Cotter Brew

by lindsay cotter on January 27, 2013

Happy Sunday folks. Not a real post going on here. I’ll save that for Monday. But I promised myself, and a lot of others, that I would post the Kombucha Tutorial Vlog. And guess what? I finished it!


First of all, if you are interested in growing your own scoby, you can read my tutorial on my old blog here. Or you can go straight to the Kombucha Queen and read here.

Some other good Kombucha sites are Kombucha Kamp and You Grow Girl.

You can easily buy a starter kit online or even buy a scoby from craigslist. Just make sure they are not moldy or damaged when you buy them. Once you have a mother scoby, you are ready to brew.


Here’s my tutorial. I have gathered this from lots of other websites and tweaked it to make my own flavoring. I’ll type out the instructions below as well. Let me know if you brew!

KOMBUCHA – Here’s How:

1.Wash all utensils with hot sudsy water and rinse well.

2. Boil three quarts of purified water.

3. Add 1 cup white sugar to water when a rolling boil is reached. Boil water and sugar for five minutes.

4. Turn off heat and add 4-5 tea bags of black and/or green tea. (Must have caffeine in tea which the scoby feeds on).

5. Steep about 30 minutes and remove tea leaves or bags and let tea cool (it doesn’t hurt to steep the tea longer).  Cooling is about 3 to 5 hours from time you turn stove off.

6. Pour cooled tea into gallon size glass container.

7. Add your Kombucha culture placing it so that the smooth shiny surface lies up. Add fermented Kombucha Tea from a previous batch. (Before step 7, make sure your hands have been washed thoroughly with soap and water. Do NOT use anti-bacterial soap. Best bet is unscented castille soap.)

8. Place a cloth over the top of the jar and secure with a rubber band. This keeps dust, mold, spores and vinegar flies out of the fermenting tea.

9. Allow to sit undisturbed in a well ventilated and darkened place away from direct sunlight (temp. 65-90 degrees F.) for 6 – 15 days. I keep mine in a closet.

10. To make sure the tea is ready to harvest; pour off a couple of ounces for a taste test. I usually test it by sticking a plastic straw in and sipping a little bit.

11.   Taste Test: A taste test on a batch of Kombucha Tea may taste like this: 4-6 Days – Too sweet, not all sugar converted. 7-9 Days – Tastes like sparkling apple cider. 10+ Days – Vinegar taste becoming prominent.

12. When the tea is brewed to your taste, pour the tea into glass bottles and cap then place in the refrigerator. This can now be second fermented with fresh juices, or pieces of crushed fruit, or crystallized ginger. Store bought juices are pasteurized and may effect healing quality of finished kombucha product, so I’d stick with 100% fresh juice. Sometimes I use sparkling water too.

13. Make sure to leave enough starter tea from your last batch (about 1/2 cup) to make another batch of tea. Repeat directions and add this to your starter and culture to start the process again.

**Note: the cultures my float on the surface or sometimes it sinks to the bottom. Either way is fine.




One more day to enter the LOVE GROWN FOOD Hot Oats giveaway!

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Michelle @ Eat Move Balance January 27, 2013 at 8:17 am

Can you believe that I’ve never even had kombucha?!? I should really give it a try, just to see if it’s something I’d like. Great tutorial–so sweet that you took the time to explain the process so well. :)


Nadiya @ Milk and Honey on the Run January 27, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Gasp :0 You so have to try kombucha!!! It’s soo good and they have so many different flavours now :D


Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile January 27, 2013 at 9:22 am

Um, this is AWESOME! I would looove to make my own Kombucha. I love the stuff:D


Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table January 27, 2013 at 10:06 am

I’m making another batch today! Last week I flavored it 3 ways – cayenne and ginger, lavender and cinnamon, and basil. This week I’m going to do a basil and lavender. That basil was suprisingly fantastic!


Lindsay January 27, 2013 at 10:16 am

You know your a flavor genius, right?


Bonnie January 27, 2013 at 4:10 pm

Seriously a flavor genuis! Those are crazy combos! I bet they’re great.


