Making kombucha: Like vinegar, but more low-key?

June 3, 2009 | By | Comments (3)

Sunset’s editors have been lately spotted toting bottles of kombucha, fermented
tea sold at Whole Foods Markets and natural foods stores. (So you’re
not surprised if you try it: It smells like vinegar, but get past that
and it’s tasty. Plus, it has an aura of good health.) However, at $4 a
bottle, I’m drinking away my salary.


Which is why I was excited to read
on the ApartmentTherapy blog Re-Nest that you can make your own. From reading their description, it’s less complicated than making vinegar; it only takes 10 days from putting a batch together to drinking a batch you made yourself.


Now all I need is a “scoby,” a symbiotic culture of bacteria and
yeast that works like the mother in vinegar-making. Oh, no, wait: Thank goodness for
the Internet. According to the Love Your Mother blog (love the name), I can make my own.

Any DIY-kombucha drinkers out there? I’d love to hear about your experiences.

by Elizabeth Jardina, Sunset researcher


  1. Megan

    We’ve been making the ‘booch at home for a few months now, after we too realized we were drinking away our salaries. We started with a SCOBY from a friend, fed it disgustingly sweet herbal tea, and it’s been smooth sailing ever since! For a while I was bottling my brew and letting it sit for about a week in hopes of getting it bubbly and carbonated like GT’s. It gets a little bubbly, but not as effervescent as the store-bought (a trade off for saving so much cash, I reckon.)

    It anyone is interested in brewing their own, I highly recommend it. You can probably find someone with a SCOBY by asking people at the health food store or talking to folks in your local slow-food movement. As far as growing a SCOBY from the tea, I’ve never done it on purpose, but I’ve left half-drinken bottles of kombucha on the counter for a couple days and noticed little SCOBY’s forming.

    I do the continuous-brewing process in a large 3-gallon dispenser with a spigot. I just add more sugary tea whenever it gets depleted. I’ve shared some with friends, and most claim to have liked better than the commercial stuff.

    June 20, 2009 at 6:58 pm
  2. Matthew

    I attempted to grow my own scoby from commercial bottles… didn’t work, so I broke down and bought two scobies from an Ebay seller with a good rep… those worked great and I have already made a couple of batches… There are people whom will send you “free” scobies… but with their $10 shipping, going through the ebay seller was the better option.

    June 10, 2009 at 6:30 pm
  3. Georgia

    Am a Gingerade Kombucha drinker. Have not made it myself but a friend of mine is in the process of making a huge batch of her own.

    June 4, 2009 at 5:57 pm

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