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How To Make Kombucha Tea at Home

I’ve been addicted to kombucha from first sip. It wasn’t really the probiotics or other health promises that did it for me — although I’ll take those, too! It was the way it tasted: like tart green apple mixed with sour stone fruits, but with an underlying sweetness that keeps it all together. And fizzy! I couldn’t believe that something this delicious could actually be made from tea, of all things. Or that I could make it at home with a few very basic ingredients.

What Is Kombucha Tea?

Kombucha starts out as a sugary tea, which is then fermented with the help of a scoby. “SCOBY” is actually an acronym for “symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast.” It’s very close cousins to the mother used to make vinegar.

The scoby bacteria and yeast eat most of the sugar in the tea, transforming the tea into a refreshingly fizzy, slightly sour fermented (but mostly non-alcoholic) beverage that is relatively low in calories and sugar.

The Best, Cheapest Jar for Brewing Kombucha

If you need a jar to get your kombucha brewing, this is our favorite 1-gallon option. It even comes with cheesecloth and a lid so you don’t have to hunt those down separately.

The SCOBY

Let’s talk about that scoby — you can see what it looks like in the picture above. It’s weird, right? It floats, it’s rubbery and a bit slippery, brown stringy bits hang from it, and it transforms sugary tea into something fizzy and sour. It’s totally weird. But if you take a step back, it’s also pretty awesome.

There are a lot of theories about why the bacteria and yeast form this jelly-like layer of cellulose at the top of the kombucha. The most plausible that I’ve found is that it protects the fermenting tea from the air and helps maintain a very specific environment inside the jar that is shielded from outsiders, aka unfriendly bacteria. I think of it as the mobile home for friendly bacteria and yeast, happily traveling from jar to jar of kombucha.

Make your own scoby! Here’s how:

Probiotics?

Which brings us to the next question: What’s actually in kombucha? Kombucha is indisputably full of probiotics and other happy things that our intestines love and that help boost our overall health. Claims that kombucha cures things like arthritis, depression, and heart burn have less of a proven track record, but hey, our bodies are all different and I say go for it if it works for you.

Brewing Kombucha Safely

While the home-brewed nature of kombucha makes some home cooks nervous, it’s unlikely that kombucha will ever make you sick. I spoke with Eric Child of Kombucha Brooklyn when I first started working on my homebrewing book, True Brews, and he said something that has really stuck with me: “Kombucha has been around for a very long time and been brewed in environments that were even dirtier than our own.”

Like all things, you need to use common sense when brewing it and pay attention to what you’re doing. It’s natural to feel nervous and unsure at first. Bottom line: If the scoby is healthy, then the kombucha will be healthy. (See the Troubleshooting section below.)

Is There Alcohol in Kombucha?

Kombucha does contain a little bit of alcohol as a by-product of the fermentation process. It is usually no more than 1%, so unless you drink several glasses back to back, you should be just fine. However, people with alcohol sensitivities or who avoid alcohol for other reasons should be aware of its presence.

I’m breaking the kombucha-making process into very small steps here. It looks long and complicated, but this is actually a very straightforward and streamlined process. Once you get into the rhythm of it, bottling a finished batch of kombucha and preparing the next only takes about 20 minutes every seven to 10 days.

Where to Find Kombucha Brewing Supplies

You can use regular, store-bought tea and sugar for brewing kombucha. You can pick up a scoby from a kombucha-brewing friend or even make your own:

If you’re having trouble finding a scoby or any other supplies, check out these sources:

  • Kombucha Brooklyn
  • Cultures for Health

Learn more about making kombucha and other fermented beverages in my book!

→ If you’re worried and not sure if things are proceeding normally or not, feel free to email me, or share a picture of your in-process kombucha with me on Twitter or Instagram!

