Drinking kombucha for its purported health benefits is on the rise. So to is making kombucha at home. In this post, we share our tips on how to choose the best home kombucha kit before beginners and experienced kombucha makers.
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The Best Kombucha Kits
We include detailed kombucha making kit reviews below, but if you are short on time, feel free to use the table below to see our best picks. We recommend using Amazon for making your purchase.
First, we find Amazon to have the best at-home culinary kits in terms of price and quality. Second, we try to recommend products that are part of Amazon Prime, which provides purchasers with free and often super-fast delivery. (Get 30 days of Prime free here.)
What Is Kombucha
Kombucha is a fermented, lightly carbonated tea drink. Black or green tea is mixed with sugar, bacteria, and yeast and allowed to “brew.” It is flavored with a variety of spices, fruits, and other juices. Kombucha has become a popular drink for its supposed health benefits.
Originating in China, kombucha has long been made and consumed for its purported medicinal properties. From reducing blood pressure to fighting certain cancers, the list of medical benefits of drinking kombucha is lengthy. However, modern science has yet to back any of these claims. Despite this, the popularity of drinking kombucha continues to grow.
With any fermented beverage, caution should be used when consuming it. This holds true with drinking kombucha. When starting out with kombucha, it’s best to start with small amounts. Fermented drinks can cause bloating, gas, and other stomach discomforts in those who are not used to drinking them. Over time these issues should disappear.
The Best Kombucha Making Kits Reviews
The Kombucha Shop’s Kombucha Starter Kit is the perfect way to get into at home kombucha making. From a leader in home kombucha making kits, the Kombucha Shop Starter Kit has been the best selling kombucha making kit for years.
Made in the U.S.A., each kit comes with a one-gallon glass jar, pH test strips, kombucha starter culture, loose-leaf tea, sugar, and a temperature gauge. Easy-to-follow instructions are also included. The folks at the Kombucha Shop pride themselves on their product and offer a free replacement if the first batch doesn’t ferment.
From a leader in at home kombucha making kits, the Bucha Brewers Kombucha Starter Kit provides all you need to get fermenting at home. The team at Bucha Brewers are experts at home brewing. They have hand selected and rigorously tested all the equipment and ingredients in their kits.
Every Bucha Brewers kit includes kombucha SCOBY, starter tea, sugar, and black tea blend. On the equipment side, a one-gallon glass jug, pH strips, thermometer strips, and coffee filters are all included. Bucha Brewers have shared their expertise in making kombucha into an easy-to-follow instruction book. They also provide free recipes and tips on their website.
Easy to use, the Fermentaholics Kombucha Essentials Kit is the perfect kit for first time kombucha makers. Detailed instructions guide you through the process of making kombucha at home. Each keep comes fully equipped with a one-gallon glass jar, SCOBY, adhesive thermometer, and muslin cover.
Fermentaholics’ SCOBY is grown in their own lab and is certified organic and Kosher. To help you through the kombucha making process, Fermentaholics provides free support to answer all your questions.
How To Make Your Own Kombucha At Home
Because you will be working with live bacteria and yeast, it is important that all your equipment is sanitized. Wash all your equipment in hot, soapy water prior to getting started. Unsanitized utensils can transfer contaminants to the SCOBY leading to a bad batch of kombucha and potential illness. If you are going to handle the SCOBY, it’s best to wear non-latex gloves to avoid contaminating it.
Having a properly cultured SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) is the key to how to brew kombucha. It’s important to purchase the SCOBY from a reliable source.
If you don’t have a trusted friend making their own kombucha, it’s possible to purchase from your local health food store. Once you’ve gotten your SCOBY, make sure to inspect it for mold, fungal growth, or discoloration.
The first step in making kombucha is to bring one cup of filtered water and sugar to a boil. This mixture will feed the SCOBY and fuel the fermentation process. Once the sugar is completely dissolved tea bags are added. Tea is the last main ingredient in making kombucha. It’s important to only use black or green tea. Herbal teas have an adverse effect on SCOBY.
