Kombucha Mushroom Tea Instructions

Here is what you will need:
  1. A 4 quart glass (pyrex - lead free) bowl or gallon jar (I have brewed both ways... I find that the bowl method with more surface space gives a better brew to the tea.  However since my space is limited I have been using jars.)
  2. A cover for the jar or bowl - this can be cheese cloth, a coffee filter (works great on the jar), a piece of fabric, I have even used cloth napkins.  If using the bowl you will need to have a couple of bamboo skewers or the like to cross over the top and prevent the fabric from entering the brew.  For the bowl I use a bit of string or yarn to hold the fabric in place around the rim of the bowl.  For a jar I use a large rubber band to hold it in place.)  The cover prevents lint and bugs from entering your brew yet allows the mushroom to breathe.
  3. 4 bags of organic black or green tea
  4. 1 cup of white granulated sugar. (dehydrated cane juice works... but slower - a lot slower - the Kombucha prefers the regular white sugar.)

To make the tea:
  1. Bring 3 quarts of water up to temperature - like you would to brew a regular cup of tea (you can use a tea kettle for this)
  2. Put 1 cup of sugar into your bowl along with the four Organic black or green tea bags.
  3. Pour your water into your container.  Stir to dissolve the sugar.  Make sure it is dissolved.
  4. Let the tea bags steep in the water until it has completely cooled to room temperature.  Then remove them.
  5. Once COMPLETELY COOLED (I have had people kill their mushrooms because they have not waited) you can stir in 1/2 cup of Kombucha from a previous batch (this is the starter) - I supply you with that... your 'mushroom' will be 'swimming' in its starter liquid.
  6. Place the mushroom on top of the tea.  It may sink a little - no big deal.  The 'baby' will be made above the mother and will be floating at the surface of the tea.  They sometimes attach to the mother too... not a problem - you just pull them apart gingerly or even just leave together to make the next batch.  I have had mushrooms get as thick as 2" because I have left them together.  I haven't had a problem with that.
  7. Cover and set in a warm dark corner.  Top of the fridge works for this.
  8. If the mushroom turns black or sinks to the bottom it either may have become contaminated (non-organic tea, plastic containers, lead from porcelain bowl/containers can contaminate the mushroom and over time gradually kill it or even kill it in just one brew) or something else may have happened to make it die.  Even spraying for bugs can kill your mushroom.

Signs to look for when your tea is ready & what to do next?
  1. Bubbles at the edge of the mushroom against the glass
  2. Taste it to see if you like how it tastes... it may be slightly effervescent.  If you prefer more bubbles or more acidic you can leave it longer.  Our family prefers it sweeter, not so apple cider vinegary tasting, and just a little bubble to it, but everyone is different.
  3. We have found that the longer you brew - the alcohol content can go up.  It can become wine like.  If you don't want to drink this start a new batch - reserve just 1/2 cup of the liquid and brew as before.  Testing earlier.  The warmer the faster it will brew.  Cooler... it will brew slower.  It can take just 3 or even up to 7-10 days.
  4. When it is how you would like it...  (reserving 1/2 cup of liquid to start the next batch.)  Put the remaining into a glass container and store in the refrigerator.  Pouring it through cheesecloth will eliminate any floaties.  If you leave it out on the counter it will continue to brew.  A particularly strong batch has been known to create a baby on its own.  Refrigerating will slow the 'brewing' process.  You can store the liquid for drinking in the fridge for about two weeks.
  5. To start your next batch use 1/2 cup of liquid from your previous batch as its starter liquid and follow the directions above.

What to do with the babies?  
  1. You can start a second container for brewing.  
  2. Share with a friend.
  3. Let them collect on top of on another.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to six months making sure to keep feeding them.  They will die if not fed the sugar/tea mixture.  Refrigeration slows the process down... refrigerated mushrooms do not normally create babies.  However, if you store on the counter a whole container full of babies will become a mother and start making babies.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.