Kombucha Brewing Manual

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Kombucha Brewing Manual

This manual is an efficient and simple way how to prepare and harvest 10 l of kombucha beverage. The original version was created in Three Stone Hearth Kitchen and Tastebridge and transformed later on.

Ingredients and Utensils


  • 600 g evaporated cane organic sugar (6% w/v)
  • 10 l filtered water (or tab water)
  • 60 g tea leaves (black, green or white) (0.6% w/v)
  • 500 ml starter (from a previous batch of black, green, or white kombucha) (5% v/v)
  • SCOBY (50-500 g)


!!!LOGBOOK!!! Nice and sturdy, no no to pages removal

  • 1 fermentation vessel/bucket (volume (V) = 12 l at least), materials - glass, stainless steel or food-grade plastic
  • 1 2-4 l pot with lid
  • 1 2-4 l pitcher
  • 1 1 l pitcher
  • 1 kitchen scale
  • 2 small cambrows or containers (to hold 300 and 1000 ml)
  • 1 large wooden or stainless steel spoon
  • 1 small wooden or stainless steel spoon
  • 1 strainer
  • 1 cloth (size to cover the vessel)
  • 1 rubber bend or wire (to tighten the cloth on the fermentation vessel)
  • 1 masking tape
  • 1 pencil or pen
  • 1 glass or plastic container (with lid V = 0.5-1 l)
  • 1 muslin or cheese cloth (small mesh)
  • 1 mixing vessel (pot or bucket 5-12 l)
  • 1 funnel
  • 10-30 bottles (screw type with screw tops or beer bottles types woth caps)
  • 1 capper (in case of using beer bottles and cups)


Day 1 / Brewing

1. Prepare your work station: clean it, preferably with vinegar water spray

2. Collect utensils and ingredients (see above)

3. Put pot on the stove

4. Fill the pot about 2-3 l with filtered water (leave at least 1 l of space)

5. Lid the pot and bring to a boil on high flame

6. Meanwhile, measure the tea and the sugar:

-  Put a small cambro/container on the scale and tare it out (for each container)
-  Weigh out 60 g of tea into the smaller container
-  Weigh out 600 g of white sugar into the bigger container
-  Prepare a space in the kitchen were to transfer the hot pot when the water is boiling.  

7. Turn off the flame under the water when boiling, and transfer the pot to the dedicated location (NOTE: the handles may be VERY hot--it is best to use not only gloves but also pieces of aluminium foil to prevent burning the gloves)

8. If you are making black tea kombucha, go ahead and add the tea (black tea). If you are making green or white tea, add 500 ml of filtered water to it to cool it down to 90ºC (~190ºF), then add green or white tea (same amounts). Use a stainless steel spoon to make sure that all the tea is submerged in the hot water

10. Wait 10-15 minutes max and in the mean while

11. Add the pre-measured 600 g of sugar into the bottom of an empty pot (at least 6 l)

12. Strain the tea by pouring the infusion through a strainer into the pot with the sugar. Put tea waste into compost.

13. Stir the mixture intensively for 2-3 minutes to make sure that all the sugar is dissolved.

14. Cool the mixture down by adding 2-3 l of cold filtered water. Stir again before moving on to the next step.

15. Pour this “syrup” into a fermentation vessel

16. Add enough water to make the fermentation vessel 2/3 full. Check the temperature to make sure it isn’t warmer than 30ºC(100ºF). If too hot let to sit up for 1-2 hours to cool down.

17. Add 500 ml of the starter --use black tea kombucha for black tea kombucha, green tea kombucha for green tea kombucha, and white tea kombucha for white tea kombucha

18. Add water to fill to the culture volume of 10 l

19. Add the appropriate kombucha SCOBY, making sure that the growing young part is facing "up".

20. Cover the jar with a muslin square or kitchen towel, securing with a rubber band or wire.

21. Label each jar with acronyms of tea used as a base, organism used for culturing and date when the culture was started (meaning when the organism was added) and initials of person who prepared the batch (example: black tea kombucha base, prepared on 08/30/2010 by Froggy Toad would be labelled as: BK - 08/30/2010 FT)

22. Let ferment for 6-8 days at room temperature, start tasting after 4 days.

Day 2 / Harvesting and Bottling

Prepare infusions for flavoured kombuchas, for black kombucha just move to first step of harvesting (Each recipe below is for one batch of flavoured kombucha)

  • Hibiscus Kombucha (white or green tea)

1. Fill a cambro with 2 l of room temperature filtered water

2. Add 70 g of hibiscus flowers (0.58% w/v)

3. Lid and let steep for 4-24 hours at room temperature

4. Strain the infusion through muslin.

  • Ginger Lime Kombucha (white or green tea)

A. Ginger infusion

1. Wash ginger and cut off rotten parts

2. Weigh out 150 g of washed and trimmed ginger (1.36% w/v)

3. Cut the ginger on 2-3 cm pieces and put in to the food processor and coarsely purée

4. Measure 650 ml of water and put into a pot with the ginger

5. Lid and bring to a boil and let to simmer for at least 1 hour or

6. Transfer the hot mixture into the crock pot, lid and turn to high

7. Let infuse for at least 1 hour, 2-3 hours is better

8. Strain infusion through muslin

B. Lime zest and juice

1. Zest limes to make 1 cube (standard ice cube)

2. Take 1 cube and cover with 100 ml cold filtered water and let sit at room temperature overnight (at least 12 hours)

3. Juice limes to yield about 200 ml of liquid

4. Filter juice through muslin

  • Nettle Kombucha (white or green tea)

