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Kombucha - making your own?

stephaniek511stephaniek511 Member Posts: 63 Member Member Posts: 63 Member
in Recipes
I really like Kombucha however I don't love the price tag in the stores. I was thinking about making my own (small batch) so I can have this tasty beverage on hand all the time. It seems like a manageable thing but just wondering - do you make your own or buy it? What are your experiences with making it yourself? Worth the hassle or easier to buy?


  • Captain_RGCaptain_RG Member Posts: 101 Member Member Posts: 101 Member
    I regularly make it. It's not complicated or time-intensive at all. It also usually makes a good number of bottles. But the best part is playing around with different fruit infusions. Apple cinnamon kombucha has been the best so far.
    The only downside is getting used to handling the scobi. It just feels weird and looks like a jellyfish.
  • just_Tomekjust_Tomek Member Posts: 9,151 Member Member Posts: 9,151 Member
    I used to make it, now I just buy it. There is zero benefit of drinking it. I drink it for taste and mix it into drinks cause I like the fuzz. Easier to buy, tastes better and not as messy.
  • stephaniek511stephaniek511 Member Posts: 63 Member Member Posts: 63 Member
    Two good opinions...thank you both!
  • rosebarnalicerosebarnalice Member Posts: 2,817 Member Member Posts: 2,817 Member
    I prefer water kefir (as opposed to milk kefir, which is a different culture) to kombucha. Water kefir has a shorter fermentation time (24-48 hrs for the kefir vs. 2-4 weeks for kombucha), and is also more tolerant if you ignore it or forget to feed it. I killed my kombucha scoby through neglect, but I've gone a good month without doing anything to my water kefir culture, and when I started feeding it again, it bounced right back!

    The health benefits of both are a little sketchy. Yes, they are both fermented and contain a variety of bacteria, yeasts and other probiotics, but there is some conflicting information out there about how well the body actually accepts these external sources of yeast and bacteria, and whether or not the sugars that they are typically prepared with for consumption basically negate the health benefits by feeding the sugar-loving bacteria that are already in the guts. Do your own research and draw your own conclusions.

    I will say that several years ago I had a terrible 6-month bout with C. diff (a naturally occurring but terribly opportunistic gut bacteria that basically kills off everything else in the gut biome and causes debilitating diarrhea and dehydration). As part of my recovery, my nurse practitioner recommended daily servings of kombucha, kefir, sauer kraut or kimchi, so I started making all of them. After eating the saurkraut or kimchi or drinking the kefir, I experienced some relief from my symptoms for a few hours, but the kombucha didn't seem to make a noticeable difference.

    That was 3 1/2 years ago, and I continue to make water kefir and kimchi--enjoying one or the other about twice a week because I LIKE them--regardless of their questionable health benefits
    edited July 2019
  • stephaniek511stephaniek511 Member Posts: 63 Member Member Posts: 63 Member
    Oh, I'm not familiar with water kefir - does it have the same fizz as kombucha? I will have to see if a store has some nearby for me to try and do some research into making it! I find I just like fermented foods/drinks versus using them for any health benefits (real or imagined). I don't drink much soda but really enjoy the fizz...and I like the idea of experimenting with flavor options.
  • JenSD6JenSD6 Member Posts: 454 Member Member Posts: 454 Member
    Water kefir definitely has fizz, just ask my ceiling. lol I bought the kefir grains online, and once it got going it was very easy to make. I had a lot of fun coming up with various flavor combinations.
  • whoami67whoami67 Member Posts: 176 Member Member Posts: 176 Member
    Sometimes I make it and sometimes I buy it. It's easy and cheap enough to make. I prefer plain flavored so I've never really experimented with adding fruit flavors.

    To first grow a SCOBY and then make kombucha:

    Boil 1 quart water. Add about 1/2 cup white sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and add 2 tea bags. Steep about 10 minutes and remove tea bags. Cool to room temperature. Pour into a large glass container. Pour in a bottle of store bought Kombucha (I usually use GTs). Cover with cheesecloth or a dishcloth. Leave the container in a cupboard for about 1 to 2 weeks until a decent sized SCOBY (1/8th to 1/4 inch thick) has grown on the top. This first batch is just for the SCOBY, not for drinking.

    Now that you've grown a SCOBY, you can make the first batch for drinking. Boil water. Add sugar. Add tea bags. Cool. Pour in some of the first batch of Kombucha you brewed and add the SCOBY. Cover and place in a dark cupboard for a week or two. You can now drink this batch but save some to add to the next batch you brew.

  • oceandaisiesoceandaisies Member Posts: 47 Member Member Posts: 47 Member
    I have been making kombucha for a few years now. My hubby and I both like it and it helped us stop drinking so much pop. I make it every 3 weeks. Flavor with whatever fruit is in season (or that I froze for the winter). Mine is very fizzy (aka explosive at times).
    I did make water kefir for awhile. I honestly did not like the taste of it and found it a pain in my a** to have to do something with it every 24-48 hours.
    I actually have found kombucha has improved my GI symptoms (acid reflux, bloating, etc) but then I wonder is that because I don't drink pop anymore versus the kombucha itself.
  • jguldi11jguldi11 Member Posts: 130 Member Member Posts: 130 Member
    I make my own kombucha, have been for a few years now. I make a batch about every 1-2 weeks and I do a 2nd ferment to infuse with fruit and create extra fizz. It's a fairly simple process and so much more affordable to make it instead of buying, plus you can experiment with new flavors. I highly recommemd Wellness Mama for instructions:

    Happy brewing!
  • stephaniek511stephaniek511 Member Posts: 63 Member Member Posts: 63 Member
    Yay, thank you for the additional responses! I really do like it so I think I'll give home brewing a try.
  • Traced7Traced7 Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
    I’m enjoying making my own. Still unsure about the sugar and alcohol levels in it. I’ve been going to try get my hands on an wine hydrometer to test.

    One thing I found- don’t use coconut sugar- it has antimicrobial properties and my scoby was not happy. Gave it white sugar and it was. 😂
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