Learn What To Do With Your Kombucha After Your Brew Is Done | WholeLIfestyleNutrition.com

Our Kombucha Series


We are half way through our kombucha series!  In a few days you will be enjoying some delicious and healthy kombucha.  

Here is a list of our full kombucha series:

  1. What is kombucha and why is it so healthy for you? {Part 1}
  2. Learn how to brew kombucha with this easy step by step tutorial. {Part 2}
  3. My kombucha is done, now what?…And how to bottle kombucha tea {Part 3}
  4. A collection of kombucha recipes {Part 4} Coming soon…


Where To Purchase A Kombucha Starter Kit


If you are just getting started, make sure that you buy your kombucha starter kit from a reliable source.  

So lets dive into todays lesson, my kombucha is done, now what…and how to bottle your kombucha tea.


Your Brew Is Finally Done Fermenting, Now What? 


Yes, your brew has FINALLY finished fermenting and you have the desired taste that you are looking for…now what?  There are several simple steps to follow and in a few short days you will be enjoying your first homemade kombucha!

There are several thing to note:

  • Do not use anything metal from this point on.  Use plastic utensils and a plastic funnel.  Metal will react with the kombucha.
  • Before you remove your SCOBY, sanitize your hands with white vinegar.  Do NOT use soap, you could kill your SCOBY.
  • Sanitize you botttle with hot water or white vinegar.  I ran mine through the dishwasher with no soap, just hot water.
  • Clear glass ONLY!  You can buy clear bottles here.  These bottles are the exact bottles that I use, and I love them!

Ok, now that we have the basics covered, lets start bottling some kombucha!


Removing the SCOBY


The first thing you want to do is remove the SCOBY from your kombucha.  Note that I have the “mother” SCOBY and a “baby” SCOBY.  The original SCOBY that you used has created a baby.  You need to remove both of these.  Simple reach in with your clean hands and remove the two SCOBY cultures.

Learn What To Do With Your Kombucha After Your Brew Is Done | WholeLIfestyleNutrition.com

Your mother and baby might still be attached like this one.  You can either leave them attached or pull them apart.

Learn What To Do With Your Kombucha After Your Brew Is Done | WholeLIfestyleNutrition.com

Here is what your SCOBY will look like after you have removed it from the kombucha tea.  Simple put it in a clean jar with 1/2-2/3 cups of tea from this batch cover with a lid and store in your pantry until you are ready to brew your next batch of tea.  This is called a SCOBY hotel.

I just take my SCOBY and 2/3 cups starter (tea from this batch) and place it into a clean jar and start the process all over again and start brewing a new batch.  The baby SCOBY I passed on to my neighbor so she can start her first brew.

Learn What To Do With Your Kombucha After Your Brew Is Done | WholeLIfestyleNutrition.com  

What’s That Stuff Floating In My Kombucha?


When you are adding starter tea to your SCOBIES, you might notice some sediment in your jar of tea or some stingy like substances hanging off your ladle…This is NORMAL and is harmless!

If this bothers you, simply run your kombucha through a sieve or sifter and this will remove all of your floating objects from you kombucha.  I leave mine in the tea.  You get use to it the more you drink the kombucha!  :-)

Learn What To Do With Your Kombucha After Your Brew Is Done | WholeLIfestyleNutrition.com

Bottling Your Kombucha


Now place a funnel into your clean bottle and pour your kombucha right into the bottle.  Fill the bottle almost to the top, leaving a maximum headspace of 1″ or less.  The less you have the more carbonation that you will have.

Please note, NEVER shake kombucha it can explode.  The higher you fill the bottle, the more likely you are going to need to burp your kombucha to relieve the gas bubbles a bit.

Learn What To Do With Your Kombucha After Your Brew Is Done | WholeLIfestyleNutrition.com

Once you have filled your kombucha bottles, place the lid on your kombucha.  You have three options from this point.