How To Make Kombucha Tea at Home

Yield Makes about 1 gallon

  • egg-free
  • kidney-friendly
  • peanut-free
  • low-potassium
  • pork-free
  • pescatarian
  • gluten-free
  • tree-nut-free
  • low-sodium
  • red-meat-free
  • low-fat
  • dairy-free
  • fish-free
  • vegetarian
  • shellfish-free
  • no-oil-added
  • soy-free
  • wheat-free
  • Calories 242
  • Fat 0.2 g (0.3%)
  • Saturated 0.0 g (0.1%)
  • Carbs 63.4 g (21.1%)
  • Fiber 0.7 g (2.8%)
  • Sugars 56.7 g
  • Protein 0.4 g (0.8%)
  • Sodium 34.3 mg (1.4%)

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 quarts

sugar (regular granulated sugar works best)

black tea, green tea, or a mix (or 2 tablespoons loose tea)

starter tea from last batch of kombucha or store-bought kombucha (unpasteurized, neutral-flavored)

scoby per fermentation jar, homemade or purchased online

Optional flavoring extras for bottling
  • 1 to 2 cups

1 to 2 tablespoons

flavored tea (like hibiscus or Earl Grey)

2 to 4 tablespoons

fresh herbs or spices

Equipment

1-gallon glass jar or two 2-quart glass jars

Tightly woven cloth (like clean napkins or tea towels), covvee filters, or paper towels, to cover the jar

Bottles: Six 16-oz glass bottles with plastic lids, swing-top bottles, or clean soda bottles

Instructions

Note: Avoid prolonged contact between the kombucha and metal both during and after brewing. This can affect the flavor of your kombucha and weaken the scoby over time.
Make the tea base:
Bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in the sugar to dissolve. Drop in the tea and allow it to steep until the water has cooled. Depending on the size of your pot, this will take a few hours. You can speed up the cooling process by placing the pot in an ice bath.

Add the starter tea: Once the tea is cool, remove the tea bags or strain out the loose tea. Stir in the starter tea. (The starter tea makes the liquid acidic, which prevents unfriendly bacteria from taking up residence in the first few days of fermentation.)

Transfer to jars and add the scoby: Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon glass jar (or divide between two 2-quart jars, in which case you’ll need 2 scobys) and gently slide the scoby into the jar with clean hands. Cover the mouth of the jar with a few layers tightly-woven cloth, coffee filters, or paper towels secured with a rubber band. (If you develop problems with gnats or fruit flies, use a tightly woven cloth or paper towels, which will do a better job keeping the insects out of your brew.)

Ferment for 7 to 10 days: Keep the jar at room temperature, out of direct sunlight, and where it won’t get jostled. Ferment for 7 to 10 days, checking the kombucha and the scoby periodically.

It’s not unusual for the scoby to float at the top, bottom, or even sideways during fermentation. A new cream-colored layer of scoby should start forming on the surface of the kombucha within a few days. It usually attaches to the old scoby, but it’s ok if they separate. You may also see brown stringy bits floating beneath the scoby, sediment collecting at the bottom, and bubbles collecting around the scoby. This is all normal and signs of healthy fermentation.

After 7 days, begin tasting the kombucha daily by pouring a little out of the jar and into a cup. When it reaches a balance of sweetness and tartness that is pleasant to you, the kombucha is ready to bottle.

Remove the scoby: Before proceeding, prepare and cool another pot of strong tea for your next batch of kombucha, as outlined above. With clean hands, gently lift the scoby out of the kombucha and set it on a clean plate. As you do, check it over and remove the bottom layer if the scoby is getting very thick.

Bottle the finished kombucha: Measure out your starter tea from this batch of kombucha and set it aside for the next batch. Pour the fermented kombucha (straining, if desired) into bottles using the small funnel, along with any juice, herbs, or fruit you may want to use as flavoring. Leave about a half inch of head room in each bottle. (Alternatively, infuse the kombucha with flavorings for a day or two in another covered jar, strain, and then bottle. This makes a cleaner kombucha without “stuff” in it.)

Carbonate and refrigerate the finished kombucha: Store the bottled kombucha at room temperature out of direct sunlight and allow 1 to 3 days for the kombucha to carbonate. Until you get a feel for how quickly your kombucha carbonates, it’s helpful to keep it in plastic bottles; the kombucha is carbonated when the bottles feel rock solid. Refrigerate to stop fermentation and carbonation, and then consume your kombucha within a month.

