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.
Kombucha can be brewed in any size container, provided it is large enough to hold all the kombucha ingredients and the correct ingredient ratios are maintained. (When activating a dehydrated kombucha scoby, be sure to follow the ingredient amounts included in the instructions.) When choosing a container size, consider that the length of time for kombucha to brew is 7 to 30 days. The batch size should be large enough to provide kombucha for drinking plus starter tea needed for the next batch.
Since the surface area at the top of the liquid will influence the rate at which kombucha brews, keep in mind the size of the surface area when choosing a container. A brew with a 9-inch diameter surface will culture significantly faster than a brew with a 3-inch diameter surface. While it may be tempting to speed up the fermentation process, faster isn’t necessarily better. If your kombucha gets fermenting too quickly, the batch may become quite vinegary in flavor.
Covering the Kombucha Brewing Container
Fermenting kombucha tea can tend to attract fruit flies and other critters. To keep these out, you'll want to cover your brewing container to protect your kombucha and scoby.
- A coffee filter or tight-weave dish towel, secured with a rubber band, is an excellent choice.
- Avoid loose-weave fabric or screens, as these will not keep out tiny bugs like ants and fruit flies.
- Do not use a tight lid. In order for your kombucha to ferment effectively, it needs sufficient airflow. A tight lid will inhibit this airflow and prevent your kombucha from fermenting properly.
While by no means required, a few additional supplies that can be helpful while brewing kombucha.
- A mesh tea ball is handy when using loose tea to brew kombucha. Metal tea balls are fine to use, as they will be removed before the scoby and starter tea are added.
- A Plastic Strainer can be useful in removing the scoby from the finished kombucha. Our Kombucha Tea Starter Kit contains a bpa-free plastic strainer, as well as other supplies to get you started making delicious kombucha tea at home.
- Bottles with a tight seal such as our Grolsch-style Flip-top Bottles work well for making a fizzy finished kombucha tea.