Brewing Kombucha

Kombucha is something that took me a few tries before I ended up loving it. Storebought “booch” is a great way to test the flavor if you aren’t sure this is for you, but keep in mind, homemade is a hundred times tastier!


This is a fairly easy ferment process for beginners. The longest part is waiting the minimum of 7 days before you start the second ferment with the added flavors -if desired. I always recommend using organic ingredients, especially in the first ferment, to keep your SCOBY nice and healthy. The second ferment its not as important to always use organic, but its good to aim for all organic if you want to avoid unnecessary chemicals in your final drink.

To keep things simple, this post uses organic black tea and organic cane sugar. There are many variations you can experiment with to find something more suitible to your tastes, you can read more here.

Due to the long fermentation time, I make mine in one gallon batches. At several points in the past few years I have had 2, or more, gallons brewing at once! That was quite the little kombucha factory! If you think you want less, it is easy to use half the ingredients suggested and brew only a 1/2 gallon at a time.

Left: scoby hotel. Right: brewing kombucha.

Ingredients for 1 gallon brew:

  • 1 gallon of filtered or spring water*
  • 8 regular size organic black tea bags
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 healthy SCOBY
  • 2 cups of starter tea


  1. Boil your water. Add in the tea bags and turn off the stove heat. Allow to steep 10+ minutes. If you let it steep longer, you will have a stronger ‘tea’ flavor in your finished drink. I usually steep between 10-15 minutes. Add in your sugar and stir to dissolve.
  2. Pour your cooled tea into a clean gallon container. (I reuse those big glass gallon pickle jars from the bulk food section for my process). Once it has cooled to room temperature, add in your SCOBY and starter tea. You don’t want to add this in until the tea is cooled or it could kill the cultures.
  3. ‘Top off’ your jar with more filtered , but not all the way to the top, stop just before the jar curves up to the lid. I usually give a good stir to mix everything also. Your SCOOBY will ‘dance’ in the jar for a few days and likely eventually settle at as the new SCOBY begins to form along the top of the liquid.
  4. Cover your brew! This part is very important to keep out dust and other unwanted contaminates from the environment. I typically use a cloth napkin secured with a big rubber band. You can also use a few coffee filters together and secure with rubber band or kitchen twine. You do want it to be able to breathe, so no lids that keep air out.
  5. Place your jar in a corner and forget about it for 7-10 days. This is the easy part, leave it alone while the new SCOBY grows and the tea ferments. If it is winter, you want to be mindful to keep the jar in a warm area. I put mine on top of my fridge this last winter. Some wrap Christmas lights around their jars too.
  6. The minimum time for a brew is 7 days. After day 7, you can begin tasting the brew to see what point you prefer it at. I usually like it best at 10 days for the first ferment.
  7. Bottle your finished kombucha into air tight , keeping 2 cups in your jar to start your next brew. I use mason jars with plastic screw on lids if I add fruits or flavorings to my second ferment. You can do the second ferment on the back of the counter or in the fridge. My personal preference is to add fruit and set it on the counter a day or two before I strain it out and move the jars to the fridge. Second ferment is only 1-3 days, however long you prefer. You may want to ‘burp’ jars once a day if you choose to leave them on the counter (just open the lid to let out any carbonation that has built up).
  8. Repeat steps 1-5 for your first ferment on your next round.



There are countless flavoring options and ideas out there!

  • Fruit is easy to use and you can do fresh or frozen. Mash the fruit before you add it to the jar, even thaw frozen fruit to mash before adding -it’s not necessary to do this step, but does help with end flavor! Pineapple is a personal favorite of mine.
  • Check out this suggestion list from Cultures For Health.
  • Herbal Tea: Herbal teas can be used to brew kombucha, however your SCOBY health will be affected, so be mindful you may not want to do this until you have built a ‘hotel’ of spare SCOBYS. You can make a strong brew of herbal tea to use as flavoring for your second ferment. Read more on herbal teas from Organic Kombucha.
  • Other types of sugar suitable for brewing kombucha by Kombucha Kamp.

