Resources

Here’s all you need to begin brewing your own kombucha at home — for a few cents a pint vs. the $3.00 to $5.00 cost of store-bought ‘booch. There’s the option of purchasing a starter kit, or buying individual items. You can also choose to go with the batch or continuous brew methods. To learn all you need to know, start by reading Hannah Crum’s excellent book. Note that these are Amazon Affiliate links and clicking through to purchase helps support Booch News.

Books & How-To

The Big Book of Kombucha: Brewing, Flavoring, and Enjoying the Health Benefits of Fermented Tea – $17.10

Hannah Crum lists everything you need to know about brewing your own kombucha. If you only buy one book about kombucha, this is the one. Hannah owns the Kombucha Kamp — your one-stop shop for literally EVERYTHING the home brewer needs.

Kombucha Revolution: 75 Recipes for Homemade Brews, Fixers, Elixirs, and Mixers – $16.65

Ways to flavor and drink your ‘booch.

The Noma Guide to Fermentation – $22.78

Written by chefs at Noma in Copenhagen, four times recognized as the world’s best by the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Featuring hundreds of time-lapse photos of every recipe offer you a reference to check against during each phase of your ferment’s progress. This book will walk you through how to use any equipment you might need, even providing a visual guide for building a fermentation chamber at home. Learn how to best utilize simple tools like canning jars, fermentation weights, and pH meters to yield the most accurate and delicious results.

You Brew Kombucha – YouTube Series

Angelica Cadiente Kelly & Ryan Kelly are the creators of You Brew Kombucha, a comprehensive YouTube channel dedicated to teaching people how to make homemade kombucha. There are over 50 brief informative videos on every aspect of home brewing.

Home Brewing

Kombucha Starter Kit – $46.99

This kit includes a heating mat, SCOBY, Jar, pH Test Strips, tea, and sugar.

The Kombucha Shop Brewing Kit – $49.99 (standard) $89.99 (Deluxe)

As seen on ABC’s Shark Tank. This is the kit that has helped hundreds of thousands of people become kombucha home brewers. Including only 100% organic ingredients, you’ll have everything you need to start brewing. Includes Glass Brew Jar, Organic Kombucha Loose Leaf Tea, Temperature Gauge, Organic Sugar and more. The Deluxe kit adds six swing top bottles + bendable bottle brush + stainless steel funnel and strainer set.

Posymom Kombucha Scoby – $8.99

Another source for your first SCOBY. You get one 2″ to 3.5″ SCOBY between 1/8″ and 1/4″ thick plus a generous amount of starter tea.

Geo Sports Porcelain Ceramic Crock Water Dispenser, Stainless Steel Faucet – $73.79

Generous 3.2 gallon capacity with stainless steel faucet. Ceramic lid is unnecessary for kombucha. Recommend plastic ring (below).

Porcelain Crock Ceramic Water Dispenser with Spigot– $68.95

Standard 2.5 gallon capacity ceramic vessel suitable for continuous brewing. Stainless steel faucet.

Ceramic Porcelain Crock Plastic Protection Ring– $18.59

Necessary addition to secure cloth covering over fermentation crockpot/

Kyraton Stainless Steel Water Dispenser Faucet – $9.98

Upgrades the faucets from the plastic version on earlier versions of the ceramic crock.

Anchor Hocking 2-Gallon Glass Jar – set of 2 – $34.25

Three 2-gallon glass jars for the batch brewer. These are similar to those used by Health-Ade Kombucha founder Daina Trout when she started out, and now uses hundreds of thousands.

Brewers Edge 7.5 Gal Mash and Boil Stainless w/Pump – $439.00

Recommended by Kombucha Kev for home brewers who wish to scale up to fill 5-gal kegs and have starter liquid for next batch.

Jansamn Brewing Thermometer Strip Adhesive Strips (set of 4) – $6.99

Sticks to the outside of the brewing vessel to read the temperature. (I personally prefer a digital thermometer to take the temperature (below).

Lonicera Instant Read Digital Thermometer – $12.99

Suitable for taking the temperature of the water for infusing tea as well as checking on the ferment. Magnetic case.

Brix Refractometer – $17.99

Measures the sugar in homemade Kombucha to know when to stop the first fermentation and how much sweetener to add to the second fermentation. Readings taken pre- and post-fermentation give a rate of change that helps determine the approximate potential alcohol content.

Specific Gravity Hydrometer Test Kit – $29.99

By using this hydrometer before and after fermentation you can easily calculate the alcohol by volume of the finished product.  This kit includes a N.I.S.T. Traceable Triple Scale Hydrometer and & test jar. 

** NOTE: Neither the Refractometer or the Hydrometer give completely accurate readings due to the much lower alcohol content of kombucha compared to beers and wines. However, for the home brewer curious about the ABV of their ‘booch they are better than ‘flying blind’. A full discussion of the topic addressing the challenges commercial kombucha companies face is found on this KBI page.

Milwaukee pH Tester – $25.74

A properly brewed batch of kombucha measures between 2.5 – 3.5 pH. The lower the pH, the more tart the kombucha will taste. When you start home brewing use the pH test to determine a value that tastes right to your palate and then match the taste you prefer to the pH value to determine the optimum brewing time.