Make a fresh batch of kombucha: Clean the jar being used for kombucha fermentation. Combine the starter tea from your last batch of kombucha with the fresh batch of sugary tea, and pour it into the fermentation jar. Slide the scoby on top, cover, and ferment for 7 to 10 days.

Kombucha can be made at home with just a handful of ingredients. In this tutorial, we'll show you exactly what to do in detailed step-by-step instructions.

Selecting the Best Kombucha Jar
or Kombucha Container with Spigot for Brewing

Ah! There is nothing like the crisp, bright flavor of a properly fermented glass of Kombucha! Whether harvested fresh from your Kombucha jar or enjoyed after a second ferment, homebrew is the best. But brewing in the right Kombucha container for your needs is just as important as any other ingredient. Using the wrong kind of brewing vessel or spigot can even be dangerous. This makes selecting a safe Kombucha container or a few good Kombucha jars a critical step to success.

While plain glass jars and some household items may be acceptable, beware of using just anything you can find. Many vessels are not a good choice due to the materials they are made from. The same can be said about many spigots. The questions below will help you select the best vessel for brewing up your own tasty batch of the booch!

What kind of jar is best to make Kombucha?

*Click each type of material to jump to that section

  • BEST MATERIALS
    • Glass
    • Food Grade Porcelain/Ceramic/Stoneware
    • High-Grade Stainless Steel
    • Wood Barrels
  • “MAYBE MATERIALS” (limited contact preferred)
    • Professional Grade Plastics type 1 & 2
  • DO NOT USE – Avoid as Unsafe
    • Consumer Grade Plastics, Rubber, Crystal, Colored Glass, Vintage/Decorative Porcelain/Ceramic, Aluminum, Brass, Cast Iron, Low-Grade Stainless Steel

How large should my Kombucha Container be?

  • Size for a BATCH BREW Kombucha Jar: 1-5 gallons recommended (4-20 liters). Smaller batches do not produce enough Kombucha to enjoy while larger batches may experience inconsistent flavor or slow fermentation. Not to mention that a huge vessel can be heavy and hard to move or clean easily!
  • Size for a CONTINUOUS BREW Kombucha Container: 2-5 gallons recommended (8-20 liters). A smaller vessel will become overrun with too much SCOBY and sour Kombucha, making flavor balance difficult to achieve. This also means more regular maintenance, which is the opposite of our goal with CB. Larger vessels may be successful but can be difficult to accommodate in a home.

BREWING TIMES BY KOMBUCHA JAR SIZE*

  • 1 gallon (4 liters) vessel – 7-14 days
  • 2.5 gallon (10 liters) vessel – 10-24 days
  • 5 gallon (20 liters) vessel – 18-42 days

*These estimates are made assuming ideal temperature and recipe conditions are met and based on personal taste preference. For Continuous Brew, the first batch would require the estimated times, but future brews will be ready faster. Click for more info on Continuous Brew Kombucha.

Should my Kombucha Container have a Spigot or No Spigot?

Whether you are doing Batch BrewВ or Continuous Brew, a spigot can be pretty convenient. The spigot makes it possible to drain the liquid without lifting the Kombucha container. 5 gallons gets heavy! This reduces spills and saves the back from injury. When it comes to Continuous Brew, the spigot is pretty much a requirement. A siphon or ladle are messier and difficult, but can be used if no spigot is available.

Smaller Batch Brew vessels such as a 1 gallon Kombucha jar are lighter and easier to handle. For this reason, a spigot is often not available or even necessary.

Most importantly, the spigot must be made of materials safe for brewing. Click Here to Learn More about Selecting a Spigot for your Brewer.

What shape should my Kombucha Jar be?

The shape of the vessel influences Kombucha’s fermentation speed. The more surface area and the less depth, the more oxygen present in the brew. More oxygen results in highly stimulated bacteria and yeast, and therefore a brew that is ready faster.

