There are a couple of ways to brew kombucha, neither of which is really difficult. The most common way I see people doing it today is not the traditional method, but the easiest. It involves brewing it in batches Kefir Grains.
Batch brewing is probably the more popular method because it is the easiest way to insure success for a beginner. I learned how to brew that way but I graduated to the traditional continual brewing method. As I would recommend starting out with batch brewing and then progressing to traditional, continuous brewing, I will cover how I do both.
There are a number of distinct advantages to the traditional method not the least of which is the amounts and number of healthy nutrients produced. Hence, I will explain those after I go through the methodology.
You just need a few things to get started:
a vessel at least a gallon or larger, preferably glass or pottery
a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast)
about a cup of kombucha
a Tbsp (~1 bag) of tea per quart
1 cup of sugar per gallon
a gallon or more of water, preferably filtered
a small amount of fruit of your choice (optional)
I started brewing in a couple of one gallon glass cookie jars I purchased at a department store for about $10.00 each. A one gallon pickle jar, if you have one kicking around would be free. I was able to convert the same jars I stated with to continuous brew jars by adding a spigot later.
SCOBY’s will not do well in steel or plastic containers as kombucha is chock full of friendly acids, that is, friendly to human digestive tracts as opposed to some materials.
As with most natural ways of fermenting food and drink the starter, in this case the SCOBY, replicates itself and produces what people call babies. So, finding a SCOBY is often easy because many people in the kombucha brewing community, in keeping with the traditional pattern, are happy to give away their “babies.”
I was able to locate mine on Kijiji an online free advertising platform for secondhand selling. I didn’t have to fork over any money as we bartered for home fermented stuff. Although there are lots of sites online that sell SCOBY’s I much prefer to get one from a neighbor. If you are unable to locate one locally online may be your only alternative.
Whether you find a SCOBY locally or have to resort to the internet you need to also get about a cup of kombucha for starter. You used to be able to grow a SCOBY yourself with commercial kombucha as you can with the homemade stuff.