Milwaukee pH Tester 7.01 Solution – Lot of 3 – $10.99

Use a sachet to periodically calibrate the meter.

3″x20″ Kombucha Wrap Around Fermentation Heating Strip with Horizontal Thermometer – $15.97

Ideal for cooler locations to keep the brew at the right temperature. Includes a thermometer.

BLUBYEES Digital Kombucha Heating Wrap with Precise Temperature Control and Timer Function – $29.99

A large 21″x5″ wrap-around heater.

Kenley Fermentation Carboy Heater with Thermostat – $49.89

A heating system for anyone using larger containers.

Mechanical Timer – $11.10

Plug the heating strip into this and control when it comes on/off. Less in summer, more in winter. If you have multiple brewing containers connect a power strip to the timer with the heaters plugged in.

Fine Mesh Food Grade Nut Milk Bag – $7.60

Holds your loose teas as they steep.

Tea Blends

Solstice Loose Leaf Tea Sampler – $14.75

A sampler assortment of six green & black teas. Creates approx 12-15 gallons.

Fermentaholics Perfectly Balanced Loose Leaf Kombucha Tea Blend – $12.99

4 oz of loose leaf Green & Black Tea. Makes approx 11 gallons. 8oz available.

The Kombucha Shop Organic Black & Oolong Loose Leaf Tea Blend 1.4oz – $13.99

Makes 5 gallons of kombucha.

Starwest Botanicals Organic Young Hyson Tea 1lb – $17.63

I originally used three parts of this premium green tea in a 3:2:1 ratio with black and rooibos for my home brew.

Starwest Botanicals Organic English Breakfast Tea 1lb – $28.74

Two parts of this strong black tea make up my 3:2:1 ratio.

Starwest Botanicals Organic Rooibos Tea Cut & Sifted 1lb – $19.49

One part of this makes up the final part of my tea mix.

Davidson’s Organics, Gunpowder Green, Loose Leaf Tea 1lb – $14.25

Alex from ValleSana Kombucha in Mexico uses a mix of black and gunpowder green teas in his award-winning kombucha.

Guayusa Energy, Loose Leaf Tea 1lb – $13.30

I’ve discovered this caffeinated South American herb makes a wonderful kombucha with a robust, earthy flavor profile. when mixed in a 70/30 ratio with black tea.

Premium Teas

Connoisseurs will have noticed there’s a trend away from the ubiquitous ginger/hibiscus/mango flavored kombucha brewed with a blend of teas. Select companies are brewing with premium teas. These focus on the complexity of flavor of the tea itself, rather than added fruit or flowers. These infusions are ideal when paired with a wide variety of different foods. These three selections are based on those sold by UK-based Real Kombucha. They should appeal to the more experienced home brewer.

Organic Yunnan, Black Tea, Loose Leaf, USDA Organic 1lb – $19.90

Anyone wanting to brew premium, unflavored, ‘booch along the lines of Real Kombucha Smoke House should experiment with this tea for its molasses-like sweetness.

Makaibari Himalayan Spring, Special Edition First Flush Black | USDA Organic Certified Darjeeling Black Tea | Single Estate Loose Leaf Tea 3.5 oz – $17.09

Choose the ‘champagne of teas’ to brew an unflavored variety along the lines of Real Kombucha’s Royal Flush. First Flush teas are the first pluckings of the harvesting season at a tea garden. The leaves are tender & delicate in flavor. Our Darjeeling first flush is mildly oxidized whole leaf tea. First Flush leaves are the fresh, new growth in spring after 3-4 months of dormancy in the winter. The celestial cycles, alignment and harmony of the planets & stars result in this beautiful, limited-batch first harvest. Different areas of the estate at different elevations in the Himalayas produce one-of-a-kind first flush yield

The Tao of Tea Dragonwell 1lb – $50.57

If you’re intrigued by Real Kombucha’s Dry Dragon pick up a pound of this hand-crafted green tea. Grown near the famed West Lake in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China, Dragonwell has been an honored tea since the Tang Dynasty. Organic tea leaves are hand plucked, then roasted in small woks. The precise hand movements of the tea maker give the leaves their flat shape and shiny, jade green appearance.

Flavorings

Organic Dried Lavender Flowers 1lb – $24.53

One of my favorite flavorings. Add a tablespoon or two to each gallon of plain ‘booch and let it sit in the refrigerator for a couple of days. Strain & serve.

Organic Egyptian Hibiscus Flowers 1lb – $36.50

Another favorite flavor. A small tablespoon will flavor a gallon. Add summer fruits for a great mix.

Organic Burdock Root 1lb – $14.38

Dandelion & Burdock is a uniquely English soda flavor. (Americans have Sarsaparilla, right?). I love adding a heaped tablespoon of Burdock root to my plain ‘booch — it smooths out the rough edges if the brew is a little too tart.

Organic Red Rose Buds & Petals, 1lb – $28.07

Rose kombucha is a delicate treat!

Elderflowers 4oz – $17.58

Best if wild foraged, but these dried and cut ones work well with a dash of lemon.