To make kombucha at home, there are only a couple of necessary supplies: a brewing vessel and cover. Beyond that everything else is optional.
Kombucha Brewing Container
- Glass is the best option for brewing kombucha. It won’t react to the acidity of the brew, doesn't scratch easily or contain chemicals such as BPA. Glass containers are also easy and inexpensive to obtain. Canning jars and storage jars in quart, half-gallon, and gallon sizes work well.
For continuous brew systems a larger glass jar with spigot is a good choice. Be sure the spigot inside the jar is plastic, not metal, which can damage the kombucha scoby.
- Plastic containers are not recommended for brewing kombucha. Plastic is easily damaged, and scratches in the plastic can harbor foreign bacteria. Plastic, even food-grade, may contain undesirable chemicals that can be harmful to the kombucha scoby.
- Ceramic is not recommended, as most glazes used to coat ceramic contain lead.
- Porcelain is generally safe for brewing kombucha, as long as it is food-grade porcelain. Avoid porcelain pieces such as vases or decorative pottery that are not food grade.
- Crystal contains lead. Do not use crystal to brew kombucha.
- Metal is generally detrimental to kombucha. The only possible exception is stainless steel. Because it is relatively inert, some brewers feel it is a reasonable alternative to glass. While we do not recommend using it, some people do have success doing so.
- For activation, be sure to follow the instructions included. Kombucha can be brewed in any size container, provided the correct ingredient ratios are maintained. When choosing a container size, consider that the length of brew time for kombucha is 7 to 30 days to brew. The batch size should be large enough to provide kombucha for drinking and starter tea for the next batch.
- The surface area at the top of the liquid will influence the rate at which kombucha brews. A brew with a 9-inch diameter surface will culture significantly faster than a brew with a 3-inch diameter surface. Faster isn’t necessarily better, however, as the kombucha can achieve a strong vinegar taste in a relatively short period of time.
Covering the Kombucha Brewing Container
- A coffee filter or tight-weave dish towel, secured with a rubber band, is an excellent choice.
- Avoid loose-weave fabric or screens, which will not keep out tiny bugs like ants and fruit flies.
- Do not use a tight lid. Doing so will inhibit airflow needed for effective fermentation.