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

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} 


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.

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So let’s dive into today’s 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 bottle 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, let’s 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.  Simply reach in with your clean hands and remove the two SCOBY cultures.

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

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 |

Here is what your SCOBY will look like after you have removed it from the kombucha tea.

Simply 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.

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

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 |

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 |

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 |

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,,,,, or 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

103 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.
    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.

        1. Al says:

          If the glass is colored with a metal, as is often the case, it is possible for the metal to be dissolved by the acid in the kombucha.

        2. Pauline says:

          Kim, I know this is an old post but thanks for your reply. I have watched several videos on making kombucha on YouTube and no-one ever mentioned using only clear bottles. The ones I have at home are amber & I was afraid to use them until reading your post. They are going to have to do until I can invest in some clear ones.

          1. Blakee says:

            Pauline! I have been searching and searching for info on Clear vs Amber glass, and there isn’t much verbiage on it. Additionally, there isn’t much danger to health, my only concern is light affecting the batch, or the newly bottled Kombucha. 7/10 people use clear, but there is no really explanation as to why. HELP!

          2. Fred Fonzee says:

            Actually, if you look around, a lot of Kombucha companies actually brew – and sell – in amber bottles. This is so that the light doesn’t get in. This protects the Kombucha and helps to stop any further fermentation. That is why numerous liquid medicines are sold in dark amber bottles (or even plastic – not that you would ever put Kombucha in plastic! lol). Peeps – your Kombucha is safe is colored glass bottles – but not painted glass bottles. How long is it gonna sit there for anyways?! You’ll be drinking it within a week! 😉

  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!

    1. Christine gray says:

      can I use a store bought bottle of kombucha to grow a scoby..It is organic raw kombucha that I have had for 2 weeks
      l if I put it into the pantry or warm area will it start to grow a scoby!

  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

      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..

  38. martha says:

    I have just reached the 8 day period. MY kombucha tastes good, but I think I’ll leave it for another day. There is a new scoby that has formed on top. But I needed to know to get the scoby out and make a scoby hotel, which I did, thank you. I am going to bottle tomorrow, an d place in the cupboard for two days so it gets fizzy. I like that. I didn’t add anything to my first batch.

    I am so grateful that I had some where to go to answer my questions. Thank you so much. I’ll keep you posted on how it tastes.



  39. Andy says:

    Does anyone know where I can find information regarding the regulations of bottling and selling my Kombucha if it is not an alcoholic beverage? Also very informative article! I will definitely use some of these techniques for my brew.

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      Kombucha may have a very small dose of alcohol that forms in the fermentation process, but it is very minimal.

  40. Josh Smith says:

    I just bottled my first batch of Kombucha, and noticed that miniature SCOBYs are forming on the inside of some of my bottles. Is this a filtration problem on my end? Or is there another reason that this would happen? Thanks -Josh

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      This is completely normal. Sometimes it happens to me as well and other times mini scobies don’t form. Both are normal.

  41. Theresa says:

    I use these exact same bottles and read that you can secondary ferment for up to 14 days. I let mine go for 7 full days and there was hardly any fizz :( Any idea why mine didn’t fizz up?

  42. Carol says:

    HI All, I like your website !! I started making Kombucha about 2 months ago. I had no SCOBY so I made my 1st batch with a scoby from ACV that I had made, it worked just fine ! I now have 3 scoby hotels ( one is from making pineappple vinegar, which is SOOO de-lish ). So if anyone out there is living in a place where they can’t just waltz down to the local health store and buy a bottle of kombucha … to get that 1st scoby … no worries … make your own ! I’m now enjoying a tall glass of fizzy, tangy, delicious Kombucha every day, and I really love it. My “guts” work better and I feel it has given me more energy as well.

  43. martin says:

    Im storing my Scoby’s in a Hotel that is gallon pickling jar with metal lid.
    Do I have to burp the jar every week or it will explode?

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      No you do not need to burp it. You want to make sure that the metal lid does not touch your scoby or tea. It is best to use plastic.