Some important notes:

  • It is very important you do NOT use tap water with your brew. Make sure your water is filtered so there is no chlorine or other chemicals and addatives. I personally use my Berkey filter. Spring water is another great choice for brewing.
  • If you have any issues with your brew, check out the group Kombucha Nation on Facebook. Lots of people who can help troubleshoot any issues you may come across.
  • You can store your SCOBY for long periods if you keep plenty of tea with your SCOBY. I have done as long as 8 months without feeding mine and then picked back up with brewing again.
  • I typically drink all my jars in the same week or two they are made, you can keep them in the fridge much longer but they will continue to ferment the longer they sit, even in the fridge.
  • I assume if you are reading this, you have a SCOBY (also known as symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). However, if you do not, check your local farmers market, or crunchy/natural/holistic parenting group or ask in a Kombucha brewing group to see if anyone has one avaialble. Most people will mail one to you if you cover cost of shipping.
Brewing Kombucha

So you have a migraine?

Migraines are the worst. I would know! I’ve been dealing with them for over 7 years now. The best help I have found is chiropractic care, especially since mine tend to come from pinched nerves in my neck. I am only just now getting back into regular chiropractic care though. Over the last few years, I’ve had to come up with some alternative ways to battle this without medication. Here are some things that have helped me battle my frequent migraines.


Continue reading “So you have a migraine?”

So you have a migraine?

Understanding Homeopathy

For a few weeks now I have been really digging into understanding how homeopathic remedies work. This has been a fascinating thing to study, though very overwhelming when coming from using “regular” medicines such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen (these are not things we use anymore as I’ve worked hard to find natural alternatives to treat root cause of pain instead of putting a bandaid on it with pain relivers). There are so many remedies and so many funny names for them that it all kind of got jumbled up at first. It’s slowly starting to make sense for me though, and hopefully this will be a helpful read for you to understand it also.

Homeopathic remedies aren’t medicine. Instead, they work with your body and support your body & immune system through the illness you are experiencing. This was a strange concept to me at first, but the more I study this, the more it makes sense. Homeopathy uses the “like cures like” thought. This means the remedy will trigger an immune response to help the body heal. The remedies used may give a healthy person those same symptoms. You can read more about this from Mary Aspinwall, who is a Homeopath in Canada.

When taking a remedy, you will want to first make sure you find the correct one for the symptoms you are experiencing. If you take the wrong remedy, either nothing will happen or your symptoms will change. You may also experience “proving” which is when you have the side effects the remeedy was supposed to cure(1). At that point you would reevaluate and try a different remedy. Most who use homeopathy prefer single remedies to combinations, however, combinations are often easier to find at drug stores like Walgreen’s.

There are many common myths about homeopathy. One being that it isn’t scientific. Homeopathy is *made in a lab*. It is very scientific! Joette Calabrese, another Homeopath, shares several scientific resources, in a easy to reference format, on her blog.

The wonderful thing about homeopathy is that it is safe for infants, children, pets, adults, elderly. Literally anyone can use homeopathic remedies! 

Homeopathy carries no risk of “overdosing”. Dosing is easy too: you would take one pellet for one dose. Taking multiple pellets of the same remedy will not increase it’s effectiveness because it is still one dose. It’s completely different from what we are used to with mainstream things like Tylenol or Ibuprofen where the strength of the medicine is increased by taking multiple pills together. This being said, some do take several pellets (2-5), but is generally not needed if you don’t touch the pellets (the oils from your hand can coat the pellet, making it take longer for your body to asorb). The ones in the Boiron drop bottles -see picture below- are made so you can twist the cap and let a single pellet roll into your mouth where it should dissolve under the tongue. It is recommended to not eat or drink anything except water for 20 minutes before or 20 minutes after taking a remedy. For kids, at least 5 minutes before and after, though it’s most effective if you can do the longer time (2).

