How to Make Continuous Brew Kombucha at Home

Welcome back!

In this post, I'm going to continue the recipe for how you can make your own kombucha at home. If you haven't seen 
part one of this process, you can go back to see what the first steps you need to take to make your own kombucha scoby

You will need a kombucha "scoby" before making your first batch of komnucha. You can make your own, get one from a friend who is already brewing kombucha, or order one from an online store.  

If you're interested in learning how to make the actual drinkable kombucha, then keep reading! If you want to watch the step-by-step process I invite you to check out my video how to below.

I'm going to walk you through the process of how to make 2 to 2.5 gallons of continuous brew kombucha. 

Step 1: Ingredients for Kombucha

To make 2 to 2.5 gallons of continuous brew kombucha, you will need:

2 cups of starter liquid (the liquid used to make your "scoby" or from a bottle of raw kombucha)

We found our glass beverage dispenser at an end of summer clearance event at a local grocery store for about $10 including the stand. Most of the glass beverage dispensers you will find will have cheap plastic taps covered in metallic paint or poor quality metal that will rust when exposed to the acidity of kombucha. You will want to make sure to replace your cheap tap with a high quality 
stainless steel tap that is safe for brewing kombucha.

Step 2: Brew Your Tea

Next, for a 2 to 2.5 gallon beverage dispenser, you'll have to brew about 2 gallons of black tea (slightly less for a 2 gallon dispenser).

For the 2 gallons of black tea, you'll need 4 tablespoons of black tea and 2 cups of organic sugar. Add the tea and sugar to 8 cups of boiling water. Stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.

Once the tea has cooled to room temp, strain the tea leaves and pour into your sanitized glass beverage dispenser. It is important that the tea is room temp so that it doesn't kill the kombucha "scoby" and that your container is sanitized so that unwanted bacteria doesn't grow. 

I usually sanitize my container by running it through the dishwasher without soap. Any soap residue can interfere with the brewing process. You could also sanitize the container by using a little white vinegar (NOT raw vinegar).

Step 3: Making the Kombucha

After your tea has been strained and is room temp, add the tea to your beverage dispenser. Add the "scoby" that you've been making over the last few weeks and 2-4 cups of the starter "scoby" liquid. You can use a bottle of raw kombucha if you don't have any "scoby" starter liquid. 

Next, fill the remainder of the container with filtered water. Leave a few inches of space at the top for air to circulate. 

Cover your container with a paper towel or cotton cloth to keep dust and bugs out but still allows for air to circulate. Don't use the metal lid that comes with the beverage dispenser.

As the kombucha continues to ferment a large "scoby" will form at the top of your brewing vessel.

Step 4: Fermentation

Now, let the first batch of kombucha ferment for any where between 7-30 days. Future ferments will take less time. Ferment the kombucha to your taste. 

The taste is a matter of preference. I like mine more on the tart side so I let it ferment for a couple weeks or more the first time. You can simply start trying kombucha from the tap around day 7 until you find the perfect balance of tart and sweet for you. Note, your kombucha will be "flat" and not carbonated like store bought kombucha. I'll teach you how to carbonate it in a moment.

After the kombucha ferments to your taste, you can pour out about half of the kombucha into bottles (I use recycled kombucha bottles from the store) and either drink it now, refrigerate for later, or do a second ferment to carbonate and/or flavor your kombucha like the bottled  kombucha you are use to from the store.

To carbonate your kombucha, fill up recycled kombucha bottles or swing-top glass bottles and let them sit at room temp for another 2-3 days. After 2-3 days either drink or refrigerate. If you would like to flavor your kombucha at this time, you can fill 1/5 of the bottle with fruit juice or fresh fruit of your choice when you bottle it for a second ferment.

How to make your next batch of continuous brew kombucha?

Now that you have your own homemade, continuous kombucha you can keep making it as long as you want! This is why we call it continuous brew! As long as you leave at least 1/3 of your original beverage container filled with kombucha you can just add more sweet tea (black tea, water, and sugar) to keep the brewing process going. 

For us, we drink and bottle about 1/2 of the container a week. Each week I brew up more tea in an extra large mason jar with 2 tablespoons of loose leaf black tea, 4 cups or hot water, and 1 cup of sugar. Once the tea is cooled and strained, I add it to the beverage dispenser and wel have another batch of kombucha ready in about a week. Future batches ferment much faster than your first batch!

Let me know in the comments how making your own kombucha goes!  I hope that you enjoy this healthy fermented tea filled with enzymes and probiotics!

Peace, love, & oils,

Rigel Smith

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