  44. Margie says:

    I love all the questions and comments but I am new to brewing Kombucha and none of the Q & A are exactly what I need to know – but I’m learning a lot! So, I am now 2nd fermenting my first batch ever of Kombucha. I have six bottles using all kinds of flavorings to see what I/we like the best. I saved enough to cover my SCOBY and have that and a forming baby in a glass liter jar along with about a cup of unflavored KT from that first batch. I am not ready to brew another gallon of tea maybe for a couple of weeks because I am still getting my body used to drinking it. So, a couple of questions: 1) Will that KT in with the SCOBY just get more and more acidic the longer it sits? 2) Can I use that tea as a starter for my next batch even if it is more sour than I would normally drink it? Will that more acidic starter affect the taste of the new batch. or 3) Do I need a different starter? 4) I planned to refrigerate my flavored bottles of KT to slow down the carbonation – can I use any of that KT as a starter? Maybe choose the mildest flavored of them all? 5) If I can use one of those 2nd ferment batches for future starter, is it better to keep it unrefrigerated? thanks in advance for any help.

  45. Angel says:

    Thank you so much for your article! I have read through most of the comments and have learned a lot. I have one question, and of course like everyone else I’m worried I messed something up!

    I finished my 1 week of the initial fermentation process. I left some starter tea with the scoby after I poured the kombucha from the original container into the 2nd container for the 2nd fermentation. Then, I brewed new sweet tea, let it cool, and poured it on top of the scoby in the original container. Is it ok that I did not remove the scoby and gently place it on top of the new tea batch? As I poured the new tea on top of the scoby, it did not seem to be very happy with me as it flipped upside down and around…I tried to turn it right side up but then worried I would contaminate it. Will it be ok? How will I know if it isn’t? Thank you so so so much for your assistance! My first batch tastes great!

  46. angela says:

    I am very excited after having my very first batch successfully done, although I have one question /concern. I didn’t had a baby scoby and the original seems to be still really weak, although I achieved the expected results. How many batched takes to get a scoby as strong and meaty as the one in the picture?

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      I’d say about 3 batches. Just leave what has formed in the container and continue your next brew. It will continue to grow.

  47. Denise says:

    Hi Kim! I Love your site!

    I just finished brewing my first batch of K and bottled in covered mason jars a couple of hours ago and left out in a dark area. I left some room about an inch and a half in order to add some fresh organic berries tomorrow morning. My worry now after reading your article is that it may not be as fizzy because of the 12 hours or so with so much room. Have I screwed up my entire batch or can I still add fruit tomorrow? FYI there was a ton of fizz before bottling.

    1. Denise says:

      Im so sorry Halle! I apologize for the addressing you as Kim.

    2. Halle Cottis says:

      Nope, you haven’t screwed it up, Denise. Just add the berries and ferment for another day or two. Do note that it is best to add the berries as soon as you bottle the kombucha. I also find that you get a lot more fizz when your put the kombucha in actual bottles versus mason jars. Keep that in mind for your next brew.

      1. Denise says:

        AWESOME! I’m so excited and look forward to having my own batch! I’m going to hopefully have the right containers in time for my next batch! Thank you for your fast response!!

  48. Olle says:

    Hi! I’ve been brewing kombucha now for a while and it’s going great. I gave my mother a bottle that she forgot and had in her refrigirator for one year. We still opened it and it tasted almost a little champagnely. Do you know anything about storing kombucha for longer times if it gets more awesome like wine or if nothing really happens? Much love, thx

  49. Bethany says:

    I JUST used a metal ladle BEFORE I read this!! Did I destroy my batch of Kombucha? :(

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      It’s best not to use metal, but you should be fine. Just make sure next time not to use again.

      1. Bethany says:

        Thank you! I does seem fine, but I sure won’t do that again! :)

  50. Chelsea says:

    I am wondering if our scoby needs to be tossed, or not.
    We ordered a scoby off of Amazon and it was sent to the wrong address. We contacted the sender and he said that the scoby should be okay once it arrived at the correct location. When we received the scoby, it had been in transit for maybe 2-3 weeks. The scoby itself looked fine and was still in liquid, not punctured, etc.
    I brewed the started tea with half green and half black and added the vinegar, sugar, etc. (followed very strict instructions to make sure I didn’t mess up!)
    I had a friend who brewed K and everything smells good like his did and it seems that there is a baby scoby forming, but the top scoby looks like there’s a big air pocket and it is a bit bumpy. I’ll upload pictures. Any help would be SO GREATLY appreciated! Thank you!!