  1. You can drink the kombucha as is and put in the refrigerator.  It will have less fizz with this method but still taste amazing.
  2. You can cap the kombucha and store in a warm, dark place and allow it to sit for 2-3 days.  This will create a really fizzy kombucha.
  3. You can make kombucha soda (recipe coming in final post in this series).

If you decide to ferment your kombucha to get it a bit more fizzy, simply place the cap on the kombucha and store in a warm, dark place for 2-3 days.  I stored mine in the pantry.


Where Do I Store My Kombucha?


After 2-3 days remove your kombucha from the pantry (or your dark warm place) and place in the refrigerator.  If your kombucha developed a baby SCOBY in the bottle, remove and toss and then drink.  

Do not leave your kombucha in the pantry past the 2-3 day period.  It is very important to move it to the refrigerator.  This will stop the fermentation process completely.

That is it!  You now know how to make your own kombucha!  Not hard at all, was it?!!  

Later this week we will dive into making kombucha “soda” (so easy to make) and I will also have a great list of amazing kombucha recipes for you all to try.

Learn What To Do With Your Kombucha After Your Brew Is Done | WholeLIfestyleNutrition.com

Share Your Thoughts


As always, let me know if you should have any questions!  

How about it, are you ready to tackle brewing your first kombucha?

Final Comment


PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Your support keeps this blog running and is greatly appreciated. AMAZON DISCLOSURE: The owner of this website is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon properties including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com. DISCLAIMER: The content on the blog Whole Lifestyle Nutrition is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice. I am not a medical professional and the information contained on this blog should not be used to diagnose, treat or prevent any disease or health illness. Please consult with a qualified health care professional before acting on any information presented here.

Join the Conversation

64 thoughts on “My Kombucha Is Done, Now What?…And How To Bottle Kombucha Tea ~ {Part 3}”

  1. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    Fun picture isn’t it (ha ha) Thought it might grab some attention :)

  2. Angela Deutsch says:

    Getting ready to start my first batch!

  3. Dana Smyre says:

    The pic is disGUSTING! My friend was over this wknd and I showed her my Scoby…she was literally gagging! Just saw part 2. I’m gonna have to order gallon jars I’m sure.

  4. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    LOL Dana! I know it isn’t the prettiest thing to brew but hey sure does taste great!

  5. Aimee Ionno Schmidt says:

    I just got a mother/scoby from a friend at work. Can’t wait to make my first batch!

  6. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    Aimee let me know if you need any help along the way :)

    1. Lynne says:

      ok, i just finished brewing my first batch of K. i bought a bottle of synergy original that was a bit out of date and it had a tiny scoby in it. i used this and some of the tea it was in to start my gallon batch. i was not able to keep it particularly warm…stayed perhaps around 65+/- degrees (i have since bought a brew wrap, but not in time for this batch). it brewed for 14 days. it tastes and smells good, but not knowing what a scoby is suppose to look like at the end, i’m a little freaked that i could possibly have screwed it up and we could be drinking bad stuff. i have looked up so many pics of it on internet, but there are a lot of conflicting opinions. is there a way to tell beyond just looking at it? my top scoby is very thin and before i disturbed it to harvest tea, it was puffy in a couple of places, varied in color and there was a small, thicker one forming underneath it, an individual one, not connected/layered to the top one. i saw a pic on internet that looked like the small one i’m describing and the article said those were “bad” and to throw out the whole batch, including scoby. what? when i took it out to examine, it didn’t have any black or blue or fuzzy looking spots on it, but how can i tell if it’s good/bad? please help! i love this stuff and want to make it myself. thanks!

      1. JR says:


        Sounds like yours is totally fine. It will take awhile to build a scoby like the ones in the pictures. The only thing you have to worry about is mold. This whole throw out the whole batch (…and buy another scoby….) is nonsense.

        If the kombucha tastes good…its good.

  7. Whole Lifestyle Nutrition says:

    questions Angela…feel free to ask away!

  8. kayleeh says:

    how much should you drink a day? Can you drink to much? I think I could drink it all day long it tastes so good!

