How to make Kombucha with Dr. Kelly Baltuska, DC


Kombucha has been around for more than 2,000 years and has a rich anecdotal history of health benefits that rival the “cure-all” and “the fountain of youth”.

It is a fermented tea drink made from a SCOBY which is an acronym for a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast. It is one example of Mother Nature’s sustainable probiotic. You can find commercialized 20 oz Kombucha drinks in stores for about $4 per bottle or you can make it yourself at home for as little as 50 cents a gallon. As with most food and drink, homemade varieties are generally healthier whereas store bought products tend to be processed with sugar and additives.

High in B-vitamins, probiotics, antioxidants and glucaric acids, Kombucha’s main anecdotal health benefits include: detoxification, joint care, improved digestion and improved immune system.

The culture used in Kombucha tea varies, but consists of several species of yeast and bacteria. It may include Saccharomycodes ludwigii, Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Brettanomyces bruxellensis, Bacterium xylinum, Bacterium gluconicum, Bacterium xylinoides, Bacterium katogenum, Pichia fermentans, Candida stellata, and Torula species, among others. Each species may be responsible for its’ own unique aid to biochemical processes within the body.

This 4 minute video clip can assist you as you begin brewing your own Kombucha at home from scratch.
First, you must grow the Kombucha Scoby.
1. Fill up your pot with 3 liters (3.1 quarts) of water and put the stove to high
2. Boil water for at least 5 minutes
3. Add about 5 tea bags to the hot water
4. Turn off heat and add 1 cup sugar
5. Cover and let tea sit until it cools to room temperature (around 75ºF/24ºC will do)
6. When the tea is cool, pour it into the glass jar and add the starter tea, which should constitute about 10% of the liquid
7. Add a half cup of vinegar
8. Cover the top of the jar with a paper towel or coffee filter, and secure it tightly with rubber band
9. Put the jar somewhere dark and at room temperature where it won’t be disturbed
10. Wait and watch for 1 to 3 weeks as your Kombucha Scoby grows
11. When the thickness of the Scoby is about ¼ inch, it is ready to be used to brew your very first batch of Kombucha tea.

After you have successfully grown your Kombucha Scoby, you can begin brewing your very first batch of Kombucha tea. This process is very similar to that of growing the Scoby.

1. Repeat steps 1 through 7 above
2. Add the Scoby to the jar and cover the top with a paper towel or coffee filter, and secure it tightly with rubber band
3. Put the jar somewhere dark and at room temperature where it won’t be disturbed
4. Wait anywhere from 5 to 30 days as the tea ferments. You can taste a small sample as time progresses and harvest the batch at different times for varying tastes. Some say that the longer it ferments, the stronger the health benefits.
5. There is an option to perform a second fermentation if you desire to flavor it and create a fizzy drink. Add different juices and tightly seal the drink to be left again at room temperature in a dark area for another 5 days or so.
6. Move your finished product to the fridge to cool. Kombucha tastes much better chilled.

Click here if you would like to learn to prepare your own Kefir at home for other probiotic health benefits.

Cheers to good health,
Kelly Baltuska, DC