What You Need
For second fermentation(f2)- to make the fizz/carbonation: I use 2 to 3 cups fruit juice
Stainless steel pot, not metal
1-gallon glass jar or two 2-quart glass jars
Tightly woven cloth (like clean napkins or tea towels), coffee filters, or paper towels, to cover the jar, rubber band to hold it on- keep gnats and dust out
Bottles: Six 16-oz glass bottles with plastic lids- great for regular fermentation, 6 swing-top bottle-best for 2nd fermentation/fizzy stage, or clean soda bottles
Make the tea base: Bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar to dissolve. Add the tea until the water has cooled. Depending on the size of your pot, this will take a few hours. (You can speed up the cooling process by placing the pot in an ice bath.) I let it sit over night.
Keep the jar at room temperature, a dark place is best, and where it won't be moved around. Ferment for 7 to 10 days, checking the kombucha and the scoby periodically. *NOTE* Since I keep my house around 62 degrees, so my batches might take longer. The warmer the temp, the faster it is ready. you can write on the glass the jar with a marker that rubs off - this helps you remember what day you stated and what you made.
It's not unusual for the scoby to move around during fermentation. A new cream-colored layer of scoby should start forming on the surface of the kombucha within a few days. It usually attaches to the old scoby, but it's ok if they separate. You may also see brown stringy bits floating beneath the scoby, sediment collecting at the bottom, and bubbles collecting around the scoby. This is all normal and signs of healthy fermentation.
After 7 days, begin tasting the kombucha daily by pouring a little out of the jar and into a cup. When it reaches a balance of sweetness and tartness that is pleasant to you, the kombucha is ready to bottle.
Before proceeding with your bottling, prepare and cool another pot of strong tea for your next batch of kombucha, as outlined above. With clean hands, gently lift the scoby out of the kombucha and set aside a cup of tea and put the Scoby in that. As you do, check it over and remove the bottom layer if the scoby is getting very thick. You can finish it here, put the kombucha in bottles and put in the frig. Or if you want the fizz or carbonation then you pour the fermented kombucha (straining, if desired) into bottles using the small funnel, along with any juice, herbs, or fruit you may want to use as flavoring. Leave about a half inch of head room in each bottle.
Store the bottled Kombucha (that is carbonating) at room temperature out of direct sunlight and allow 5-7 days for the kombucha to carbonate. Until you get a feel for how quickly your kombucha carbonates, it's helpful to keep it in glass jars with ceramic bottle stoppers. Refrigerate to stop fermentation and carbonation, and then consume your kombucha within a month
Make a fresh batch of kombucha: Clean the jar being used for kombucha fermentation. Combine the starter tea from your last batch of kombucha with the fresh batch of sugary tea, and pour it into the fermentation jar. Slide the scoby on top, cover, and ferment for 7 to 10 days...and so it beings again