Home Brewed Kombucha – Part One!

Grow Your Own SCOBY for Home Brewed Kombucha!

S.C.O.B.Y. is an acronym for symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast that is used to brew kombucha. If you've ever had a store bought kombucha and found little blobs in it, those are scoby fragments! You can utilize those tiny pieces of scoby to grow your own kombucha mother.

Course Drinks
Keyword bulk, diy, fermented, health, home brewed, kombucha, probiotic, scoby, tea
Prep Time 30 days


  • 1/2 Cup Sugar (available in bulk – PLU: #6139 or #6121)
  • 7 Cups Water
  • 1 Tbsp Plain bulk loose black tea (such as Yunnan #6446 or Assam #2821)* OR 4 tea bags
  • 1 Cup Unflavored kombucha (Health-Ade Original available in store)


  1. Sterilize the jar with boiling hot water so no unwanted bacteria are mixed with your kombucha culture.

  2. Brew the tea! Bring 7 cups of water to a boil and add tea to steep. Leave tea steeping throughout cooling. Do not remove.

  3. Dissolve ½ cup sugar into the hot tea.

  4. Let cool to room temperature (68-75 degrees F).

  5. Remove tea bags/leaves and pour into the 2 quart jar.

  6. Add 1 cup unflavored unpasteurized kombucha.

  7. Cover the top of the jar with the cheesecloth or coffee filter and secure with the rubber band.

  8. Store in a dark place with an average temperature of 70 degrees F (kitchen cabinets work well).

  9. Wait…checking in every couple days for the development of a thin opaque layer – this is the beginning! Normal signs of growth involve bubbles, strings of culture from the bottom to the top layer, shiny opaque film floating on top and a vinegary scent. Allow the SCOBY to continue growing until it reaches ~¼ inch thick. Signs something has gone wrong include: black or green mold, funky smell such as cheese or rotting meat. If this is the case, toss everything, re-sanitize equipment and begin again.

  10. Once the SCOBY has developed to ~¼ inch thickness it is ready to begin brewing batches of kombucha! The vinegary liquid from the growth process will be used to start the first batch of kombucha. Excess liquid can be used as a skin toner, household cleaner, or hair rinse!

  11. Reserve 2 cups of the liquid with the scoby – be sure to handle the SCOBY with clean hands to avoid introducing rogue bacteria.

Recipe Notes

*Note on black tea varieties, avoid using flavored teas such as earl gray or herbal tisanes in the first fermentation. English, Irish, Scottish breakfast teas are suitable as well as orange pekoe despite the name, it is not flavored with additional ingredients.



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