TAKE pH READING – Stir, then test the pH. The pH should start at or below 4.5 for safety. If starting pH of any batch measures above 4.5, you can add additional starter tea or, if not available, then 1 tbsp of distilled white vinegar can be used as a substitute (do not use live vinegar such as apple cider vinegar) until it reads 4.5 or below.
COVER & WAIT– Cover the opening with a breathable cloth and secure it with a rubber band. Place the jar in a warm location (75-85°F), with plenty of airflow, out of direct sunlight, and let it ferment. The primary fermentation typically takes between 7-21 days in that ideal temperature range (75-85°F) to reach the desired taste and pH range. The colder the fermentation, the longer it will take, and remember that cold equals mold. If the temperature is too cold, the SCOBY loses its advantage, and mold can form on the surface of the brew grow.
Once your kombucha fermentation is complete and has reached your preferred balance of sweet and tart, it’s time to flavor and carbonate. Let’s move on to secondary fermentation.