- 3 Litre tapped jar
- 1 Litre fridge storage bottle
- Hand-made shower cap (breathable jar topper) with brew-tags
- Your own baby SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacterial Yeast)
- 2 x Green Tea Kombucha Brew Bundles – all the ingredients needed for approx. the first month of Kombucha
- Welcome pack including fun style instructions, adhesive thermometer & brew calendar
- Crazy new fun knowledge, & unlimited support from The Kombucha Engineer 🙂
Fermentation Vessel. This must be made from either fermentation steel or glass. I recommend a 3 Litre sized vessel to start off your brew. This will leave enough room for the SCOBY, starter liquid and the 2 Litre Green Tea Brew-Bundle’s included. I also recommend a vessel with a tap (sometimes referred to as a “tapped jar”) as this makes the process of a continuous brew SO MUCH easier. You can read more about the advantages of a continuous brew Vs. a batch brew here.
Storage Bottle. This should be made out of glass, have an air-tight lid and fit into your fridge door easily (drained Kombucha must always be stored in the fridge). I recommend a 1 – 2 Litre sized bottle (best size will depend on the size of the fermentation vessel which you’re using) if your fermentation vessel is around 3 Litres.
Breathable Lid. This is typically made from muslin or cotton, and basically just needs to allow the movement of air in and out of the fermentation vessel, but not flies / dust / aliens. It should be clean / sterile / not dusty or with loose fibres that could fall into the brew. A strong piece of kitchen roll can be used with a tight elastic band to hold the edges down. It should seal tightly around the mouth of the fermenting vessel, not have any holes, and remain in place for the whole fermentation process.
That slimy looking film growing over the surface of your brew is your new baby SCOBY, and is the sign of a super healthy brew! We need to let that grow into a good strong layer during the first and second Kombucha brews, and then you’ll be set up to make Kombucha forever!
It’s really important that you LEAVE IT WHERE IT IS and try not to disturb it too much with the first few rounds of draining and refilling your jar. It will grow thicker and will give you a much faster fermentation, with more bubbles inside your Kombucha too!
For the first few brews it is important to be patient, and leave your SCOBY submerged in approximately 3 – 4 inches of starter liquid (Kombucha from the previous batch) for 10 days (the longer you can wait the better) AFTER DRAINING and BEFORE REFILLING.
This is to ensure that the acidity of the starter liquid is low enough to keep the brew safe from contamination, and mould, and is especially useful when getting a new SCOBY going during winter!
This step won’t be needed forever, but at the start it is useful to get the power pumping!!
It will be obvious when you need to split your SCOBY! Basically, the fermentation will either be too quick, or there will be no room for Kombucha in your jar.
When it gets to either of those points, just plunge your CLEAN, jewellery free hand into the fermentation vessel, and pull out the bottom layers. These will probably be darker in colour. Keep the top, whiter layers as these are the fresh babies.
You can throw the old ones in the compost, make face-masks or smoothies out of them or turn them into dog treats … YUM! *MUST SEND PICS 🙂
This could also be a good time to clear any sediment from the bottom of the jar out, just pour it out the top with the SCOBY sitting in a clean bowl, then replace the SCOBY layers you’re keeping, and add back enough starter liquid (at least 3 inches worth, and enough to submerge the whole SCOBY).
Each kit is guaranteed to be sent with dates that have at least 3 months until the Best Before End Date.
So no you don’t need to start straight away …. but don’t wait too long 😛
To check you are brewing between 20-28 degrees Celcius (aiming for 20 degrees)
You can stick it (peel the backing off … its adhesive YAY) to a flat area / the side of your fermentation vessel / tapped jar (whatever you’ve decided to call your SCOBY home)!
- Put it in the sink with a squirt of washing up liquid. Fire the hot (not boiling) water tap into the bottom and let it froth up to the top. Let it soak for 5 minutes, open the tap for 10 seconds to pass some soapy water through. Scrub the sides and bottom.
- I normally use this stage to ensure the tap is set tight enough (see below FAQ).
- After has soaked for 5 minutes, rinse out until the soap is cleared out with cold water, and don’t forget to run some fresh water through the tap!
Another method is to sterilise the equipment, and a great way to do this is to use Milton, which you can buy online or in stores where they sell supplies for babies (the humankind). Follow the directions on the packet for this 🙂
This weird jellyfish-pancake-looking-type thing is your culture, basically your ticket to Kombucha, your chance at boochacha-ing your way into the Goodlife….forever….so be nice….
You will know mould when you see it. Mould will be blue or white fuzzy circles, and it will be dry, AND always on the top surface of your brew.
