Kombucha Recipe

Kombucha Recipe

Kombucha Tea Directions


  • Quart-Size or ½ gallon or 1 gallon Glass Jar
  • Plastic or Wooden Stirring Utensil – no metal should touch a SCOBY
  • Cheesecloth or Paper Coffee Filter
  • Rubber Band (to secure the cover to the jar)


  • Active kombucha SCOBY
  • Tea Bags or Loose Tea – Only use black or Oolong tea. Do NOT use any flavored tea.
  • White Sugar
  • Starter Tea or Distilled White Vinegar - If using vinegar, always use distilled white vinegar. Apple cider vinegar and rice vinegar are not appropriate for making kombucha tea
  • Water - unfluoridated, unchlorinated is best, but at Vine n Hop we just use tap water

Select the Ingredient Ratios for the size of batch of kombucha you are making:

Container Size




Starter Tea or Vinegar

One quart

1½ teaspoon loose tea or 2 tea bags

¼ cup

2-3 cups

½ cup

½ Gallon

1 tablespoon loose tea or 4 tea bags

½ cup

6-7 cups

1 cup


2 tablespoons loose tea or 8 tea bags

1 cup

13-14 cups

2 cups


  1. Heat water in a pot on the stove. The water should be hot enough to steep the tea but does not have to be boiling.
  2. Remove pot from heat and add tea bags or loose tea. Steep according to the directions on the tea package.
  3. Stir the sugar into the tea until the sugar dissolves.

NOTE: Using a metal tea ball to contain loose tea for making kombucha is acceptable. The tea ball should be removed before adding the SCOBY and starter tea, so the tea ball will not come into contact with the SCOBY.

  1. Cool the mixture to 68-85ºF. The tea may be left in the liquid as it cools or removed after the first 10-15 minutes. The longer the tea is left in the liquid, the stronger the tea will be.
  2. Remove the tea bags or completely strain the loose tea leaves from the liquid.
  3. Pour the sweetened tea into a clean glass jar.
  4. Add starter tea from a previous batch to the liquid. If you do not have starter tea, distilled white vinegar may be substituted. Stir with plastic or wooden spoon.
  5. Add an active kombucha SCOBY to the jar.
  6. Cover the jar with a tight-weave towel or coffee filter and secure with a rubber band.
  7. Allow the mixture to sit undisturbed at 68-85°F, out of direct sunlight, for 7-30 days, or to taste. The longer the kombucha ferments, the less sweet and more vinegary it will taste.
    1. When making a fresh batch of kombucha with vinegar we recommend letting it sit 14 days. This is called the first ferment.
    2. After 14 days follow steps 1-10 again. On Step 7 use starter tea from the first ferment; do not use vinegar. This is called the second ferment and produces a much sweeter kombucha. 
    3. Let sit only 5-7 days then flavor, bottle, and make another batch of kombucha. This is the continuous method of kombucha brewing.

Flavoring and Bottling:

  1. Kombucha can be enjoyed plain right off the top of the jar, but most people prefer it flavored and carbonated. When the kombucha has finished culturing it is time to flavor and bottle.
  2. There is no limit to the flavoring possibilities, extracts, fresh fruit, jam, herbs, 100% fruit juices or a combination of them can be used. The following are good guidelines to start; you can then adjust each consecutive batch with more or less to your taste.
    1. Extracts vary widely, be sure to use 100% natural extracts, start with ¼ tsp. extract to 16 oz. tea.
    2. 100% fruit juice is our favorite way to flavor - start with ¼ cup 100% fruit juice to 16 oz. tea.
    3. Fresh fruit can be cut and placed in the bottom of the bottle use anywhere from 2 Tbsp. - ¼ cup for 16 oz. tea
  3. For a carbonated kombucha, bottle it in a Grolsch-style bottle or other tightly-sealed container, refrigerate after 4 days or the bottle may be at risk of rupturing from too much carbon dioxide.
  4. Retain the SCOBY and enough starter tea from the bottom of the jar to use for the next batch.

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