Taller, narrower vessels will mature more slowly, while shorter and wider vessels will make Kombucha more rapidly. This effect is more important in larger batches or Continuous Brew. The shape of a 1 gallon Kombucha jar will have less effect due to the smaller batch size.

Avoid extremely wide and shallow vessels which turn the flavor sour very quickly. Similarly, avoid a very tall and narrow Kombucha container, which can ferment slowly and unevenly.

One other consideration is the size of the Kombucha jar opening. The “mouth” of the jar must be wide enough that we can remove the new SCOBY that forms during the brew. Narrow openings also prevent the oxygen from flowing to the brew. For this reason, avoid using “carboys” and most other beer brewing vessels as a Kombucha container.

Does the Kombucha Jar affect the flavor of the brew?

The only brewing vessel that changes the taste of the Kombucha is the wood barrel. The wood is usually charred on the inside to induce a smoky flavor into the Kombucha as it brews. All other recommended vessels are non-reactive, producing the same “clean” flavor.

Best Material Options for a Kombucha Container

Glass. Glass is commonly used because it is non-reactive and easy to find. It also allows you to watch the brewing process. This may be seem like a bonus at first for new brewers. However, after awhile many people prefer not to see the brew everyday. Not to mention other housemates or family members often appreciate a more discreet brew. They can get a little freaked out looking at all that SCOBY and yeast! рџ™‚

If there are any problems such as mold, they are easily visible by looking at the top of the brew. For this reason, many experienced brewers end up preferring an opaque vessel. Or they may use cloth cover t-shirts for their glass fermentation vessels to block the view.

Finding a jar you already have on hand or can recycle is one good option. Most canning jars are smaller than the minimum recommended size of 1 gallon, but even an old large pickle jar will do if well cleaned. Another option is to select new high quality American Glass for your Kombucha jar. Always be sure the opening is wide enough for removing the SCOBY after the brew is complete. This eliminates beer brewing carboys as an option.

If the jar has a spigot, watch out for low grade materials which can leach chemicals or off flavors into the brew. Click here to jump to the section about selecting a safe spigot for fermenting.

Glass is also the best option for bottling your homemade beverages. Learn more at our post about Bottling and Flavoring Kombucha and Other Ferments Safely.

*Reminder – a 1 gallon glass jar such as a “Sun Tea Jar” or similar is not a good choice for Continuous Brew as it is too small. The spigot is also likely to have parts that are not safe with Kombucha.

Food Grade Porcelain, Ceramic, and Stoneware. These materials are historically the most commonly used for fermentation. Their opaque nature prevents light from affecting the brew and provides for a more discreet brewing experience.

Porcelain, Ceramic, and Stoneware pieces made for food use in the 21st century are generally safe to use. The main concern would be lead, but food safe items are made with lead-free glazes. Still, many people accidentally choose a decorative vase or pot for brewing, which can be dangerous. Home lead tests can confirm if a vessel is safe to use. Or simply source your vessel from a trusted supplier.

KKamp Modern Porcelain and USA Handmade Stoneware vessels and supplies are always guaranteed safe for brewing. Any Kombucha vessel we offer can also be used with JUN or Kefir.

Stainless Steel. Most metals are not acceptable for brewing Kombucha tea. However, high-grade stainless steel 304/316 or better is the only exception because it is non-corrosive.В The good news is that safe stainless steel Kombucha brewing supplies are readily available.

Stainless steel is very durable as well as light and easy to clean. This makes it a favorite of the professional brewing industries, including beer, wine, and vinegar.

Because it is lightweight, many clients appreciate that it’s easier to handle when it’s time to do maintenance. A stainless steel Kombucha container also offer a matching aesthetic for homebrewers that already have stainless steel appliances, or anyone that just likes the look.

While it’s a good idea to be cautious with metal and Kombucha, unfortunately there is a lot of confusion. Many websites incorrectly claim that all metal “kills” the SCOBY. This old-wives tale captures the concept but confuses the details. Metal does not kill Kombucha. Rather, Kombucha is a powerful liquid that can leach toxins from metal (or any material) if left in constant contact. Briefly using a metal spoon or mesh strainer is not likely to cause an issue. However, using brass or aluminum vessels or fixtures, common in beer brewing, is unsafe with Kombucha. Stainless Steel’s non-corrosive properties eliminate this issue.

