Adventures in Kombucha

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Hey Everyone! I hope all of  you had a great weekend. I went to my first Sound Bath on Saturday (I’ll be posting about that soon). It was great – definitely a unique experience.

So…I have a confession…I have a Kombucha problem – an addiction that waxes and wanes. When I set out to grow my own SCOBY I was in a definite waxing period. This was in early December. I’m trying to keep my desires at bay right now since store bought Kombucha isn’t cheap and because I’m currently brewing my own. I’m excited! BUT, first things first: How I grew my own SCOBY….

What’s a SCOBY? 

The word SCOBY is an acronym for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast. SCOBY’s are used to brew Kombucha. Did you know you can grow your own SCOBY?? I didn’t, at least not a first. Then one day I was perusing Pinterest and found this post. She details how she used a bottle of GT’s Kombucha and grew her own SCOBY. Sweet! Upon further browsing I also found this post from the kitchn. (I love the kitchn, they have tons of great content on all kinds of stuff.) If you click on both posts you’ll notice both say to use GT’s original Kombucha, but I swear I read a comment somewhere that someone used a bottle of GT’s “Enlightened” brew with success, so I went with that. The Original is harder to find here, but the Enlightened bottles are abundant.

How to Grow a SCOBY – Ingredients

  • 1 bottle of RAW, UNPASTEURIZED Kombucha (I used GT’s Enlightened in the Gingerberry flavor)
  • 2 bags of ORGANIC black tea (I used Organic Earl Grey by Numi – the tea needs to be caffeinated and I think black tea will work the best according to what I’ve read. The stuff in the black tea helps to feed the SCOBY.)
  • 2 tbsp ORGANIC CANE SUGAR (do NOT use a sugar substitute!!)
  • 2 cups of boiled water

Growing a SCOBY – Method

You will need a GLASS jar, bowl, or large mug to get started. I used a 1 liter glass pitcher and sanitized it with white vinegar and very hot water before starting.

  • Pour your boiling water into the glass jar and add tea bags. Allow to steep for 10 minutes.
  • Remove tea bags and discard.
  • Stir in sugar until fully dissolved.
  • Allow tea to come down to room temp. This is VERY important so you don’t kill the bacteria when you add the bottle of Kombucha.
  • Once tea has come down to room temp, add your bottle of raw, unpasteurized Kombucha.
Pour slowly!
  • Now cover your bowl, jar, pitcher, etc. with a paper towel or cheesecloth or dish towel and secure with a rubber band. I happened to have some cheesecloth still in it’s plastic bag so that’s what I used. 
Finished and ready to grow a SCOBY!
  • Leave your brew in a warm place, but NOT in direct sunlight! I placed mine on top of my fridge.

Leave your brew to do it’s thing for at least 2 weeks. If it’s winter time and you live in a cold climate, it might take longer to grow. I did this the day before we headed out for Florida on vacation and when we came back 10 days later the SCOBY was just starting to do it’s thing. Then the holidays came and went and I decided to check out my SCOBY for the first time – almost a month later.

Woo hoo! A SCOBY!

SUCCESS! A nice, thick, healthy SCOBY! NEAT!! 😀 

Since I left it for so long, the brew had a very strong vinegar smell when I removed the cheesecloth, but it wasn’t stinky. My husband was not at all impressed when I told him I was going to brew my own Kombucha because he insisted it would stink up our entire house. I can assure you, this has not happened. Please feel free to comment/ask questions and I’ll do my best to answer.

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