Brewing Kombucha with Distilled Water, Tap Water, Spring Water, Rainwater

Water: Essential to Life and Great Kombucha

suitable water for kombucha brewing

Brewing kombucha is surprisingly easy; after all, it is made from four ingredients. These ingredients are tea, sugar, a SCOBY, and water. Of these four ingredients, water is perhaps the single most overlooked ingredient and shouldn’t be. Kombucha is made up of over 95% water. So water must be considered equally as important as the other three core ingredients. When you start brewing kombucha, the first ingredient is water, as it serves as the base of your kombucha. Choosing a proper water source is essential as it could have a significant impact on the quality of your kombucha despite doing everything else right. 

What is the best water to use when brewing kombucha?

What is the Best Water to Brew Kombucha With? 

The most common water sources in question are filtered water, spring water, purified water, distilled water, and maybe even rainwater. Let’s go over each option and how they relate to kombucha brewing. 

Using Distilled Water for Kombucha

Can you use distilled water when brewing kombucha? Some do, but we don’t recommend it. The distilling process strips down the water of all impurities. While this sounds great at first, it isn’t good for the fermentation process. When impurities are removed, valuable minerals are removed along with them. Some of these minerals are necessary for a healthy fermentation. Some may argue that the tea in kombucha provides enough nutrients; the fact is that distilled water is more expensive to buy and isn’t usually readily available for most, so it’s rarely the first choice. Basically, for most people, you will need to go out of your way to brew with distilled water. If you choose to use distilled water, we recommend you remineralize the water with Celtic or Himalayan salt.

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Using Tap Water for Kombucha

Can you use tap water when brewing kombucha? Yes, you can, but you do not want to use it straight out of the tap, not unless it’s filtered. If you plan on using tap water to brew kombucha, there are additional steps that are needed to make it suitable for use. This can be as simple as boiling the water or using a charcoal filter before use. We have a full post on this topic, which can be found here How to Brew Kombucha with Tap Water. Bottom line, If you want to brew kombucha with tap water, you will first need to remove the chlorine or chloramines.

Using Spring or Purified Drinking Water for Kombucha

Can you use spring water when brewing kombucha? Absolutely! This is a great option for brewing kombucha. What are the downsides? Well, it isn’t the most environmentally friendly option or most cost-effective. It also isn’t much fun lugging the jugs home. But for kombucha brewing purposes, we highly recommended it. 

Using Filtered Water for Kombucha

Can you use filtered water when brewing kombucha? Yes! This is the best option, and luckily, water filters are relatively inexpensive. Also, they last quite a while, which is why this is the best and most practical option. What water filter system should you use? You want to look for charcoal filtration systems, which most are. The charcoal works to absorb impurities in the water and is effective in removing most of the chlorine and chloramines. The pitcher style filters, like the Brita Filter, use charcoal. I hooked up an under-the-sink filter in our kitchen, similar to this one that I LOVE. It has a separate faucet that comes up next to the main, so I have clean, filtered water on demand whenever I need it. 

Using Rain Water for Kombucha

Can you use rainwater when brewing kombucha? Rainwater can be used, but it will need to be purified after collection. Rainwater is relatively soft and doesn’t contain a lot of minerals. However, the main issue is the potential contaminants. Depending on the collection method, rainwater can range from reasonably clean to being filled with debris, contaminants, and other pollutants. So unless you plan on taking the necessary purification steps required to make it suitable for brewing, we recommend saving the rainwater for your garden.  

Kombucha & Water: Quality in, Quality Out 

So how do these rank? Filtered water is the favorite; it’s practical, efficient, and cost-effective. We hope you found all the information you were looking for and remember no matter what tea and sugar you choose, always remember the important role water plays in your brew. 

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