    1. hallecottis says:

      kayleeh It is recommended to only drink a few ounces a day and work your way up to more.  I do just fine drinking about 8-12 oz a day :)

  9. hallecottis says:

    If you all are interested in the first and second posts in this series here they are.http://wholelifestylenutrition.com/recipes/drinks/what-is-kombucha-why-is-it-so-healthy-for-you/http://wholelifestylenutrition.com/recipes/drinks/learn-how-to-brew-kombucha-with-this-easy-tutorial/
    The fourth post is coming out next week and it will be a series of kombucha recipes

  10. Renee says:

    Is there a reason why we can’t use amber or cobalt blue jars?

    1. hallecottis says:

      @Renee the color in the glass can leach into your kombucha….it is best not to use colored glass.

      1. Renee says:

        hallecottis ewww…. thanks! We stay away from artificial colors, but I never thought of it leaking from glass.

      2. Kim says:

        The color from the glass will NOT leech into your booch. Beer is also fermented and is ONLY bottled in amber glass. If you know anything about glass, the color is PART of the glass, not merely painted on the inside.

  11. kombu says:

    how long will my kombucha stay good for in the fridge?

    1. hallecottis says:

      kombu It will keep for some time in refrigerator.  Don’t have exact time, but mine is gone in 2 weeks or less :)

  12. Amie Simpson says:

    Can I use Ball or Mason glass jars to bottle my brew and just change the metal cap to a plastic one?

    1. hallecottis says:

      Amie Simpson Sure can.  Might not be as fizzy but mason jars will work just fine.

  13. Meghan says:

    Have you ever had a glass jar explode, or will those jars pop their capper off before they’d explode?

    1. hallecottis says:

      @Meghan I have not had one explode.  Just make sure that you don’t shake them and to refrigerate after a few days in pantry (if making kombucha soda)

    2. kombu says:

      @Meghan I had 2 bottles explode on me, i left them out a couple days too long, i allow 3 days for the second fermentation and then transfer them to the fridge, be carefull, we had glass all over the kitchen, this does not stop me from continuing with a great healthy drink that has helped me so much.

  14. Macy says:

    I just finished my first time batch and when removed the scobys the “mother” scoby has a couple of small holes in it. Is this normal or OK?

  15. QueenSacheen says:

    HI i recently got a gift a nice big healthy scoby. when i got home (i live very remote and the nearest store is an hour away by boat) i had nothing to properly keep it in, and put it in a sterilized tub that is about 1.6 litres big. that was 3 days ago. I have found a nice 2 litre jar now and am wondering if i should move it now or wait till the week is up to move it? the tub its in is food grade plastic and i am not super worried about the plastic leaching, i am more worried about the scoby being unhappy. any advice is greatly appreciated and needed asap. btw the scoby is doing fine in there and looks to be doing its job so i am reluctant to move it but i also want it to be in the best environment for long term brewing! thank you in advance!

  16. anonymousflyer says:

    QueenSacheen you can easily move it, it doesn’t mind; it’s quite adaptable! Just wash you hands off, soak them in white vinegar, then grab it, put it in the new 2 liter jar, and pour the liquid in. I’m pretty sure glass is better than plastic, btw

  17. Tripp Blackwater says:

    just bottled my first batch. it tastes so good. I’m so excited. Gonna let it sit so it gets the fizz. I like a fizzy beverage. Now I’m working on my next two batches.

  18. nick f says:

    I’ve been brewing and researching kombucha for about 5 years. This is the first I’ve heard of colored glass leaching and I’m very curious to learn more. I’ve always believed colored glass to be better, as the bacteria is sensitive to light. Any more information you can share about colored glass leaching would be much appreciated. Thank you!
    Nick F.

    1. Kim says:

      Nick you are correct re: bacteria & light. No issues at all with colored glass. Beer is also a fermented product and is never bottled in clear glass, always colored due to light.

  19. Omar says:

    Hi I need advice from the experts;

    I just bottled my first batch of Kambucha using my empty store-bought bottles that I’ve collected with time. (Buying them daily gets expensive!)