Cool And Add SCOBY
After the tea has steeped for approximately 10 minutes, remove the bags. Additional filtered water is added to increase the volume of kombucha produced. After the mixture has cooled, it’s time to add the SCOBY and let it go to work. Covering the container with coffee filters will allow the container to “breath” while keeping out unwanted particles.
With the SCOBY securely in the jar, the next step is properly storing it. For the best results, avoid putting the jar in direct sunlight. The jar should be kept in a spot with minimal sunlight and a constant temperature. Both direct sunlight and fluctuating temperatures can affect the fermentation process. From start to finish, the fermentation process will take between 7-10 days.
Test And Flavor
After the fermentation process has finished, it’s time to test the pH level. The ideal pH level is between 4.2 and 2.5. Once you have the correct pH level, transfer the contents to a new container for flavoring. Sliced ginger, apple, and other fruits are common ingredients used to flavor kombucha. Strain the infused mixture and store it in the refrigerator. A batch of kombucha will last up to six months if properly stored.
Why Buy A Home Kombucha Kit
Perhaps more than making beer or wine at home, there is a certain increased level of risk with making kombucha at home. Much like handling raw meat or making canned goods at home, the bacteria necessary to make kombucha can cause illness if not handled properly. For this reason alone, buying a kombucha homebrew kit makes sense.
For a first-time kombucha maker, making kombucha at home can be difficult. There are many moving parts to understand. Which supplies or equipment do you need? How does fermentation work? When will I know the kombucha is ready? Trying to figure this out independently can be time-consuming and very frustrating.
Using an at-home kombucha kit saves time, and energy and will eliminate a lot of frustration. Regardless of how familiar you are with home brewing, there are kits available to match your level of experience. Best of all, at home kits provide all the equipment you will need to make kombucha. There’s no need to buy any additional equipment or ingredients. Using the provided instructions, you’ll be making kombucha in no time.
What’s Included In A DIY Kombucha Kit
Online shopping sites like Amazon offer a variety of kombucha brewing kits for sale. Instead of having to source the necessary kombucha supplies separately, these kits provide all the components you’ll need to make kombucha at home. Here’s a look at what’s included in a kombucha starter kit.
Kombucha Brewing Jar
Usually one gallon in size, these glass jars are where the kombucha magic will happen. The jar needs to be cleaned prior to use and placed in a safe space during the fermentation process.
Also known as SCOBY, or symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast, kombucha extract is the key ingredient in making kombucha. It begins the fermentation process, feeding off of the contents of the jar.
Tea And Sugar
The other two main ingredients in making kombucha, most kits will include one cup of organic sugar and a sampling of tea. The amount provided is enough for an initial kombucha brewing and will have to be replaced after use.
Also included in most kombucha home brew kits are pH strips, thermometer, filters, plastic lid for the jar, and detailed step-by-step instructions on how to make kombucha at home.
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FAQs-Best Kombucha Kits
Over the long term, making your own kombucha can be less expensive than buying commercially made kombucha. The process of making kombucha at home is fairly easy but does require at least one week to be ready. Once you are up and running, making your own kombucha can create a saving of around $0.50 per 16 oz of kombucha. Depending on how much kombucha you drink, these savings can increase.
In order to make your own kombucha, you’ll need to use an unflavored store bought kombucha. From here, you can begin to grow a new SCOBY, which will in turn allow you to make your own kombucha. In some cases, store bought kombucha contains tiny bites of SCOBY which can be used to create your own, new SCOBY. These tiny bites will need to be fed tea, sugar, and pre-made kombucha to help the SCOBY grow.
For starters, it will take longer for the acidity of the brew to develop. This increases the risk that unwanted mold will form. For many home kombucha makers, starter tea is more important to developing a good kombucha than the SCOBY.
Modern science has taken a while to come around to the perceived benefits of drinking kombucha. It’s still widely disputed if, in fact, kombucha is actually good for you. If you are unsure, consult a medical professional before consuming kombucha.