This can also be important when it comes to the spigot. Always confirm that the internal parts and connectors are metal free prior to use with Kombucha. Or choose a Stainless Steel spigot, which is compatible with any vessel. Learn more about KKamp Stainless Steel vessels here.

Wood Barrels. Wood barrels, traditionally made from oak, are some of the oldest fermentation vessels out there. Vinegar (Kombucha is an acetic acid ferment, just like vinegar, hence the similarity in taste) has traditionally been brewed in oak. So to are wine, beer, pickles and sauerkraut to name a few.

The toasted wood interior imbues the ferment with a unique flavor profile. Some say it provides hints of vanilla and smoke. Others find that it smooths Kombucha’s tangy bite. We let our oak barrel Kombucha ferment longer to create Kombucha vinegar to use in salad dressings and marinades.

Some commercial brands brew solely in Oak Barrels as they find that consumers enjoy the toasty flavor.

Being a porous vessel, there are some specific handling instructions to keep in mind. For one, the barrel must be kept full or near full at all times. This is because when the wood comes into contact with water, it releases natural sugars. Those sugars will attract a variety of critters including mold. The high level of alcohol in beer and wine casks or the high amounts of brine in pickles and kraut prevent mold from taking hold. In Kombucha, it’s the low pH of the brew that keeps these fuzzy buggers at bay.

Since the wood is porous and the bacteria are microscopic, some of them will take up residence in the sides of the barrel. This means that when you open it up, you may find that the SCOBY is literally attaching to the side of the barrel. Simply take a spoon or finger and run it along the inside edge to dislodge the new culture growth before topping off with sweet tea.

Barrels also have special storage instructions between uses. Most will choose to keep the barrel full of Kombucha and return to restart it when they are ready. The benefit is that the wood staves remain saturated so the barrel doesn’t need to rehydrate/seal again. Those who choose to air dry it will need to reseal the barrel in order to restart it.

Kombucha Kamp barrels come in two sizes and feature a larger opening at the top for easy access to the culture as well as a higher spigot placement to prevent over draining and clogging with yeast.

Caution Note: Watch out for suppliers that offer metal spigots with barrels. These are often made of brass, which is safe with higher pH beverages like beer, but not safe with the low pH of Kombucha which can leach toxins into the brew. KKamp Barrels come with a stainless steel spigot option, safe for use with Kombucha.

“Maybe” Materials (limited contact preferred) for a Kombucha Container

Professional Grade Plastics type 1 & 2. Some in the commercial Kombucha industry use food grade plastic due to its low cost, ease of sourcing and lighter weight. However, many will acknowledge that unless it is HDPE (high density polyethylene), it will crack and break due to constant exposure to the low pH of Kombucha. So while it can be cost effective for short term use, most brewers eventually graduate to stainless steel or other materials. However, for spigots, professional grade plastics work very well and last indefinitely.

Do Not Use – Avoid as UnsafeВ for a Kombucha Container

Consumer Grade Plastics,В Rubber. There are a large variety of “lemonade dispensers” and other beverage holders that are made partially or fully from consumer grade plastics. Due to the high acidity of Kombucha, KKamp does not recommend using any vessel that has a plastic part. This includes low grade spigots with “milky” white plastic components. Similarly, vessels with rubber gaskets, liners, or connections are an unsafe choice.

Crystal, Colored Glass. Crystal glass often contains lead and is not safe for brewing ever. Colored glass items such as punch bowls or vases may or may not be safe for brewing. With so much variation in production and uncertainty around materials, KKamp recommends using only clear glass items for brewing.

Vintage/Decorative Porcelain or Ceramic. If the item was not intend for food use, it’s risky to try with Kombucha or any home ferment. Avoid pretty vases or flower pots or neat-o thrift store finds which can leach dangerous chemicals into the brew.