    I will leave out the brand name of the kambucha product I used for specific reasons, since I don’t feel qualified to promote myself.

    Your recipe is very straight forward and self explained. Now that I’m in the bottling step of the process I need your advice since I feel I could have let the kambucha sit a bit longer to gain that extra oomph of flavor to my batch. I think it is still a bit too sweet for my taste and ‘weak’ for lack of a better word. Two weeks into the process and already took out the scoby and made a fresh batch which is now brewing. The baby scoby looked great and that is part of the reason I went ahead and bottled the fist batch (with out sampling first…grrr!) Will the extra 2-3 days bottled in a warm, dark place give it some extra taste I’m looking for?

    I think I’m better off waiting for my second batch to brew to get the flavor I’m expecting. Any advice, please?

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      Yes, the second brew (the soda kombucha) will add in a tremendous amount of flavor. Try adding some berries too! Also if it is to sweet, allow it to brew a bit longer.

  20. Greg says:

    I just made my first batch. I fermented it for 11 days. It tasted fine so I decided to bottle it. Doesn’t appear to have developed much of a baby scoby…is that normal? It looks like I could pull one off of it but I don’t want to tear it. I added about 25oz pure blueberry juice to it. I put some in the fridge right away and some in a second ferment.
    I put the mother in a canning jar in a cupboard with some of the regular kombucha. How long can I store the mother before I have to do another batch? Thanks for all your help!

  21. Great article… just a thought…how do you sanitise the jars and equipment?

  22. Kathy says:

    I’m wondering where the best place to purchase bottles is?

    1. Connie Jo says:

      I found my bottles on Craigslist. Green, Grolsch beer bottles. Sanitized and soaked in a vinegar water solution rinsed then put in the dish strainer. This article explains why, during the second fermentation, my bottles barely fizzed when I burped them. I didn’t fill them to the top! It was my first batch, so I’m okay with that. I’ll be transferring them to the fridge tonight. Thanks for the insight!

  23. WHitney says:

    Hi there! Love your site first off! Second, I just bottled my Kombucha, but do not have any plastic lids. Should I NOT use metal. (I am using mason Jars) If not can I just store them on a shelf or fridge uncovered for a bit, or should I cover with cloth?

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      Yay, I wouldn’t use metal at all! It is best to cover them with the lids. Here is where you can buy them http://amzn.to/1mmmXWd

      If you need to cover them while you wait, I would use a cheesecloth or even some plastic wrap until the lids arrive. Enjoy your first kombucha batch! :)

  24. Martha Peebles says:

    Help! I just finished my first batch of Kombucha. I removed the scoby and flavored the entire batch with organic juice and chia seeds, forgetting to keep some for my scoby. Now what do I store my scoby in? Can I just some of the tea that is flavored? Arrrgggg.

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      I wouldn’t add in the flavored tea. I would add some sweet tea and some vinegar to store it in.

  25. Kel says:

    I made a wonderful first batch of Kombucha but then, as life got crazy, I never made a 2nd batch so my scobi (now with about 5 babies) has been sitting for about 3 months (covered with cloth at room temp) in about 1 cup or so of Komb. My question is…can I still use that to make more or has it been too long and now this Komb starter liquid would be too strong/over fermented for the next batch to taste right?? Thanks so much for any input!!!

  26. Davud says:

    Hi, can i store my kombucha in a plastic spigoted container in the fridge or does it need to be bottled under pressure? Thanks! My first brew is going right now… can’t wait.

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      Glass is best, but yes, you can store with plastic spigots container. It will not be fizzy if it isn’t bottled for the second ferment though.

  27. Annette Paulsen says:

    Hello, normally once I bottle my kombucha I wait 3 days without capping them then, cap & refrigerate. This did not happen this time & they were left for 10 days; should I throw away the batch or will it still be beneficial to me? Thank you, Annette

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      So they were not capped. I would cap them when they go for the second ferment for 3 days max and then put in the frigerator. I probably would toss.