    1. Chelsea says:

      ALTHOUGH it looks like there may be mold in the picture, it does not look like there is any mold when I look at it myself in “person”.
      Thank you!

      1. Halle Cottis says:

        The SCOBY looks fine to me…looks like there is a new one forming on top, which is normal. Why did you add vinegar to the tea? Did your SCOBY not come in a liquid?

        If you contacted the seller about the 2-3 week delay in delivery and they informed you that it would be ok, then you need to decide how reputable this company is. I am not saying they aren’t reputable, but I personally would have had them ship me another one at their expense. You are dealing with a live culture and 2-3 weeks at the wrong temperatures could affect that.

        Keep in mind, I am always super overly cautious, and I do not know who your source was for the SCOBY.

  51. Lulu says:

    Hi! Not sure if this was already asked or not but is there an “expiration time” for keeping homemade kombucha in the fridge after brewing? Thanks so much!

  52. Natalie says:

    Maybe you already covered this, but I am curious why you say to use clear glass only? Amber glass is pretty standard and reduces light degradation of the product.

  53. Cindy says:

    I moved the gallon jar I’m using to brew my komboucha, so I disturbed it somewhat. Will this affect it? There are a few bubbles, but no real film on top. Also, it’s only been 4 days and it smells like apple cider vinegar already. That seems fast for this time of year. We keep our heat set at 68, so I know it’s not that hot in here. I do have it above the fridge in the cupboard. It has greenish grey stuff floating on top. Looks like the stuff you skim off a pot of boiled meat or almost like loose tea. I used green tea and none of the bags were broken when I removed them. Do you think it’s ok?

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      It is hard to say with your description. I wouldn’t put it in a cupboard. Kombucha needs the open space to grow the beneficial bacteria. As far as the substance you are describing, that sounds like it is a new scoby forming. If you want to take a picture and upload it into these comments (there is a button below the comments that you can submit a picture) I can take a look at it for you.

  54. Sarah says:


    I wanted to play with adding flavors to the kombucha. Any recommendation on how and when in the process we should do that?


    1. Halle Cottis says:

      Look at part 4 of this series to learn how to make flavored kombucha.

      1. Sarah says:

        Thanks Halle!

  55. Cindy says:

    Here is a photo of my komboucha brew. It smells vinegary, but it’s still sweet.

    1. Halle Cottis says:

      I’m not sure why the photos didn’t show up Cindy, but I can see them in the back end of my website. I’ll have my tech team look at fixing this so that the image shows up here. There is a lot going on with your kombucha. It is hard to tell from your photos if there is mold growing or not. It could just be part of the kombucha floating to the top and is sitting right below the new scoby. Keep an eye on it to see if any fuzzy mold grows on the surface, but I’d keep on fermenting it.

  56. Cindy says:

    Here’s one more photo.

  57. Cindy says:

    Hi. Thank you for your response. The top looks nasty, but I don’t see any powdery mold on it like on bread. Thanks for taking the time to help me. Is there another way to tell if it would be harmful to drink?

  58. Sarah says:

    I was also wondering can you use any type of black organic tea? I was thinking of using earl grey but not sure if that would be gross. Also what about chamomile rather than the green tea? or does it have to have caffeine in both types of tea?

  59. Keesha says:

    I have about 2 gallons of Kombucha Tea that has just completed the Fermentation process. Normally, I would go ahead with a 2nd Ferment in a variety of different flavors. However, for various reasons, I am not able to and have to wait about 2-3 days before I can begin the 2nd Fermentation.
    During these 2-3 days (or more), what method and for how long should I store the Kombucha Tea (without the SCOBY)? I’m not sure if I should store it in a lidded glass jar in my Kombucha Closet or put it in the refrigerator… I don’t want it to get more of a vinegary taste to it, but I’m not sure if putting it the refrigerator is a good idea if I am going to be taking it out again for 3 days during the 2nd Fermentation. Any information anyone can provide would be most helpful. Thanks!

  60. Richard says:

    I am looking for a small refrigerator to store my finished product. I am using the glass flip top bottles like those you have pictured. Can I lay them flat in a refrigerator or do I need to keep them standing up? Im not sure what contact with the flip top might do


  61. Maria says:

    I LOVE, LOVE Kombucha! I have been making it for about 2 months now. Wish I’d done it waaayyy sooner. :)

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