Sarah B. January 27, 2013 at 10:21 am

OK, so this is crazy (Carley Rae Jepsen reference hehe), I’ve never had Kombucha. You made it seem easy enough so I think I need to add this to my “to try” list.

Thanks for sharing! =]


Amanda @ .running with spoons. January 27, 2013 at 10:22 am

You’re a braver soul than I am. I’ve toyed around with the idea of brewing up my own kombucha, but I can’t get past the fear that I’m going to screw up and make myself sick. My mom makes her own kefir, and has been doing so for years, but even so I’ve been too afraid to try it. I’m a wimp :roll:


Lauren January 27, 2013 at 11:13 am

I am so scared to try kombucha. It intimidates me in the grocery store… We have a staring contest but it usually wins and I put it nicely back on its shelf. Haha


LCCotter January 27, 2013 at 2:28 pm

i think the trilogy or passionberry kombucha is eyeing YOU and you need to embrace it, yes? hehe


tawnee prazak January 27, 2013 at 12:20 pm

Timely :) Thanks for this, I’ll be using it for sure!


jobo January 27, 2013 at 12:26 pm

Anytime I see Kombucha, I think of you! And our trip to Whole foods! Such fun! :) happy sunday friend!


LCCotter January 27, 2013 at 2:05 pm

oh good! that’s my plan. teehee. Miss you!


Nichole January 27, 2013 at 12:30 pm

I have never tried this! eesh, I need to get on the bandwagon.

ADORE your videos. <3


Holly January 27, 2013 at 12:40 pm

We used to always have a jar or two of kombucha growing, and then we moved, and then we had a baby. I FINALLY started a new batch just a few days ago (we “brew” in giant glass vases, looks silly, but works really well!) I just use a bottle of GT’s Raw Original Kombucha as our starter, and I grow the first scoby from the baby scoby at the bottom of the bottle :) I love putting a nugget of fresh ginger into my bottles before storing the ‘booch in the fridge!


LCCotter January 27, 2013 at 2:03 pm

i agree1 vases work very well! Love the ginger too. I bet your baby will be the healthies kid in school!


Lisa January 27, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I’ll have to watch this when I get home because I definitely would love to start one up! It looks so fun, but also freaks me out a tad ha. I’d probably screw it up with my luck.


Bonnie January 27, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Perfect timing! My Personal Training Manager and his fiancee have been brewing their own…I’m getting the scoby (right? lol!) from him tonight if I can get my stuff together or else during the week! Gotta go get a large glass though…on the hunt later! Thanks for this tutorial, cute Cotter!


LCCotter January 27, 2013 at 9:24 pm

ohhhh let me know how it turns out!


Coco January 27, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Hurray! Thanks for sharing :) I don’t think I’m going to be patient enough to grow my own scoby.. I have to do an online hunt for one.. I can’t wait to make this!


The Candid RD (Gina) January 27, 2013 at 6:58 pm

And here I thought you were posting a home beer brew! :)
I’m impressed none the less. I haven’t gotten on the kombucha bandwagon yet….maybe soon??


Brittany @ Delights and Delectables January 27, 2013 at 7:25 pm

I have been wanting to make my own kombucha!! Thank you my love!


Bre January 27, 2013 at 7:29 pm

this whole process actually freaks me out a bit…I feel a sense of accomplishment in the kitchen after making overnight oats. I’m not sure I’m ready to have a mother scoby (oh my…) in my kitchen just yet! ;) totally impressed by this whole process and that you do this. I can’t even begin to comprehend it!! happy sunday friend!


Paige @ Your Trainer Paige January 27, 2013 at 8:46 pm

YES! This will allow me to continue my kombucha obsession without paying $3 a bottle :D


Sara @ Nourish and Flourish January 27, 2013 at 10:57 pm

I love this! Thank you SO much for creating a vlog tutorial, Lindsay. You deserve every ounce of credit (or maybe I should say blame? those bottles are expensive! haha) for getting me hooked on kombucha. Considering the amount of money I set aside to fuel my habit, I might as well invest in a starter kit and start brewing my own. Maybe you can give me a few more tips when I MEET YOU at Blend in May? ;) Can’t wait! <3


LCCotter January 28, 2013 at 12:51 pm

haha, i like to feed the addictions. I’m so bad, right? And yes, BLEND! I should be there. How are the bites treatin ya?


