Brewing Kombucha at Home

Homemade has gained popularity in recent years due to its numerous health benefits and delicious taste. This fermented is not only refreshing but also packed with probiotics, enzymes, and antioxidants. While it is readily available in stores, many people prefer to brew their own kombucha at home, allowing them to customize flavors and experiment with different ingredients. In this article, we will delve into the process of homebrewing kombucha, including its two fermentation phases and the content in homemade kombucha.

To begin the process of kombucha at home, you will need a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and ), which is the living culture responsible for fermenting the sweet tea mixture. You can obtain a SCOBY from a friend who brews kombucha or purchase one online. Once you have your SCOBY, it's time to gather the necessary ingredients and equipment.

The first phase of fermentation, known as F1, involves fermenting the sweet tea mixture with the SCOBY. To start, brew a pot of black or green tea, using about 4-6 tea bags per gallon of . Add sugar to the hot tea, approximately 1 cup per gallon, and stir until dissolved. Allow the tea to cool to room temperature before proceeding.

In a clean glass jar, combine the cooled sweet tea with a cup or two of starter tea, which is the liquid that comes with the SCOBY. Gently place the SCOBY on top of the tea mixture, making sure it is fully submerged. Cover the jar with a clean cloth or filter secured with a rubber band to keep out any contaminants while still allowing airflow.

Set the jar in a dark, room temperature spot, away from direct sunlight. The fermentation process typically takes around 7 to 14 days, although some people prefer to ferment for longer periods. During this time, the SCOBY will consume the sugar in the tea, producing carbon dioxide, acids, and trace amounts of alcohol. The longer the fermentation, the drier and more boozy the flavor will become.

It's important to note that the alcohol content in homemade kombucha is relatively low. On average, homemade kombucha contains between 1% and 2.5% alcohol. This is due to the natural fermentation process, where the yeast in the SCOBY converts sugar into alcohol. However, commercial kombucha is required to have an alcohol content of less than 0.5% to be classified as a beverage.

Once you are satisfied with the flavor of your kombucha, it's time to move on to the second fermentation, or F2. This phase involves adding flavors and carbonating the kombucha. Before transferring the liquid to bottles, remove the SCOBY and reserve it for future batches. Add your desired flavorings, such as fruit , herbs, or spices, to the bottles. Seal the bottles tightly and let them sit at room temperature for an additional 1 to 3 days, depending on the desired level of carbonation.

After the second fermentation, transfer the bottles to the refrigerator to halt the fermentation process and chill the kombucha. This will also help to enhance the flavors and make it more enjoyable to drink. Remember to open the bottles slowly and carefully, as the carbonation can build up pressure.

Brewing kombucha at home is a rewarding and enjoyable process. By following the two fermentation phases and experimenting with different flavors, you can create your own unique kombucha creations. While homemade kombucha contains a low level of alcohol, it is still considered safe for consumption and provides a healthy alternative to sugary beverages. So why not give it a try and start brewing your own kombucha today? Cheers to good health and delicious homemade beverages!

How Long Does It Take For Kombucha To Ferment Into Alcohol?

Kombucha typically takes 7 to 14 days to ferment into alcohol. During this time, you should set the bottles somewhere dark and at room temperature. This allows the fermentation process to occur. The length of fermentation can vary depending on factors such as the temperature of the room and the specific ingredients used.

To determine if the kombucha is ready, you need to taste it. A properly fermented kombucha will have a somewhat dry and boozy flavor. This indicates that the fermentation process has occurred and alcohol has been produced.

If you are not planning to add any additional flavors to your kombucha and you are satisfied with the level of alcohol, you can seal the bottles shut and transfer them to the refrigerator. This helps to stop the fermentation process and preserve the flavor.

The fermentation process for kombucha can take anywhere from 7 to 14 days. It is important to monitor the flavor and ensure it has a dry and boozy taste before proceeding to the next step or storing it in the refrigerator.

homebrew kombucha

How Much Alcohol Is In Homemade Kombucha?

Homemade kombucha typically contains a low level of alcohol, ranging between 1% and 2.5%. It is important to note that this percentage can vary depending on various factors, such as the fermentation time and conditions. Commercially produced kombucha, on the other hand, is required to have an alcohol content of less than 0.5% to be considered non-alcoholic.

To better understand the alcohol content in homemade kombucha, here are some key points:

1. Alcohol in Kombucha: Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage that is made by adding a SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast) to sweetened tea. During the fermentation process, yeasts consume the sugar and convert it into alcohol and carbon dioxide.

2. Variables Affecting Alcohol Content: The alcohol content of homemade kombucha can vary depending on several factors, including the type of tea used, the amount of sugar added, the fermentation time, and the temperature. Longer fermentation periods and warmer temperatures can lead to higher alcohol content.

3. Testing Alcohol Content: If you are concerned about the alcohol content in your homemade kombucha, you can use a hydrometer or a refractometer to measure it. These tools can provide a more accurate estimation of the alcohol percentage in your brew.

4. Safety Considerations: While the alcohol content in homemade kombucha is relatively low, it is essential to be aware of potential risks, especially for individuals sensitive to alcohol or those with certain health conditions. It is also crucial to practice proper brewing and fermentation techniques to ensure the safety and quality of your kombucha.

5. Commercial Kombucha: Unlike homemade kombucha, commercial varieties are generally produced with controlled alcohol levels. To comply with regulations, commercial kombucha must have an alcohol content of less than 0.5%. This makes it a suitable option for those looking for a non-alcoholic beverage.

Homemade kombucha typically contains between 1% and 2.5% alcohol, while commercial kombucha has an alcohol content of less than 0.5%. The alcohol percentage in homemade kombucha can vary depending on various factors, and it is important to be mindful of individual sensitivities and practice proper brewing techniques.


Homebrew kombucha is a fascinating and delicious beverage that can be easily made in the comfort of your own kitchen. The process involves two phases – the 1st fermentation and the 2nd fermentation. During the 1st fermentation, which typically takes around 7-12 days, the sweet tea undergoes a transformation into kombucha with the help of a SCOBY (kombucha culture) and starter tea. It is important to note that the length of the brew will affect the alcohol content, with longer fermentation times resulting in higher alcohol levels. However, it is generally found that homemade kombucha contains a low level of alcohol, ranging between 1% and 2.5%. This is significantly higher than commercial kombucha, which typically has an alcohol percentage of less than 0.5%. To stop the fermentation process, the bottles can be sealed and transferred to the fridge. It is important to taste and monitor the flavor during the fermentation process, as the desired dry and boozy flavor indicates that the kombucha is ready. With its health benefits and unique taste, homebrew kombucha is a wonderful beverage option for those looking to explore the world of fermentation.

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Thomas Ashford

Thomas Ashford is a highly educated brewer with years of experience in the industry. He has a Bachelor Degree in Chemistry and a Master Degree in Brewing Science. He is also BJCP Certified Beer Judge. Tom has worked hard to become one of the most experienced brewers in the industry. He has experience monitoring brewhouse and cellaring operations, coordinating brewhouse projects, and optimizing brewery operations for maximum efficiency. He is also familiar mixology and an experienced sommelier. Tom is an expert organizer of beer festivals, wine tastings, and brewery tours.