When I’ve needed a remedy for acute issues, we take one pellet every 15 minutes for the first hour (total of 4 doses), then take another every few hours as needed or change remedy if symptoms change. (This is what we do and has worked well for us, not meant to give medical advice.)

I also want to touch on the different dilutions you will see on the remedies. You’ll see in the photo below that one remedy is 30x and the other is 6c. This number tells us the dilution and the letter tells us the process that was used to make the remedy. C, X, K, CX, and 200CK, are different processes used to make homeopathic remedies. Borion has a helpful article outlining the different processes. Dilutions are the numbers on the remedy. The lower dilutions (ex. 6c or 6x) being best for symptoms that are clear to pinpoint, medium dilutions (ex. 12x, 9c, 12c) will relieve general symptoms, as in more than one symptom, in more than one location. Higher dilutions  (ex 30c or 30x) can be used for more than one symptom or location. This FAQ, also from Boiron, has a helpful dilution chart and explains this further. It will make more sense if you read the first link in this section before reading the FAQ.

Many heath food stores now carry remedies. This is great for quick needs, but if you plan to use homeopathy frequently it would be more cost effective to get a kit. I have the Hyland’s Kids Kit which I bought several years ago and am only just now getting close to replacing one of the remedies. I also have several individual remedies from Borion. These are the two companies I have used remedies from. A friend recommend ABC Homeopathy to me, I have not yet checked into or purchased anything from them. Both of the Homeopath’s I reference above also have kits available on their websites, and there are many kits available on Amazon as well. What kit you get will depend on what your individual family needs are. Having more remedies available will allow you to pinpoint the remedy that will be most helpful for the symptoms you are experiencing.


I thought I would give a few examples of how we use homeopathy. 1) I frequently use Arnicare Pain Relief Gel any time the boys (or myself!) bump their arm, or leg, or head. Arnica is helpful for brusising and pain (arnica should never be applied to an open wound). I have also found it helpful for the sensitive burn scar on my foot, I apply to the area if I start experiencing pain -usually caused by standing too long. 2) Chammomila is one of our favorite go-to’s for teething relief. I have used this one for both of the boys for several years now and found it extremely effective. 3) Most recently we used Nux Vomica to help combat nausea and car sickness for myself and Bear. I was very impressed with the results, especially since the roads we travelled were quite curvy and would have typically made him sick and me nauseated.


I would encourage you to learn more about this amazing healing resource! It has so many uses and applications I couldn’t possibly get into it all. Most recently, I got Miranda Castro’s book “The Complete Homeopathy Handbook”. I have only just begun reading it and have referenced it several times now. It’s definetly proving to be a useful book to have on hand! This Quick Start Guide from Joette Calabrese is also an excellent resource. Her blog is easy to look up information on. I have read her articles for coughs and fevers. I also came across information about fibromyalgia and look forward to studying this a bit more and trying the suggestions for my own health issues.

Book Reference.

  1. Castro, Miranda. The Complete Homeopathy Handbook. Page 17.
  2. Castro, Miranda. The Complete Homeopathy Handbook. Page 25.

Thank you to my knowledgeable friends, L, C, & A who helped me make sure this was well put together and easy to understand. ♡

Understanding Homeopathy

Stovetop Chicken Bone Broth

Bone broth is very easy to make, even though it can be a little time consuming if done on the stove. I go between stovetop and crockpot frequently. The method I use depends on the time I have available to keep an eye on it when it’s time to make the broth.

Bone broth is good for our bodies in many ways. Some use it for Gut Health, others in restoring minerals for their teeth. Anytime there is illness in our home I make it a priority to cook fresh bone broth to help everyone get nutrition they need while not feeling well. It also makes a wonderful base for many soups, adding a rich flavor so it never goes to waste.


Continue reading “Stovetop Chicken Bone Broth”

Stovetop Chicken Bone Broth