Aluminum, Brass, Cast Iron, Low-Grade Stainless Steel. This one can be a little confusing, because high-grade stainless steel is a great option for Kombucha. Also aluminum and brass are fine choices for beer brewing. However, these materials cannot be used with Kombucha or JUN. The low pH of the brew will leach toxins from these vessels into the liquid. If you prefer metal, use Stainless Steel 304/316 grade or better vessels and supplies.

How To Select a Spigot for your Kombucha Container

The best spigot options have the following qualities:

  • Made from wood, stainless steel (304 grade or better), or professional-grade plastic
  • Unpainted and uncoated
  • Free of epoxies or glues in assembly or attachment
  • Held together with corrosion-resistant nuts and washers
  • Quickly and easily removed for cleaning

Many beverage containers are made for low acidity drinks such as water or iced tea. The spigots on these vessels are safe for those type of beverages but will not hold up over time if used with Kombucha.

Specifically, these consumer-grade spigots are usually semi-hard plastic, sometimes with a “metallic” coating. This can erode over time, wearing off or even chipping off into the brew, even if the coating is only on the outside.

A brass spigot on a found Kombucha jar is dangerous for anyone drinking the brew

Additionally, these spigots are made from a lower grade plastic that is more translucent and white. These materials are not made to be in constant contact with very acidic liquid like Kombucha. If choosing plastic, we recommend only high-quality hard plastic spigots without coating or paint of any kind.В These professional-grade spigots, washers, etc are made from the same material used by commercial brewers of all kinds of high acidity beverages including beer and wines.

Other options include stainless steel spigots or all-wood spigots, both of which are safe with Kombucha.

All of that said, there are many people out there using found containers or smaller glass vessels. Just keep in mind that the liquid is in constant contact with the inside workings of the Kombucha container and the spigot (including the washers, nut, etc.) and will leach whatever it can from those materials. Kombucha is not safe with any kind of metal except stainless steel (304 grade). If it is actually metal such as brass or aluminum, it is very dangerous and should not be used.

It’s also important that you can remove the spigot completely from the Kombucha container for cleaning. No adhesives or glues should be used to hold the spigot in place, and each part of the spigot should be made from one solid piece of high quality plastic. Avoid epoxies or other joints that could erode due to the Kombucha.

What can I use to cover my Kombucha jar?

For best results, Kombucha requires a breathable, cloth cover. Cotton is the best choice.

However, the weave must not be too loose. If it is, fruit flies, mold, and other contaminants will get into the brew. For this reason, NEVER USE CHEESECLOTH!В Not even if you fold it up many times! The flies can still weave their way in and ruin the brew.

Find a quality cotton Kombucha cover instead. A re-purposed old t-shirt or sheet can do the job in combination with a rubber band.

For more stylish options, look at these Hand-Cut Cloth Covers. Or explore Fermentation Caps in a variety of sizes for your Kombucha jar and more.

How do you clean a Kombucha jar?

If this is your first ever brew, or there was mold in the previous batch, clean the Kombucha jar thoroughly. We recommend washing with soap and water to remove any mold, dirt, or greasy residue. Then rinse the Kombucha jar very well with filtered water. Any soap left behind could harm the brew. Optionally (especially if you had mold), you may also “cure” the brewing vessel with distilled/pasteurized white vinegar. By the way,В if you’re not sure about Kombucha mold or want to learn how to avoid it, click here.

If the previous brew was successful, it’s likely fine to rinse the Kombucha jar in filtered water and start again. The low pH of the brewed Kombucha acts like vinegar to cure the jar already. So if the brew was a success, no mold or other issues with flavor, there is no need to clean. Just brew the next batch, no worries. Of course if you want, you can always wash and cure the Kombucha jar between every batch. But in most cases, it’s not necessary.

NOTE: Never use raw vinegar for curing to avoid contaminating the brew. Curing the vessel means adding a small amount of vinegar and rolling the liquid around. Coat all the interior surfaces of the jar. Then dump out the residual vinegar and brew as normal. This sets the pH of the jar so that mold or other contaminants cannot cause brewing problems.

