Costing out my kombucha

2014_11 24 Making BOOCH brew one

My first batch of kombucha (kom BOOCH ah) is ready to decant!  I am so excited!   It has the same yummy flavor as my favorite store bought (GTS Original Flavor), but not much fizz.  As I understand it, I need to decant it into bottles and leave them at room temp for a day or two of additional fermenting to get the fizz I like.  But it’s ready to drink, so I probably will have one semi-flat bottle today and “fizz” the rest.  When it’s fizzy enough, the bottles I haven’t drunk up will go into the fridge.  I’ve already got 3 qts of sweet tea ready and cooling for my second jar of first brew.

2014_11 24  Our fermenting station

I am hooked on this stuff. It is sooo delicious and refreshing, plus it makes my grumpy gut feel better. The GTS store bought is wonderful … but pricey!  Once I knew I could achieve the flavor I want in my own kitchen, I got curious how much I will be saving over store bought.  I biased my prices in favor of the store bought by googling for the highest priced brands of teas and sugar. For the GTS Kombucha, I used the price we actually paid in a local store, which is a little lower than the on-line prices.

Supplies I purchased for my first 3 quart (96 ounces) batch of kombucha:

  • Four bags (two each) of black tea and green tea (40 cents)
  • One cup of white sugar ($1.50)
  • 3 quarts of filtered water (I have a Multi-Pure on my kitchen sink)
  • 1 SCOBY (Symbiotic Culture Of Bacteria and Yeast) with tea starter and instructions ($26.00) = p/h incl
  • One gallon glass brewing jug ($21.00) = p/h incl
  • 1 clean cotton rag from my closet + 1 large rubber band from my desk
  • Plastic strainer for decanting ($5.99) = p/h incl
  • Glass bottles with PLASTIC lids = I’ve been cleaning my GTS bottles to use when my own brew is ready
  • 1 bottle brush cuz you can’t get down into those bottles without one

Supplies I will need for my second (and subsequent) 3 quart (96 ounces) batch(es) of kombucha:

  • Four bags (two each) of black tea and green tea (40 cents)
  • One cup of white sugar ($1.50)
  • 3 quarts of filtered water from my tap
  • 1 SCOBY and 1 cup of “booch” from previous batch

AFTER I’ve amortized the initial start up costs,

  • 96 ounces = $2.00.

GTS Kombucha costs $4 per 12 oz bottle.

  • 96 ounces = $32.00.

2014_12 02 GTS vs my brew cost

Doing it for less $ at the start

If you have a friend with a spare SCOBY and/or a cheaper source for gallon glass jugs, obviously you can save a bundle. You don’t need a lid for the jug either, so if you find one with no top, grab it! Kombucha needs to be brewed with just a clean cloth rubber banded over the top. You can probably also get away without using a strainer, but I didn’t want to and apparently kombucha does something funky to metal that is good for detoxing heavy metals from your body, but bad for your brews and metal kitchen utensils. The PLASTIC strainer I got from Cultured Food Life is really nice.

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