The Lazy Person’s Guide to Making Kombucha at Home

This post was most recently updated on March 18th, 2020

Kombucha seems to be all the rage these days. Drinking it is the new super cool thing to be doing. We have been drinking and making kombucha for years in our house.

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Does that make us super cool?

Somehow I don’t think so. But we do enjoy drinking it, especially a nice cold, well aged, fizzy batch. Yummmm.

the lazy persons guide to making kombucha. Making kombucha in 10 easy steps

What is Kombucha?

Kombucha is an ancient probiotic drink. It is thought to originate in China or Japan.

Kombucha is made by fermenting sweet black tea made by using a SCOBY. A SCOBY is short for a Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast.

A SCOBY forms a rubbery creamy colored disk on the top of your kombucha brew.

A good batch tastes a lot like hard apple cider, without the alcohol.

Well, it can have a very small amount of alcohol depending on the brew.

It is crisp, a little sweet, a little tart, nice and fizzy and very refreshing.

the lazy persons guide to making kombucha. Making kombucha in 10 easy steps

Why Should I Drink Kombucha?

The benefits of kombucha is starting to be recognized. Around the web, it is touted as a miracle cure for many things, but really what we know is that kombucha is a:

– great probiotic.

– an antioxidant.

There is currently research into kombucha’s effect on diabetes, heart disease, and liver and kidney health, and its role as  probiotic or medically functional food.

For more information about the science around kombucha, I really suggest that you read my friend Stacey’s site – She has some amazing info that is actually research based, not just hearsay and rumor.

RELATED: How to make apple cider vinegar

How to Make Kombucha the Easy Way

I am busy. And to be honest, a bit lazy. Why fluff around making kombucha when you can just get in, get the job done, and get out?

There are so many instructions for making kombucha on the internet, and they make it seem so complex.

Here it is, the simple, quick, lazy way to make kombucha.

1. Get a Jar

You need a large glass jar. A quart/litre is fine to start with, but I have a 3L recycled olive or pickle jar that I got for free from a local steakhouse. Give it a clean and you are ready to go.

RELATED: How to make probiotic lemon fizz

2. Get a SCOBY and some starter tea.

the lazy persons guide to making kombucha. Making kombucha in 10 easy stepsIf you know someone that makes kombucha, ask them for a SCOBY and a cup of their already brewed kombucha.

If you don’t know anyone, have a look on facebook fermenting groups, or you can buy them on Amazon or Ebay (or if you are in NZ, Trademe).

3. Boil the Kettle.

That is it really. Not hard.

4. Add some tea bags and sugar.

the lazy persons guide to making kombucha. Making kombucha in 10 easy stepsFor every litre/quart that your jar is, add to it 2 black (normal) tea bags and 1/4 Cup of white sugar.

I have a 3 quart jar, so I use 6 tea bags and 3/4C sugar.

5. Half fill your jar with hot water

Be careful, but only half fill it, and give it a good stir with a long spoon.

6. Let brew for 2 minutes

Make yourself a cup of tea while you wait.

7. Remove the tea bags and top the jar up with cold water

I told you this was easy.

the lazy persons guide to making kombucha. Making kombucha in 10 easy steps8. Pour in your starter tea and SCOBY and cover

Some SCOBYs will float, others will sink. It doesn’t make any difference.

Cover with a tea towel or paper towel and a rubber band or piece of string. You want to keep the flies out, while allowing the kombucha to breath.

9. Leave it to sit

Place it somewhere warmish, our lives in our kitchen which is always warm, some people use the hot water cupboard.

Leave it there for 3-10 days. I suggest you start tasting it from day 3.

10. Taste and Bottle

Once it is as tart as you like it, remove the scoby and 1 cup of the liquid into a bowl, and pour the rest into glass bottles that seal well.

Use the scoby to make a new brew and place the bottles on the bench for at least another week.

I like to then move mine to a cooler cupboard to age for a further 2-3 weeks.

the lazy persons guide to making kombucha. Making kombucha in 10 easy stepsOnce the kombucha has aged there should be a bit of fizz and a lovely refreshing drink.

We then move them to the fridge and serve it well chilled, poured through a normal stainless steel sieve into a glass.

Kombucha FAQs

How Much Should I Drink?

Start with 1/2 a glass per day and build up to 1-2 glasses per day. Listen to your body. As with starting any new probiotics you make experience a die off reaction, which will pass but you need to wean on to kombucha slowly.

What is the Brown Floaty Stuff?

That is the yeast strands, it is meant to be there, but we do strain them out before we drink it.

But Why is Mine Not Fizzy?

That is OK, it is still fine to drink. Chances are your bottles didn’t seal well enough for the bubbles to build up, or you simply didn’t give them enough time to form in a warm enough place.

What are Second Ferment Flavors? 

You can add things to your bottles before you seal them to add some flavor. Favorites are fresh ginger, berries or grated fruit.

Can I use Other Teas or Sugars?

The SCOBY needs the tannins in the black tea to grow well. You can switch out half of the black tea bags for green tea ones, or throw in a few fruit flavored bags, but if you do this, make sure you have a spare SCOBY and tea in the fridge incase it goes wrong.

Is it OK to Grow Mold?

No it should not grow mold, if it has you have to throw it all away and start again. To help prevent mold, make sure you use plenty of starter tea or a Tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to start a batch. It is the acidity that helps keep the mold at bay.

What is this Snotty Clear Jelly Thing on the Top of the Kombucha?

That is a baby SCOBY forming, it won’t hurt you, but swallowing it may well make you gag….

Do you make kombucha at home? Tell me about it in the comments below!

For further reading I recommend:

the lazy persons guide to making kombucha. Making kombucha in 10 easy steps

The Lazy Person's Guide to Making Kombucha at Home

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 7 days
Total Time: 7 days 5 minutes

This is the easiest way to make kombucha


  • 4 teabags
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 L (or quarts) of boiling water
  • 1 kombucha scoby
  • 1/2 a cup of kombucha


  1. In a large jar put in the tea bags and sugar
  2. Add the hot water and stir well to brew the tea.
  3. Once the tea is cool, reach in and take out the tea bags
  4. Add the kombucha and the scoby
  5. Cover the top and set aside for 4-10 days depending on your preference
  6. Remove 1/2 cup of brew and the scoby and set aside for the next batch
  7. Bottle the kombucha in to bottles that seal well and sit aside for about a week or until fizzy.
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