Last modified 5 years ago Last modified on 05/25/10 10:54:17


Kombucha is a fermented tea that is imbibed for medicinal purposes.

Wikipedia: en de

Since May 2010 I'm brewing my own kombucha. See my profile at for more information and photos.

Common Kombucha Terms

(the way I understood them)

Kombucha tea
(actually only Kombucha or maybe Kombu-Tea, because cha means tea in Japanese) The fermented kombucha tea produced by the SCOBY out of the sweet tea.
Kombucha vinegar
Kombucha tea which where allowed to ferment longer and therefore now resembles vinegar. Not very tasty, but usable instead as vinegar on e.g. salads. Also good for transporting SCOBYs.
Kombucha starter tea
Some normal or vinegary kombucha tea added to the sweet tea together with the SCOBY. This ensures the correct pH level to avoid mold! If non available substitute with distilled vinegar. If no SCOBY is available raw kombucha tea (e.g. not pasteurized like some commercial kombucha tea) can be used as starter and will produce a small SCOBY by itself given the right conditions.
Sweet tea
The sugared (e.g. black) tea the SCOBY is feeding from. This is an ingredient and should not be confused with the finished kombucha tea. However, the SCOBY will slowly transform the sweet tea into kombucha tea. Note: Never place the SCOBY in hot sweet tea -- it will die!
Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast. Here: the kombucha culture.
Mother (SCOBY)
The original SCOBY added to the sweet tea.
Baby (SCOBY)
The new SCOBY growing on the top of the mother or, if the mother sank to the ground, at the tea surface.


(short, unfinished version)


  • Kombucha culture (SCOBY) or raw kombucha tea (not heat treated/pasteurized) ('GT Kombucha' sold in USA seems to work, 'Carpe Diem Kombucha' sold in the EU not).
  • Kombucha starter tea (10-25% of total liquid volume). Should come with the SCOBY, but can be substituted with vinegar if really not available.
  • Water, clean and soft, without chloride because it can attack the SCOBY. Some use distilled water, but bottled mineral water seems to work as well.
  • Sugar (about 5 tbsp./liter =~ 60g/liter) Raw cane sugar works fastest but white refined sugar will also work, but slower.


For Brewing

  • Container with wide opening (e.g. big jar) big enough to hold everything. Should be made out of glass (recommended), food save and acid resistant plastic or lead-free clay. Please note that the kombucha will detox poisonous elements (like lead) from its container if present and therefore become toxic! Do not use such containers!
  • Piece of clean cloth to cover for container. The SCOBY needs to breath but dust and flies should not come in. Use muslin or paper handkerchief (one layer only) and tight it with a rubber band.
  • Rubber band to fixate the cloth tight over the container opening. The cloth might fall of or flies might crawl in from the side otherwise.

For Bottling

  • Sieve (plastic) to filter the tea.
  • Funnel (plastic)
  • Small covered container to hold SCOBY(s) during bottling.
  • Bottles for the kombucha tea. They must be able to hold carbonised pressure build up. I recommend swing top bottles aka EZ caps.


Recommended Books

The kombucha book by Günther W. Frank. Available in English and German.

Further Books

Auf Deutsch/In German (

In English (

In English (

(Still unsorted) (German, English and many other languages) (commercial)