How To Make Hard Kombucha At Home

Have you ever wondered how to make hard kombucha at home? We’ll discuss the main ingredients, procedures, and ways to flavor hard kombucha. 

How To Make Hard Kombucha At Home
Hard kombucha will need longer fermentation than regular kombucha, which only needs one to three weeks

Kombucha is a sparkling drink made from fermented sweet tea. Like regular kombucha, hard kombucha is made from simple ingredients such as tea, sugar, and SCOBY. The main difference between these two beverages is the amount of sugar added, the type of yeast used, and the length of the fermentation process. 

Hard kombucha will need longer fermentation than regular kombucha, which only needs one to three weeks. During the later stages of the fermentation process of kombucha, a slurry of yeast, sugar, and water is added. After that, the kombucha will continue fermenting to increase the alcohol content.

The fermentation and production of kombucha are possible thanks to the SCOBY, which stands for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.” The SCOBY looks like a flat, slimy, pancake-like blob that is used to “start” the fermentation process of kombucha. It may not look appealing, but it contains all the yeast and good bacteria required to ferment the sweet tea into kombucha. 

While many brands sell hard kombucha, it can be hard to come by, which is why you might want to learn how to make hard kombucha at home. 

How To Make Hard Kombucha

home made hard kombucha with two glasses of kombucha drinks
Mix the hot water and sugar — stir properly until the sugar is dissolved


  • Airlocks
  • Bottles


  • One cup of hot water
  • One cup of white sugar
  • One teaspoon of yeast
  • One gallon of kombucha (from first fermentation)

Adding an additional yeast strain – different from the one used in making kombucha – will increase the alcohol content of your hard kombucha. The type of yeast you will use can affect the final flavor, like champagne yeast, which will give you a distinct champagne flavor, or ale yeast, which will provide a more neutral flavor.

Our guide on where to buy Flying Embers kombucha might be helpful.


Step 1: Mix The Water And Sugar

Mix the hot water and sugar — stir properly until the sugar is dissolved. Let it cool to lukewarm, put the yeast, and leave it for five minutes to allow the yeast to activate.

Step 2: Bottle

Transfer the kombucha to bottles that will fit an airlock. Pour an equal amount of yeast slurry into each bottle of kombucha.

Step 3: Airlock

Fill your airlocks with water (to the designated line, or you can read the instructions for this). Put airlocks onto each bottle of kombucha. 

Step 4: Allow It To Ferment

Place the kombucha bottles in a cool and dry place away from direct sunlight, and let them ferment for one to two weeks. Keep in mind that kombucha will ferment faster at a higher temperature and slower at a lower temperature.

You can tell that it is ready when the flavor is somewhat dry and boozy. If you are not adding flavors, seal the bottles, and transfer them to the fridge to stop the fermentation process. 

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/07/2024 11:39 am GMT

Ways To Flavor Kombucha

While drinking kombucha plain and unflavored is fine, flavoring it can be a lot more fun! Here are some of my favorites:

Fruit juice

Add a small amount of fruit juice to each bottle of kombucha. I usually put one-quarter cup of fruit juice in each bottle and then top it with kombucha. Depending on the bottle and how fruity you want your kombucha to be, you can add more or less. 

Whole fruit

You can chop up some of your favorite fruit and add them to your kombucha. You can add the chopped fruit directly to each bottle, but you can also transfer the kombucha to a new jar with the chopped fruit in it — just cover the jar, steep for a few days, then strain and pour into a bottle.


Adding chopped fresh ginger or juice can make your kombucha spicy and tingly! Do not use ginger powder because it does not dissolve and can make your kombucha taste gritty.

You might be wondering if hard kombucha contains probiotics.

Fresh herbs or whole spices

Chopped fresh herbs, such as basil, rosemary, and thyme, or whole spices, such as cardamom, cinnamon, and cloves, can add a subtle punch of flavor to your plain, unflavored kombucha! I also recommend combining them with your favorite fruit or fruit juice. 

Adding fruit juice or chopped fruit helps accelerates kombucha’s carbonation process. The yeast in the kombucha treats the sugars in these ingredients like a fresh meal! So, check each bottle more frequently than usual.

You may also be interested in reading our guide on fermented tea.

4 Health Benefits Of Hard Kombucha

blurred picture of a woman holding a cup of tea
Drinking hard kombucha not only helps you keep a healthy gut but improves your digestion as well

There are many health benefits of drinking hard kombucha instead of your regular beer, including:

1. Hard Kombucha Can Help Improve Gut Health

Most of the purported health benefits of drinking hard kombucha come from the fact that it is a fermented beverage with probiotics. Probiotic bacteria can help restore your gut health and prevent bad bacteria from colonizing your gut. Drinking hard kombucha not only helps you keep a healthy gut but improves your digestion as well.

2. Hard Kombucha Can Help Lower Cholesterol Levels

Drinking hard kombucha can help reduce your LDL (low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol) levels and increase HDL (high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol) levels.

3. Kombucha Can Help Manage Diabetes

Drinking hard kombucha can help slow down carbohydrate digestion, which results in lower blood sugar levels. So, to help you manage your blood sugar levels, it can help to have one glass of hard kombucha every day.

4. Hard Kombucha Contains Antioxidants

Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals that damage your body’s cells. Hard kombucha contains lots of antioxidants that can help you combat oxidative stress.


  • Aisling O'Connor

    Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies. Find Aisling on LinkedIn.