When we first dove into the world of home brewing kombucha we discovered there are two different methods: Batch Brewing (BB) and Continuous Brewing (CB). We quickly found our groove with batch brewing kombucha rather than the continuous brewing method. Before we get into WHY we love batch brews over continuous, we’ll explain the difference.
For BB we use 1 gallon glass jars to ferment tea. Each batch involves brewing sweet tea and mixing it with water, starter liquid and a SCOBY. First Fermentation (F1) is complete after 7 days. Here, you test the flavor and decide whether or not to begin the second fermentation (F2) or wait a few more days (up to 14 days for F1). For F2, you bottle and flavor the kombucha with your favorite fruits and herbs, then let it ferment for an additional 2-4 days prior to placing it in the fridge. There is no maintenance or extra attention required in between brews. After you complete your first batch you will fall into a rhythm of enjoying your home brew each week while the next batch ferments. Every time you brew with BB, you have the opportunity to remove older SCOBYs and yeast, and clean the brewing vessel. The best part is that when you follow our 3 Simple Steps to Brew and Flavor instruction card, it only takes about 20 minutes of hands on time every 7-10 days. (click here to see).
CB uses a larger vessel (2-5 gallons) with a spigot. The SCOBY is never disturbed because kombucha is removed from the tap and fresh tea is poured on top. Sweet tea must continuously be added to replace any kombucha tapped from the vessel. This means adding sweet tea in to replenish your vessel every time you tap it. Brewing time for CB can be anywhere between as 4 to 25 days. Over time the starter will become too strong, the SCOBY too big and the kombucha will be too sour. At this point a good deal of maintenance goes in to trimming the SCOBY, cleaning the vessel and spigot and then restarting the brew.
Now that we’ve got the terminology out of the way, here’s 3 reasons why we prefer batch brewing:
- Consistent Taste: Homemade batch brewed kombucha is consistently delicious and fizzy. There is a specific process that begins on day 1 and ends around day 10. You have regular control over the culture and environment. CB has a tendency to produce a more vinegary kombucha because of the big SCOBY and large quantity of strong starter liquid.
- Cost: Getting set up with a BB system we sell in our kombucha kits is less expensive than to getting set up for CB. The YEABUCHA kits range between $50 - $80 dollars and include everything you need to brew kombucha and continue for life. With CB the larger vessel is often more costly and finding a plastic-free spigot can be challenging. Plastic is a petroleum based product, so even if it is BPA- free, it is still made of chemicals that can leach into your kombucha if left for extended periods of time. CB also has a higher cost over time as it requires more tea and sugar than BB needs.
- Caffeine & Sugar: BB ferments for a set period of time that allows you to ensure there is little to no caffeine or sugar in the kombucha when you drink it. During CB you regularly add sweet tea to the culture and cannot be sure that the caffeine and cane sugar have been completely fermented. A common practice of CB is called drink a cup, add a cup. In this scenario it is likely that you are getting more caffeine and sugar in your glass than you ever would with BB, and that matters to us!
While it has been said that CB takes less time and is lower maintenance— we’ve found the opposite to be true! We have simplified the batch brewing process to make it easy, fast and convenient. You can’t beat 20 minutes a week that gives you consistently delicious homemade kombucha! Ready to get started? Pick up your kombucha brew kit today!