Honest to Goodness, Easy-to-Follow, Step-by-Step Instructions for the Brewing & Harvesting of Kombucha

By Ariana Estelle-Symons, Ph.D., Copyright August 1997

After many years of writing Kombucha instruction sheets (and always feeling that they were too complicated, and too hard to follow), I've finally come up with what I think are honest-to-goodness, easy to follow instructions for the brewing and harvesting of Kombucha. I hope you'll think so too.

What Do I Need to Get Started?

Note: These growing instructions assume that you have purchased a Kombucha Kit from Harmonic Harvest. If you don't have this kit, these instructions are still useful if you substitute 5 tea bags for the loose tea leaves in Step 5 below.

You'll also need a little time, an open mind, and just a little patience. Brewing Kombucha is not 'difficult' - it's just 'different'.

Okay - What Do I Do Now?

Well, take a look at what you have in your 'growing kit'

Here We Go - Step by Step

Note: Always have very clean hands when working with Kombucha, when actually handling the Kombucha culture, you may wish to use the latex gloves supplied.

  1. Pour the 3 quarts of water into the freshly washed stainless steel pot. Add one extra cup of water to allow for evaporation.
  2. Boil the water for 10 minutes
  3. Add the 1 cup of white granulated sugar and stir with wooded or stainless steel spoon to dissolve.
  4. Boil for an additional 5 minutes - remove from heat
  5. Place one half of the loose tea leaves (15 grams) into the little cotton drawstring bag. Drop the bag into the water and allow to steep for 20 minutes. Remove the bag of tea. (You can empty the bag, wash it and use it again and again). [Note: These growing instructions assume that you have purchased a Kombucha Kit from Harmonic Harvest. If you don't have this kit, these instructions are still useful if you substitute 5 tea bags for the loose tea leaves in this step.]
  6. Cool to room temperature (test on the inside of your arm) You can speed up the cooling time by placing the pan in a sink filled with cold water.
  7. When cool - pour into the large glass bowl or jar.
  8. Open the 'baggie' that contains your Kombucha "Mom", being careful not to spill the 'starter tea' that is in the bag.
  9. Drop the Kombucha "mom" and the starter tea into the bowl or jar of cooled 'growing tea'.
  10. Cover the bowl or jar with a white undecorated paper towel - or - you may use a freshly laundered tea towel. Secure the cover with the big rubber band.
  11. Place the fermenting vessel on a shelf, out of direct sunlight. Remember that the Kombucha needs warmth to complete the fermenting process. 75 degrees is good. 80 degrees is even better.

Now . . . relax and let your Kombucha do its thing. Try not to remove the cover during the fermentation process. Also, try not to jostle the bowl or jar. Just leave it alone and wait for seven days. I know - it's hard to leave it alone - you really want to peek.

Harvest Time


Seemed like a long seven days didn't it?

Well, it's time!

Just relax and follow the directions below. You can't harm your Kombucha 'mom' or 'baby' by handling them

If you are going to use bare hands, be sure to scrub with a nail brush and remove your rings, or use the latex gloves we sent you.

Clean your workspace well and remove all dirty dishes, food, potted plants, caged birds, and shoo the dog and cat out of the kitchen.

Bring the fermenting vessel into the kitchen , take the towel off the top. What do you see?

See the pale looking 'skin' that is covering the growing tea? What you are looking at is your brand new 'baby' Kombucha! They may be 'stuck' together, don't worry about that, some 'moms' just find it hard to let go.


With very clean hand, (or wearing gloves, reach in and remove the 'baby' and the 'mom' and place them on a clean plate.

It's not necessary to strain the fermented Kombucha tea, but you can if you wish. You can use a plastic or nylon strainer, or a paper coffee filter, or a piece of cheesecloth, or even the foot of a clean pantyhose or a piece of nylon netting.

The brown "ooglie" looking things you see floating in the "KT" are simply a part of the fermentation process, leftover or unused yeast cells. They won't hurt you or the KT, they are just rather unattractive.

Pour the fermented KT from the fermentation vessel into glass jars or juice containers, cover with the appropriate lids (screw on or snap top) and store in the fridge.

Your next batch of KT will be made exactly the same way. Be sure that you always save about two cups of fermented tea to add as a "starter" for each batch.

You can use either the 'mom' or the 'baby' to start your new batch.

Store extra 'babies' in the fridge in a glass container, being sure to cover the culture with fermented tea and a loose fitting lid so that it can 'breathe' a little.

Remember - if you have any questions at all - just give me a call and I'll 'walk you thru it'.

"All The Tea In Texas"
P.O.Box 82
Harwood, TX 78632

Harmonic Harvest Products

This publication is copyrighted and the publication or portions thereof may not be used in any way without written permission from the author. All rights reserved.


Harmonic Harvest Web Page

Kombucha Konnection Home Page

If you have questions about Kombucha or the contents of this web page, ask Ariana

This page is maintained by Bob Williams,
Kombucha Center Home Page
UpDt 10/25/1999