As with most things in life, I just went for it and then did the research after.
This is just a rough list of some notes I've come up with after brewing my first
batch and reading a few articles acknowledged below.
-To begin with my own mistake: Don't store the SCOBY in the fridge. When I acquired this nasty gummy looking thing, I naturally threw it in the fridge to ensure it didn't get weirder or nastier waiting for me to begin my brew. Wrong move. Yeast thrives in luke warm temperatures and when temperatures drop below, the SCOBY will go to sleep. Mine seems to be fine (yay!) but it may take a batch or two to wake it back up.
-Glass only! Metal will corrode and contaminate and the kombucha will pull toxins from plastic.
-Your hands and glass jar must be clean, but take care not to use antibacterial soap.
-Instead of brewing 6-8 tea bags in one gallon of water, rather brew the tea bags in one quart, then add 3 quarts of cool water. It is quicker to brew and you don't have to wait as long for the gallon to cool before adding the SCOBY.
-Because it is a fermentation process, the liquid needs to breathe. Cover the top of your jar with a tight-knit towel or an old t-shirt. Do not use cheese cloth as it is too porous.
-The starter liquid is important as it helps kickstart the batch and prevent mold from forming.
-When bottling, allow the bottles to sit 24-48 hours out of the fridge for the second fermentation and carbonation to occur. Leaving as little air space as possible when bottling will help the carbonation.
-If you are afraid of bottles over carbonating and exploding, you can "burp" your bottles once a day by cracking the lid open and then closing it tightly again.
-Rise out the sediment in your jar between batches so the bacteria and yeast can stay in balance.
Hannah Crum at kombuchakamp.com
Eileen at phoenixhelix.com/kombucha-series