An easy-to-use kombucha set with everything you'll need for your first batch.
The kit includes a 1-gallon glass brew jar and lid, a cloth cover, and all of the ingredients and accessories. There are beginner-friendly instructions in the box. The SCOBY ingredients get great reviews from buyers. People love the set's cohesive look.
There's some inconsistency with the SCOBY ingredients' freshness.
This set has everything beginners need to form their basic Kombucha-making skills.
The set includes the live SCOBY starter, a glass brewing jar and plastic lid, and all the necessary accessories. The instructions are clear and concise. Buyers love the kombucha's taste. Great for first-time-brewers.
Some reported missing parts, so check them.
This Kombucha set has high-quality ingredients and equipment to make 6 weeks of kombucha.
This option comes with a 1-gallon jar, acid strips, a temperature gauge, and a progress monitor to make sure it's going well. The instructions double as educational guides to instill the skills from the get-go.
Some reported duds in the ingredients.
This kit comes with everything you need to get started making kombucha, including a recipe book and customer support.
Tea, cane sugar, a brewing jar, pH strips, and a certified organic SCOBY add to this being a comprehensive and helpful starter kit.
Some complaints about the quality of the kit contents upon arrival.
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If you’ve always wanted to wade into the home-brew craze – but with a healthier edge – a kombucha starter kit is for you. People have been drinking kombucha (pronounced kôm-BOO-cha) for some 2,000 years, and it offers a number of benefits. Kombucha is packed with antioxidants and probiotics and low in both sugar and calories. It has also become much more widely available than it was even a few years ago.
While easily found, kombucha is also on the expensive side, with a bottle costing $3 to $5 or more. Enter the kombucha starter kit. These kits contain all the items you need to easily whip up a batch of the fizzy, healthy drink in your own kitchen. After the initial price of the kit, each bottle will cost you around $1, a considerable savings over store-bought kombucha. And once you have the kit, your only expenses will be tea, sugar, and whatever flavorings you want to add.
The rising popularity of kombucha has brought with it a wealth of DIY kits that can be found online. This guide will introduce you to some of the best starter kits out there and provide some pointers on what your kit should contain, what specifications the parts should meet, and what you can expect to pay for a kit. We’ve included some kombucha kit recommendations, too.
The reusable brewing jar is the primary place where all the kombucha magic takes place. Every kit should contain a durable one.
Size: The best jars hold between one and two gallons. The rule here is, the larger the brewing jar, the more kombucha you can create at a time.
Material: Glass brewing jars have a number of features that make them preferable to jars constructed from other materials. Glass contains no BPA or other toxins that might be present in a plastic jar. And unlike a ceramic jar, you can easily use a grease pen to write and erase batch details, such as dates and pH levels, on the glass jar. You can also keep an eye on your brew as it progresses.
Lid: The jar may ship with a lid to keep all the additional kit parts together, although you will only use it for storage, not brewing.
Tap: Some brewing jars have a built-in tap, a helpful plus when it comes time to bottle your kombucha.
Speaking of bottling…once you’ve brewed your kombucha, you’re going to need to do something with it. Pricier kits usually ship with a variety of bottles in which to store your finished product. If your kit doesn’t include bottles, prepare to spend a little more to buy them. Swing-top stopper bottles are ideal for storing kombucha.
The symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) is the heart of any kombucha brewing operation. This unappealing disk contains all the bacteria and yeast that work to give kombucha its tang and fizz. If you’ve ever made sourdough bread using a starter, the SCOBY “mother” performs a similar role for kombucha.
The SCOBY that ships with your kombucha starter kit should be fresh, active, and grown from all-natural ingredients. When your kit arrives, note how long the SCOBY will be shelf-stable. Be sure to use your kombucha starter kit shortly after receiving it because the SCOBY has a limited shelf life.
Besides the SCOBY, these are the two primary ingredients in your kombucha kit, and the two ingredients you’ll want to keep in stock to create more kombucha going forward.
