Bring water to a boil, add tea bags, turn off heat, and steep for 15 minutes. Add a cup of sugar.
Wait a few hours for the tea to come to room temperature. Heat can damage the scoby, so this is an important step.
Pour sweet tea into your gallon jar, add the store bought kombucha, and slip in the scoby. Cover the mouth of the jar with a clean towel and tighten with a rubber band. Store on your counter-top in the kitchen.
After seven days have passed, take a sip through a straw to see if it’s to your liking. If it’s too sweet, try again tomorrow. This can take up to 21 days depending on the temperature of your home.
Once it’s ready, remove the scoby and a cup of your new brew and store it in a sealed container. You can now drink out of this jar or split the tea up in individual bottles (4-6) for a second ferment. See notes
For a second ferment, the ratio for fruits or juice to tea is 10-30%. Added sugar can go anywhere from a half teaspoon to a tablespoon per bottle. In individual bottles pour your tea, leaving room for added fruit or juice. We love ginger and usually add a knuckle sized knob per bottle. Squeeze half a lemon per bottle, add sugar, and screw on the lid tightly.Burp the bottles every day (anywhere between 2-7 days) by opening the bottle and letting out the air. If your kombucha gushes out like a shaken soda, it’s definitely ready to enjoy. You’ll know when it’s ready! Never leave the bottles unattended for more than a day.