Sara @ Nourish and Flourish January 28, 2013 at 12:59 pm

I’m LOVING the bites! The coconut is actually my favorite, which surprised me, considering my PB addiction (love the PB too, though!). I’ve been meaning to ask…what’s the nutrition profile on those tasty bites? I’ve been eating about 4-5 at a time, but have no idea how much protein/carbs I’m taking in. :)


Katie January 27, 2013 at 11:31 pm

You totally inspired me to brew some right now! I have made it so many times, but I’ve always used about twice that amount of tea. I hate black tea, so maybe this will help me if I use less.

Water’s boiling now!


LCCotter January 28, 2013 at 7:07 am

maybe that’s why yours was so strong before, yes? Oh and need to do kefir next! remind how again?


Cait the Arty Runnerchick January 28, 2013 at 12:30 am

oh wow, that’s so neat u make it urself. like a few other commenters i get kinda freaked out any time i tackle anything in the kitchen but u did a great vlog there, thanks!
PS- i totally thought it was going to be for beer tho…lol…i’m not a drinker so i’m glad it was tea :)


LCCotter January 28, 2013 at 7:15 am

bahaha, my brother makes beer! WIsh i could try it but it’s not GF


Lindsey @ Pas de Deux January 28, 2013 at 8:05 am

I’ve been making my own kombucha for months now, and I have a random question for other homebrewers– what do you do with your “older” SCOBYs?


LCCotter January 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm

i actually keep them together and keep feeding them. Then you can have multiple brewing with more than one scoby. Or sell them!


Alison @ racingtales January 28, 2013 at 9:20 am

Kombucha virgin here. Not only have I never tried it, I didn’t even know what it was until I googled it a few days ago. I know, I’ve been living under a rock, apparently!


LCCotter January 28, 2013 at 12:49 pm

i think we need to fix that, soon! Try a GT Kombucha (trilogy or passionberry) Sip slowly and don’t drink on a heavy stomach


Shannon January 28, 2013 at 9:52 am

i will have to remember this post… have wanted to do it for awhile but haven’t found time yet ;)


LCCotter January 28, 2013 at 12:50 pm

ohhh let me know when you DO!!


Chels R. January 28, 2013 at 2:11 pm

Wow! I did not realize it was that easy to make. Thanks for the recipe!


LCCotter January 28, 2013 at 6:43 pm

let me know if you try it!


Laura @ Mommy Run Fast January 28, 2013 at 2:56 pm

Oh, love this!! I’ve been wanting to try making my own… to clarify, I can use a store bought kombucha for the culture, right?


LCCotter January 28, 2013 at 6:43 pm

to make the scoby, yes.


Lisa @ RunWiki January 28, 2013 at 3:11 pm

Growing my own scoby?!! That sounds like something I grew and sold in college, haha! completely kidding of course. love you


LCCotter January 28, 2013 at 6:42 pm

oh to be a fly on the way in your college days!


Katherine January 28, 2013 at 3:13 pm
LCCotter January 28, 2013 at 6:18 pm

thanks Katherine! Good to hear from you.


Samantha Angela January 28, 2013 at 3:20 pm

That seems like a very long time to brew the tea, no?


LCCotter January 28, 2013 at 6:42 pm

really? That’s the only way i know how. But you are right, everyone has different ways of brewing i guess. I dilute mine a lot!


Purelymichelle January 28, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Lori and I need to get back into making homemade kombucha, just keeping putting it off for some reason.


LCCotter January 29, 2013 at 9:01 am

haha i get lazy, plus GT’s is just sooo good!


Heather Rennie October 20, 2013 at 8:31 pm

thanks for the instructions!! i already have a scoby from a family member, can i just use some store-bought kombucha as the starter?


Francesca February 26, 2014 at 8:12 am

Thanks for the tips…the batch I brewed didn’t go so well :( , but at least now I know why. -xo-


LCCotter February 27, 2014 at 9:35 pm

Let me know if you try again


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