  28. barbara price says:

    I reuse old wine bottles for the second ferment and storing my kombucha in the fridge. I keep 2 gallons going at a time. I save corks from liqueur bottles – those that have a topper which makes it easier to pull them out. And I bought a bunch of those hinged bottle stoppers, too. For the brewing period, with the scoby, I use a 1 gal glass jar – you can find them on Amazon for under $20. Mine are older, from the days when restaurants got mayo in glass jars.

    Right now I’m testing making a simple syrup infused with ginger to add to my next brew. I want to enhance that ginger flavor. Instead of adding ginger slices to the batch at day 7, I’ll also try juicing the ginger for the extra heat.

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      Sounds interesting! Love the idea for the wine bottles! Keep us posted would you? :)

  29. Brad says:

    So what’s the verdict on clear glass leaching chemicals into kombucha? Many sources say don’t brew in a colored vessel for this reason. Are all chemicals that leach harmful?

  30. Brad says:

    Hey Kim. Trying to do some research to quell my concerns. Metals are generally used to color the glass. They are typically unreactive, so beer can be stored in the glass, but any chemist knows that strong enough acids can react with usual unreactive metals. Kombucha is more acidic than beer. I don’t know where these reactive threshold begins and how it varies for each type of bottle with varying coloring metals. I just keep seeing “don’t use colored” but no scientific reasoning for it. That lack of a scientific explanation shouldn’t be evidence of safety. Anyone know any more about this? If so, please post a reference for everyone to know of colored safety or lack thereof. Thanks

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      Thanks so much Brad for your research on this. I am working on a post to tackle all of these questions!I am in the research stage of the post, so could be a few weeks before I post. Thanks again :)

  31. Theresa says:

    I just found 3 bottles of tea hiding in the back of my pantry. One has juice in it the other 2 don’t. They have been in there for over a year. Would they be safe to drink or should I just toss them? They all look and smell ok, little bit more of a vinegar scent.

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      Oh my goodness, I would toss them for sure! When in doubt, toss.

  32. tammy says:

    hi, I just finished brewing my first batch and the second brew cycle. I added blueberries and refrigerated The batch is too sweet. Is it too late to do anything about it?

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      After you add blueberries allow it to ferment at room temperature for 2-3 days then refrigerate. If it is too sweet, you did not ferment long enough in the first ferment. Unfortunately, I would toss this batch and just allow your next batch to sit longer to get your desired strength.

  33. Christopher says:

    Thank you for the tips and recipes just finished bottling my first batch and will start playing around with your recipes I’ll let you know how it goes :)

  34. Sonia says:

    When storing the mother and baby scobies, do they have to be kept warm (over 70 deg) to prevent mold or is that not an issue in the scoby hotel?

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      That really isn’t an issue with a scoby hotel. I just put mine in a mason jar and store in pantry.

  35. M says:

    How long is Kombucha good for? Once in fridge,

  36. M says:

    somebody wrote 2 weeks?

  37. coleman says:

    2 weeks? The longer it ferments, the more complex it becomes. If planning a long ferment, use new bottles when possible. I’ve fermented for a couple years at approx. 70 degrees F. and they were like champagne! So open over the sink, or a glass container so as not to waste any! Just be ready to pour, or chug! It’ll keep erupting unless its given enough surface area for the CO2 to escape. I’ve had Grolsch flip-top beer bottles explode so be careful!! You can use a high grade HDPE until fizzy then transfer into a glass bottle, allowing for a 3rd ferment. If it tastes sweet, and its fizzy, adding more sugar at this point might upset the equilibrium. I use a plastic bin to store them in just in case and will even put the bottle in a gallon plastic ziplock bag before into the fridge! If you live where the summer nights are high 90’s, when you wake up to the sound of exploding bottles, at least it will be somewhat contained! Its a real bitch cleaning out the spice cupboard, counterop , and mopping the floor at 3:00 a.m.!! Use NEW BOTTLES , older bottles = more micro-cracks that will inevitably result in an explosion..

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