Any concerns (totally normal to have SCOBY concerns), please see SCOBY gallery. Google images also has a great gallery of healthy SCOBY examples, so please take a look there too!
Its also totally normal to have dark patches in your SCOBY too, this is the growth of new live yeast cultures and is something to celebrate! The dark patches may kind of merge into the SCOBY or hang from the underside, all really great and exciting – I promise!
You can do this by filling the jar with water just above the tap outlet and then sitting it on the side with some paper or kitchen towel under the tap to check for a drip. If it will leak it will start to do so within 10 minutes. If it drips, you can tighten (not too much) the nut at the back of the tap inside the jar to seal.
You can leave a SCOBY in the fermentation vessel, at room temperature, submerged in starter liquid (Kombucha from the previous batch) for 4 – 6 weeks and it will survive.
Just bear in mind that once you put it back to work, it might have gone slightly “dormant” and may take a while to get going with your Kombucha, so don’t panic if the first brew back takes a little longer than normal.
As you drink the Kombucha during the tasting days, the level in the jar will obviously drop. Sometimes the SCOBY kind of attaches to the edges of the jar, and then stays stuck when the level of the liquid goes down.
If you notice this is happening, just use a NON-METAL kitchen utensil, or a lovely clean finger to push the edges down and get him back into the liquid. He won’t mind, don’t worry if he sort of tears, he’s made of tough stuff and he will just sort of heal himself and patch back together haha!
Yep, some will float then sink, some might always float, some will sink a little bit then float haha!
You can probably guess it doesn’t matter where you SCOBY ends up hanging out, there are many things which effect the SCOBY in this way, but mostly they revolve around complicated yeast science!
It is normal for a very small amount of fizz to pop out whilst the bottle is stored in the fridge, but this shouldn’t be a huge amount as the fermentation of the Kombucha is stopped when it is chilled.
Sediment at the bottom of the jar is totally normal! This will be dark-jelly-like-strands of yeast that form around the SCOBY as it works to make your delicious Kombucha, which as they become older, drop off and sink!
These yeast strands may also find their way out through the tap and into your storage bottle or glass occasionally! Don’t panic – they actually have nutritional benefits to offer, and are super healthy to drink, but it is also fine to avoid those lumpy bits 🙂
Feel free to clear the jar out if you see it build up a lot (a couple of centimetres at the bottom of the jar is normal after a few brews) we recommend to have a cleaning refresh around 3 months anyway, but there is no harm to jump ahead of schedule as long as you add back the SCOBY with enough starter liquid. I would normally do this just before I am refilling with a fresh brew.
Every time you make a new brew, a new baby SCOBY will grow! This is perfectly fine, and actually shows that you are doing a good job. See instructions for pruning of SCOBY’s, once you notice that your jar is a bit full, and there isn’t much room for Kombucha, but until then – sit back and enjoy the rapid fermentation that a SCOBY family will bring!
The new SCOBY growing can look like a very thin film of jelly for a little while, its speed of growth will depending on things like the temperature and size of other SCOBY so don’t panic if you start to see a slimy-wobbly-film growing over the top of your brew!
The Kombucha we make here is Kombucha in its purest form! I think my body likes having around 100-120ml each day, which is what I am recommending, however it is important you introduce it to your diet slowly, and consider other dietary factors which may influence how you respond.
All I can say on this is listen to your body, see how it makes you feel! If it makes your inside wobbly or mildly upset, give it a miss the following day and then try a smaller serving. Are you really craving another kombucha, I know its delicious, or are you just craving a glass of water? Take baby steps with it, be kind to your body, and treat yourself to PRE-biotics too, like fruits and veggies, and like the parent that was always right, everything is best in moderation! Sorry, I know we’ve all heard that one before!
Nope! Little bits and bobs of SCOBY matter may make its way into the storage bottle when you drain it from the jar, all of this is totally fine, and they have nutritional benefits if you feel like drinking them! But if you don’t, just filter them out!
You may also grow a tiny SCOBY in the storage bottle, depending on how long you let the Kombucha ferment before bottling! This is perfectly normal, if anything – its a good sign 🙂
NO – the sugar is important fuel for the SCOBY to feed on, without the sugar there is no Kombucha. If your Kombucha is a bit on the sweet side for your liking, then let the brew ferment slightly longer next time. Anywhere between 7-21 days fermentation is normal, and should get you that tarty twang!
This is probably just an escaped part of your SCOBY, and is totally fine, but if its upsetting your flow then use a little cocktail stick to free it up, and maybe remove some of the sediment from the bottom next time you refill! Don’t remove all of it though, that’s your super exciting yeast friend!
Please see Youtube Video, link below 🙂