The easiest, most healthy way to make kombucha, in my humble opinion, is the continuous brew method. It requires minimal handling of the scoby, less chance of contamination, and produces tasty kombucha, every time. It also allows for a continuous supply, so you can drink as much as you want, when you want!
So, what the heck is continuous brew kombucha?
With continuous brew method, you take a small amount of kombucha out at one time, replacing exactly what you take. For me, it is less labor intensive than the traditional batch brew method. With the batch brew method, you typically make one whole batch at a time. That means waiting a week or so in between batches, making a bunch of tea, taking the scoby out, making sure you have enough secondary containers, filling the secondary containers, cleaning your brew vessel, then re-placing the scoby back in your container and pouring the whole giant batch of tea back in, starting the process over.
I am a huge proponent of the continuous brew method because it requires much less handling of the scoby and the brew vessel than batch brewing. This means much less opportunity for foreign bacterial contamination (a.k.a. MOLD), because you add a little tea at a time, you don’t have to take the scoby out. The end result is also a great mixture of tart and sweet, as some of the tea has been fermenting much longer than the more recent tea. I’ve also heard for this reason continuous brew is healthier, because it provides a greater blend of bacteria – newer and older.
First, you’ll need a vessel.
Essentially, you need a jar with a plastic spout. The jar should be glass or ceramic. Plastic can be easily scratched, which can harbor foreign bacteria. Metal vessels are not suitable for the highly acidic environment of brewing kombucha, as they can cause a reaction that harms the scoby. Its also extremely important the spout on your vessel is plastic, not metal, for the same reason. There are a lot of punch jars out there with metal spouts; keep looking until you find one with a plastic spout. There are really pretty ceramic ones on Etsy, but they can be a bit spendy.
I found my vessel at Goodwill: I think it was $1.99, was the perfect size, and had a plastic spout. I just ran it through the dishwasher a couple times before brewing.
Glass or ceramic vessel with plastic spout
- A cup or so distilled vinegar
- A scoby
- A cup or so of kombucha starter
- A clean cloth
- Rubber band
- Water – Boiled tap water or distilled
- Sugar – plain, white sugar
- Tea of your choice – Plain black or green works best
1. Make a batch of kombucha.
2. Wait a few days and taste test. If it tastes good, its good to drink! Pour a portion a bit out and drink! You can put it into a secondary container, put it through a second ferment, or in the refrigerator for later.
3. Replace what you took out. Make tea: boil water, add sugar and tea. Wait for it to cool completely, then just pour it right in. On top of your scoby is totally OK.
4. Repeat, and enjoy!
You can drink it as often as you like, waiting longer in between batches for more tart kombucha. You can put it into secondary containers for a second ferment, or to refrigerate if you like it cold. I drink mine almost straight from the spout.
I’d recommend sanitizing your vessel every few months to remove any gunk build-up. Yes, this does involve taking your scoby out and transferring it to another jar or container in the meantime. Just make sure your hands are clean (I recommend rinsing them with vinegar before touching your scoby or the inside of your secondary container). I run my vessel through the dishwasher, then rinse it with vinegar before putting my scoby back in. Once it’s clean, start the process over.
See, like I promised, the easiest way to make kombucha!