombucha


    If you like this post, you may find these ones interesting as well:


    Warmth & Love,
    💜 Tracy


    PS. If you made kombucha using my directions and love it, I would love if you shared your thoughts and gave it “a 5 star review” in the comments! Also, tag me on Facebook or Instagram @EssentiallyLovedQuilter.

    PPS. This blog may contain affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase after clicking on a link, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions about products are my own and I will never recommend products that I have not or would not use myself. Thanks for supporting Essentially Loved!

    PPPS.  I am not a doctor. The contents of this blog are made available via Essentially Loved LLC through Essentially Loved Bits and Essentially Loved Quilts and are for informational purposes only. This blog is not medical advice and cannot be substituted for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions or concerns about your health, please seek a qualified medical professional. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information provided by Essentially Loved LLC, Essentially Loved Quilts, or Essentially Loved Bits. Reliance on any information provided by this blog or website is solely your own risk.  

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