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DIY Fermentation Starter Kits

DIY Fermentation Starter Kits

Saturday, 1st October 2016


So what exactly are they?

Kombucha is fermented tea made with a kombucha starter culture or SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts). There are all sorts of names for the culture including mushroom, mother, scoby, fungi and many more. The mixture is allowed to ferment at room temperature for 5 to 30 days. It can be consumed plain or with added flavouring such as fruit, juice or spices. Kombucha contains a number of vitamins (particularly B vitamins) and has a number of health benefits. It contains pro-biotics and as it is fermented lots of lactic acid bacteria.

Water kefir is a probiotic beverage made with water kefir grains. Water kefir grains can be used with sugar water, or coconut water. Water kefir grains harbour a set of bacteria and yeast existing in a symbiotic relationship (this is the same as the Kombucha so is also scientifically termed a SCOBY, the water kefir scoby and the kombucha scoby however contain different bacteria). The term "kefir grains" describes the look of the culture and they can at times be referred to as seeds. They are not seeds in the usual sense and cannot be planted!

Milk kefir is the drink, but Milk kefir grains are the “starter kit” that you use to produce the drink. Kefir originated from parts of Eastern Europe and Southwest Asia. The name is derived from the Turkish word keyif, which means “feeling good” after eating. The Kefir grains are natural symbiotic cultures containing a huge number of natural bacteria that turn the lactose in the milk into lactic acid. So kefir tastes sour like yogurt and it has a thinner consistency so it is more smoothie like.

Top benefits: Top benefits: Aids digestion, supports the immune system & good for the gut!


Each Kombucha Starter Kit includes a dehydrated SCOBY & instructions on how to activate and make your own kombucha. Store the dehydrated culture in the fridge until ready to activate.

  • 1L – 1.5L jar
  • Plastic or wooden stirring utensil
  • Heat safe container/ pan
  • Cloth or paper coffee filter
  • Rubber band to secure the cover on the jar
  • Kettle
  • Measuring jug
  • Bottles to store your kombucha
  • Dehydrated Kombucha SCOBY
  • Water (fluoride free)
  • Cane Sugar (unrefined, raw or white)
  • Plain unflavoured green or black tea (loose or teabags)
  • Distilled white vinegar

Method to activate your Scoby:
1. Combine 500ml of hot water with 40-55g of sugar in a heat safe container.
2. Add 2 tea bags/ loose tea and leave to steep for 8-15 minutes.
3. Remove the tea and leave to cool until below 20C (the heat can kill the culture!)
4. Pour tea into the brewing jar and then add 100-115ml of white vinegar to the mix and add dehydrated SCOBY
5. Dampen the covering cloth with vinegar and then secure it on the jar with an elastic band.
6. Culture your kombucha at 20-25C for 30+ days.

Leave kombucha out of direct sunlight for 30+ days.

The first batch may be too sour and vinegary to drink but now you have your activated SCOBY the process is much quicker.

1. Make a batch of 1L of sweet tea using the method above and allow to cool.
2. Add sweet tea to the activation jar.
3. Cover with brewing cloth and leave to brew for 7-18 days.
4. Bottle up the kombucha and chill for a few hours before drinking. Enjoy!


Each Water Kefir Starter Kit includes dehydrated water kefir grains and instructions on how to activate and make your own water kefir.
What you will need to activate the grains:
  • 1L Jar
  • Plastic or wooden stirring utensils
  • Cloth or paper coffee filter
  • Non-metal sieve
  • Rubber band to secure the cover on the jar
  • Measuring jug
  • Bottles to store your water kefir
  • Dehydrated Water Kefir Grains
  • Chlorine and Fluoride free water
  • Cane sugar (avoid coconut or maple syrup)

Method to activate your Water Kefir Grains:
1. Add 35-40g or sugar to 500ml of water. Stir and leave for 5 mins. Keep doing so until sugar has dissolved.
2. Leave to culture for 3 days at 20-28C
3. The grains will then be activated. Separate grains from liquid using the sieve and place them in another 500ml batch of sugar water.
4. Leave to culture for 2-3 days at 20-28C. 

The grains should now be plump and translucent.
1. Make up your solution of sugar water.
2. Add activated grains and choice of fruits/ flavour (e.g. ginger and lemon)
3. Leave to culture for 24 hours
4. Once the mixture has brewed separate the grains and start the process again.
5. Bottle up the water kefir and chill for 6-12 hours before drinking. Enjoy!


Each Milk Kefir starter kit includes dehydrated milk kefir grains and instructions on how to activate and make your own milk kefir grains.
What you will need to activate the Milk Kefir grains:

  • Dehydrated Milk Kefir Grains
  • Glass Jar or drinking glass
  • Cloth or paper coffee filter
  • Rubber band to secure the cover on the jar
  • Non-metal sieve
  • Dehydrated milk kefir grains
  • Dairy milk

Method of Activating and Brewing:
1. Empty your milk kefir grains into your jar and add 180ml of milk.
2. Stir and cover with your cloth.
3. Leave to culture in a warm spot at 20-28C
4. After 10-24 hours check the milk texture.

Has it started to thicken or changed texture?

If YES… stir the mixture and strain the grains from the milk and reuse the grains in fresh milk increasing the amount to 250ml.

If NO after 24 hours…stir the mixture and strain the grains from the milk and then put the grains into fresh milk and repeat as before.

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