Why I Don’t Brew Continuous Brew Kombucha!

9 responses

  1. What is Kombucha
    May 8, 2014

    Halle –

    Yet another great Kombucha post! I just keep finding myself coming back. I also really liked your article about Kombucha Smoothies :)

    Jamie

  2. Tamara
    May 9, 2014

    I had the same issue. It wasn’t much easier than batch brew and my brews were either too sweet or way too vinegar-y. I prefer batch brew. Plus I like to have a few smaller jars going with different flavor teas!!

    • Halle Cottis
      May 9, 2014

      I am about to try water kefir soda, have you tried that yet? I am told you have a bubbly soda in 24-48 hours and it is delicious!

  3. Jennifer
    May 20, 2014

    I like brewing kombucha better than water kefir because it doesn’t take the constant monitoring that kefir does – which is another reason why I stick with batch-brewing rather than continuous! I like things that flourish under my benign neglect :) This is probably the cause of my sourdough and gardening failures, lol!

    So glad I’m not missing out by batch-brewing…We drink an absurd amount here – my husband will go through 4 gallons in one week.

    I’ve heard that those glass jars with the plastic spigots should be avoided because the kombucha leeches out the chemicals in the plastic – what do you think?

    • Halle Cottis
      May 20, 2014

      Well you can’t use metal because that will interact negatively with beneficial bacteria. I made sure mine was BPA Free, so I would just make sure that the plastic is of high standards.

  4. anon
    November 14, 2014

    I also prefer batch brews., (but “more simpler” ? egad!)

  5. Lacey
    January 19, 2015

    I think you may have been led a little astray on the benefits of continuous versus batch kombucha brewing because, as you have seen, both methods are really quite similar in terms of their simplicity. The main benefits (that I have found) to brewing continuous instead of batch is that you can make a large quantity of kombucha at one time (using a very large glass vessel with a spigot, which you most likely will not want to empty and move scoby from each time), and the number of vessels you need to use is dramatically reduced, among other things. The total benefits may be different for each person, but those are the ones I noticed the most for me when I made the switch. As for the taste quality of your final brew, I find that I actually get a MORE consistent product with continuous brew since I am not moving the scoby from container to container, disturbing or upsetting the bacterial ecosystem. The key is using a special heating mat in cooler months depending on where you live, which keeps the brew at a consistent temperature between 70 and 80 degrees. This ensures that your brew will produce the correct balance of bacteria versus yeast (too cold gets very yeasty), and will predictably ferment in the same amount of time with each new batch.

    The reason I love continuous brew so much is because I go through my kombucha so quickly once it has brewed that I need to brew a lot at one time so that I’m not waiting for the next batch to ferment. With one batch of continuous brew in my 2 gallon vessel, I can pour off about four large mason jars per vessel, while still leaving enough starter kombucha to begin the next batch. I then let my jars ferment sealed on the counter for two to three more days, adding in fruit or whatever other taste enhancing elements I like, then transfer to my fridge for storage.

    The process of making the tea is relatively the same for each method: I boil about 4 cups of water, then split into two two-cup amounts and add each half to a glass jar with one cup of sugar. Once that dissolves I add my tea bags. Once cooled, I pour into a large glass container and bring up to 3 quarts with room temperature water. I then pour this into my continuous brew vessels if I’ve poured off enough to allow the entire amount. If I don’t need this entire amount yet, I pour in what I need and refrigerate the rest, adding to the brew vessel as needed.

    When I brewed using the batch method, I found that I was going through a ton of glassware trying to keep up with my brewing since I had to change containers each time I was ready to make a new batch, and my product tasted different almost every single time. I also had to brew tea each and every time I started a new batch since I didn’t know how long it would be until the current one was ready, which meant I was brewing tea for every container of kombucha, whereas with continuous brew I’m only brewing tea every eight containers. So to me that is less work. Plus you don’t have to clean out the continuous brew container unless the spigot gets clogged or you decide to start using a different type of tea, whereas with batch brewing you have to clean out at least one container every single time you make a new batch or transfer the final product to a new container.

    It all comes down to preference and what works for you. I tried both and found that I love continuous brewing far more than batch.

    • Halle Cottis
      January 21, 2015

      Thank you so much for your insight! :)

  6. Ramona
    January 27, 2015

    I have been using the continuous brew method from the beginning but I think I do it like batch brewing without removing the SCOBY. I draw off all but about a cup-ish of the finished Kombucha and then fill the vessel with fresh tea. I do this exactly 7 days at a time as I find that this is pretty much exactly the sourness that I like. There has been a slight taste change as the weather has gotten cold but not really enough to bother me. I have been changing the flavoring to try and get my husband to drink more if it. My SCOBY got really big and I had to peel the top new one off and put the old one in a ziplock bag in the fridge. I did give my last one away straight out of the fridge and it is making great Kombucha for a friend. I find this easy and I almost never touch the SCOBY so I am less afraid that I will get mold or some other disaster that will damage my brew. All in all it was WAY easier to really do than it was to read about doing. If you are reading this and have not tried to make it; jump in!!!

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