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When you’ve mastered sourdough, beer, and countertop pickles and you’re ready to broaden your at-home fermentation skills, it might be time to invest in a kombucha starter kit. Instead of spending money buying bottles of brew at the store, you can simply make your own right from your own kitchen.
Kombucha, which is a flavored fermented tea, is both delicious and thought to aid digestion, and has recently grown to Goop-level trendiness. And, yes, you can make it at home, so long as you have all the right ingredients and tools. Fortunately, you can buy a simple kombucha kit to make the process much easier.
What Are the Best Kombucha Starter Kits?
Making your own kombucha is really all about the starter, which you can either make at home or order as part of your kit. Here is everything you should look for when buying a kit.
Kombucha Starter/SCOBY: A kombucha starter, called a scoby (which means symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast), is like your sourdough starter’s sibling. It’s a slightly flat, round, rubber-like substance that provides the bacteria and yeast that gives kombucha its signature tang and effervescence.
Quality of Ingredients: While the scoby is the most important element, your kombucha kit will also come with the rest of the necessary ingredients, including loose-leaf tea and sugar that you’ll brew before adding the scoby. We especially like organic ingredients and a wide selection of tea varietals and flavors.
Included Instructions or Manual: To avoid accidents and chemistry mishaps, you’ll need a clear, quality instruction guide that walks you through every step. Complete kits take out a lot of the detective work of scouring YouTube videos and guides, and help cut down on any mistakes.
Brewing Vessels & Bottles: Another benefit of buying a kit rather than starting from scratch is that they will often come with the proper brewing vessels and bottles rather than using your own from your kitchen or searching for the right-sized containers.
1. The Kombucha Shop Kombucha Starter Kit
If you’re new to brewing, we like this Kombucha Shop starter kit, which includes everything you need to make your first batch. This kit includes the scoby, tea, a one-gallon jar with cloth and rubber band, cane sugar, pH test trips, and clear, concise instructions.
2. Get Kombucha Kombucha Starter Kit
If making your own kombucha feels a little intimidating, consider this kit, which comes with a whole community of supportive home brewers in addition to the essential materials for starting your own kombucha. Along with the included scoby, tea, sugar, testing strips, jar, and bands, the kit includes clear directions, online instructional videos and a helpful internet community ready to respond to questions and concerns you might have along the way.
3. Craft A Brew Starter Complete Kombucha Making Kit
This kit gets top marks from home brewers for ease-of-use and clear instructions, which make the whole brewing process simple to follow. Experienced brewers note this kit’s healthy, good-sized scoby, which is key for preventing mold and yielding excellent kombucha. In addition to the scoby, the kit includes all the ingredients you’ll need to have on hand when brewing, including the tea, sugar, a gallon jar, cloth and rubber bands. The whole brewing process will take you about two weeks before it’s ready, the company says, but it’ll be worth the wait.
4. Fermentaholics ORGANIC Kombucha SCOBY With Twelve Ounces of Starter Tea
While it comes with instructions for beginner kombucha brewers, this kit only comes with the scoby and starter tea, without the brewing tools like testing strips and clothes that other kits supply. If you have all of those materials already, this is a good kit to consider.