NOTE 2: Harsh chemical sanitizers such as those used in beer brewing or commercial facilities are not required. Kombucha is safe for home fermenting without these due to the low pH. Read more about Kombucha pH here.

NOTE 3: Removing mold from a wood barrel requires a different process. Rather than washing the inside with soap and water, use these specialВ Kombucha Barrel Sanitation Tablets.

How do you heat a Kombucha jar?

The recommended temperature for Kombucha is 75-85В°F (24-30В°C), with the ideal temp being about 80В°F (27В°C) (75В°F [24В°C] for JUN). If it brews at lower temperatures, one may experience a flatter, more “dirty” tasting Kombucha that lacks the apple-y sour bite of a delicious, properly brewed Kombucha. Allowing the brew to go for a longer time at lower temperatures (mid to upper 60’s) will help it grow more sour and should produce a safe, drinkable beverage over time.

Attempting to ferment at lower than 65В°F (18В°C) may produce a weaker beverage or may be susceptible to mold as the microorganisms get “sleepy” and have a difficult time protecting themselves at the low temperature.

Finding a warmer spot in the kitchen, wrapping the brew in a towel or blanket or placing next to a working appliance are some ways to increase the temperature. If you find you still need a little heat for the brew to produce the best results, it’s very important to heat the brew from the sides, not the bottom. Heating from the bottom does not allow the yeast to come to rest during the brewing cycle. This can lead to sour, unbalanced brew. By heating from the sides, we deliver the warmth to the top of the brew, where the bacteria can use it to complete the cycle.

These high-quality heaters were invented by KKamp and are used by thousands of clients all over the world. They are made from very energy efficient and safe materials, so you can leave them running 24 hours a day. Learn more about heating all your brews, plus a secret tip on getting the best carbonation by using the heater, by visiting this page about Kombucha Mamma Heating Solutions.

Can you brew less than 1 gallon of Kombucha?

Yes! Most people prefer to make larger batches so they don’t run out while waiting for the next one to be ready. Longer ferment times also reduces sugar and allow more acids to form. However, some prefer to make smaller batches for a shorter fermentation time, like the old days in Russia before Coke & Pepsi arrived. This kind of process yields a sweeter, more soda-like beverage that is still healthier than what you would find at the grocery store.

Remember to cut the standard Kombucha recipe by half or a quarter when making smaller batches.

  • ВЅ gallon (2 liter) glass jar – 4-8 days
  • 1 quart (1 liter) glass jar – 2-6 days

Batch Brew Kombucha vs Continuous Brew Kombucha – Which is best?

Many new Kombucha homebrewers start off their adventure with a single batch brewed in a one gallon glass jar. This is the classic image of Kombucha brewing on the counter. They want to dabble first and see if they like making their own.

But then something happens. Almost right away, a second jar pops up, containing Brew #2. A third jar appears, a SCOBY Hotel. Now another irregular jar appears, larger in size. More and more as the desire to expand the operation grows.

Batch Brew can allow for experimentation to find your perfect recipe. Trying different types of teas or sugars is a common way to determine what you enjoy most. This is a wonderful and natural progression that many have followed as they fall in love with the process! Some never quit doing it this way.

But Batch Brewing has drawbacks. It can be messy, the jars are heavy, and it’s easy to forget about the Kombucha for awhile.

On the other hand, there are a lot of people who prefer convenience and simplicity. Plus they want to make a lot of booch to drink, and they want it fast! For them, the best choice is Continuous Brew, or CB as we call it. CB allows you to make more Kombucha in less time using a larger vessel. CB also means less maintenance between batches and less hassle at bottling time. The drawback would be less flexibility to try other teas or sugars, or experiment with other ideas. But you can always start a Batch Brew on the side while enjoying your CB. Many people do both!

Selecting a safe Kombucha Jar or Kombucha Brewing Container is so important! Your ideal Brewing Vessel may be a single Glass Kombucha Jar, multiple Kombucha Jars, or even a large Kombucha Container with Spigot for Continuous Brew. Choosing the wrong vessel or spigot can be dangerous, so use this Detailed Guide! 🙂