1. Put 1 l of filtered water and 66 g of dried nettle leaves in a pot (0.6% w/v). Cover and bring to a boil and let to simmer for at least 1 hour or

2. Transfer to a crock pot

3. Turn to high and let simmer for at least 1 hour

4. Strain through muslin

5. Squeeze the muslin so that you get all the liquid (being careful not to burn your hands!)

  • Grape Kombucha (white or green tea)

600 ml of Concord Grape Juice (5.66% w/v)


1. If preparing plain black kombucha go to point 2 otherwise decide which flavours you are going to prepare and check online to know what flavours are going with which teas

2. Transfer the fermentation vessel to the sink/working area

3. Remove the cloth from the fermentation vessel on one side of the sink and either put in the laundry to wash or put to the side to use again

4. Using clean hands, remove the SCOBYs from the fermentation vessel and put in the storage container (glass preferred since metals will ruin kombucha) and cover the container immediately

5. Transfer the container in to the cold storage area

6. Stir the liquid in fermentation vessel

7. Prepare the mixing vessel of volume at least 12 l, 15 l preferred:

-  Clean the mixing vessel with hot water and towels (avoid chemicals)
-  Put two towels on the table and put the mixing vessel on top of the towels

8. Line the stainless steel strainer with muslin Revised version- since any kind of metal and or plastic will make the Kombucha not healthy to drink it is not wise to use metal or plastic anything.

9. Put a stainless steel spoon in the tip of the strainer to help stabilise it over the vessel if worried that it's unstable (see photo) any metals will leach contaminates into your kombucha it is best to use only glass to hold your kombucha and wooden spoons to stir it.

10. Strain the batch by 1-4 l pitcher through the muslin-lined strainer

11. Clean the empty fermentation vessel and put it upside-down to drip dry

12. Clean the muslin with hot water and put aside to use again

13. Stir the kombucha with the small ladle and then taste and mark out finding in to the logbook

14. Remove 500 ml of the kombucha to reserve as starter for next batch. Put in a cambro.

15. Add flavour for that batch if desired

16. Taste and adjust flavour by adding more sugar if necessary. The sweetness should be a bit higher than preferred before bottled. Generally we add:

-  0 ml of sugar for black kombucha
-  250-500 ml of sugar for Hibiscus Kombucha
-  250 ml of sugar for Grape Kombucha
-  250-500 ml of sugar for Ginger-Lime Kombucha
-  250 ml of sugar for Nettle 

17. Taste again and if happy start to bottle


1. Wash bottling hose in hot water and attach it to the mixing container if valve present. If not put the mixing vessel on a crate to increase the gravitation flow and move the hose to the bottom of the mixing container

2. Place your empty clean bottles on towels by the mixing vessel. (Consider the type of the bottles because of the pressure accumulation during secondary fermentation).

3. Open the spigot/valve or suck the un-submerged end by pump or mouth to start the flow (hold low)

4. Empty about 100-200 ml of liquid from the mixing vessel through the hose and into a tea cup. (This cleans out the hose of liquids that were previously being bottled or any after taste). Close the valve or squeeze the hose (soft plastic) to stop the flow.

5. Put the hose into the bottle, sticking it all the way in to the bottom of the bottle. (This prevents the creation of foam and enables you to fill each bottle only once).

6. Turn the spigot or release the hose so that the liquid flows out of the mixing tank and into the bottle. Fill the bottle up to about 2-4 cm below the top of the bottle. (This leaves enough room for the drink to develop effervescence without putting too much pressure on the lid or the bottle).

7. When the bottle is filled appropriately, pinch the hose to stop the flow and move the hose to the next bottle, sticking it all the way in to the bottom of the bottle.

8. As each bottle is filling, screw the cap on to the bottle that was just filled and affix a label if screw tops are used. 9. Repeat steps 7 and 8 above with all the bottles until they are all full, lidded, and labelled.

10. If the beer bottles and caps are used, use the capper to cup all the bottles and label them.

11. Transfer the bottles in to the crate and label the crate with the name of the flavour, the bottling date, and the number of bottles (example - white tea kombucha, hibiscus flavour, date of harvest 10/12/2010 --> wkh 10/12/2010)

12. Mark the type and number of harvested bottles to the logbook

13. Move that crate to the secondary fermentation area (15-30ºC(60-85ºF)). Note that the temperature should be oscillating and not constant!!!(various microorganisms in the culture have different temperature optima).

14. Hold back at least 2 bottles from each batch to be labelled “experimental” and use is it for experimental purposes. It is best to take these bottles from the middle of the bottling process. Put a piece of tape on the side reading: “EXP mm/dd/yy” and a notation of what is in the bottle: 15/11/2010 WKGL means “white kombucha ginger lime, harvested on 15th of November 2010.”

Day 3 / Secondary Fermentation

1. Allow the drink to sit at room temperature for 24-48 hours depending on the temperature, flavour, and batch

-  Grape usually needs only 1 day
-  Hibiscus usually needs only 1 day
-  Most of the other flavours do best with 2 days

2. Transfer bottles to refrigerated walk-in until consumption

3. Let to sit at least for a week for plain kombuchas, and two for flavours

4. Consume within weeks or months