Sugar: This is usually granulated white cane sugar. Organic sugar is preferable, and most kits include it. While it might seem like you’re using a lot of sugar to start your batch, the SCOBY will eat a fair amount of it during the brewing process. And while it might be tempting to ditch the sugar and go with a sweetener like stevia, don’t. The bacteria and yeast that are crucial for the brewing process feed on the calories in the sugar, something they can’t do with a non-sugar sweetener.
Tea: Black tea is usually used to brew kombucha, and again, organic is preferable. Other tea types aren’t as effective because they don’t release enough tannins, which the SCOBY needs to work. Some kits have a black/green tea blend, which also works fine.
One final addition to your batch is starter tea, which is kombucha from an older batch. It helps to drop the acidity of your new batch and create a suitable environment for your kombucha microbes. You only need about a cup of starter tea, and it should arrive either packaged separately or combined with the SCOBY. If you find yourself without a starter tea, you can substitute a tablespoon of vinegar or some raw, unfiltered, store-bought kombucha.
In order to monitor your kombucha during the brewing process, your kit includes a couple of different testing devices.
Temperature: The first is some form of temperature gauge or sticker. The ideal temperature for kombucha is between 75°F (24°C) and 85°F (30°C). You can verify that your batch is within this range by using the gauge or sticker.
While kits vary in what they contain, some common tools and add-ons include the following:
Strainer: Your kit should include cheesecloth or some other filtering material to place over the top of the brewing jar with a rubber band to hold it in place.
Pipette: This tube provides an easy and sanitary way to test your batch.
Other tools: These can include stirring spoons, funnels, strainers, and bottle brushes. Avoid using metal spoons or other implements because the metal can react with your kombucha.
Instructions: Step-by-step instructions – preferably illustrated – should be included that walk you through both the brewing process and what to do when your batch is finished, such as bottling tips and SCOBY handling, for example.
While you will save money over time bottling your own kombucha, you need to spend something before you ever taste your first sip of home-brewed tea. The price of a starter kit ranges from $40 to $50 for an introductory kit up to $200 or more for a premium kit. With more expensive kits, expect to receive more ingredients, additions such as bottling supplies, and the capacity to brew a larger batch at one time.
Take advantage of free customer service. If you’re new to brewing kombucha, consider buying a kit that includes free customer service so you can easily call for tips at any stage of the brewing process.
Sterilize your tools and wash your hands before handling the ingredients. Regardless of what you’re brewing, the process is one involving bacteria growth, and the conditions that allow good bacteria to grow are also perfect for bad bacteria. Be sure that all brewing tools and implements are sterilized, and always wash your hands before handling your SCOBY or other ingredients. Throw out any batch that forms mold of any kind. Mold is not normal to the brewing process, and this is a sure sign that the batch is off.
Don’t brew kombucha in direct sunlight. This creates temperature swings that will negatively affect your brew. Indirect sunlight and room temperature are the preferable brewing conditions.
Try coffee filters. Some kombucha brewers think that coffee filters work better than cheesecloth for covering the brew container. The finer mesh of the coffee filter allows in air while keeping out more bugs and bacteria than cheesecloth can.
A. One of the biggest is probiotics, which can infuse your digestive system with helpful bacteria. Kombucha also contains antioxidants and a variety of vitamins, including several B vitamins. People who drink kombucha regularly say they have more energy, a stimulated immune system, and lower cholesterol.
A. As a fermented product, yes, although the amount of alcohol is fairly low. Store-bought brews are highly regulated and have under 0.5% alcohol. Home-brewed kombucha generally has a higher alcohol content, usually up to 3% or more.
A. While it can vary some depending on temperature and other factors, kombucha generally takes up to 30 days to brew. After it’s finished, kombucha will remain drinkable for several weeks or months if it’s properly bottled and stored.
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