What is the Best Jar for Brewing Kombucha?
There are several things to keep in mind when choosing a container that is best for you and your SCOBY.
The material of the container, the size of the opening, how well it holds the temperature, and the container’s capacity are all important factors to keep in mind when choosing a brewing vessel (not to mention the aesthetic of it, especially when doing continuous brew!)
You have some options when it comes to the material of your jar. Above all, it should be food grade–no cheap plastics or anything that will leach into your brew (more on this below).
- Glass: This is the option we recommend. Glass is easy to clean and doesn’t leach any chemicals during fermentation. There are all kinds of fun shapes and sizes that you can choose to brew with, even ones equipped for continuous brewing if that is the route you take. PLUS, you get to see all the fun stuff that happens inside the jar during the fermentation!
- Stainless Steel: Another good option. These can be slightly more expensive but are safe to use and easy to clean. If you want to brew more than 2-3 gallons of kombucha at a time, you’ll want to use stainless as it is much lighter in weight than glass.
- Ceramic: If you decide to go with a continuous brewing method, ceramic is an excellent choice because it will typically be out on your counter. SCOBYs don’t exactly make for the best kitchen decor, so you can choose a pretty ceramic home for it to live in. BE CAREFUL when choosing your ceramic vessel, as some glazes are made with lead, which will leach into your brew. Choose containers that advertise as fermenting vessels or crocks and verify that the enamel is food-grade or lead-free before you buy.
- Plastic Fermenters: You can use plastic but be sure it’s HDPE, as this type of plastic is safe for fermentation. HDPE is widely used to make fermenters for beer brewing and wine making.
- Plastic Spigots: Be mindful of cheap plastic spigots; they should be avoided as they can release chemicals into your batch of kombucha. If one came with your jar, the good news is that these can nearly always be swapped out with a stainless steel spigot. Any 304 stainless steel spigot should work, and we also carry them and can be found here – stainless steel spigot for kombucha.
- Oak Barrel: If you want to be fancy, try using an oak barrel! It imparts a unique flavor profile to your brew while also looking really cool. They make cute little one-gallon barrels that you could experiment with.
Kombucha Brew Jar Opening Size
Your SCOBY needs airflow to undergo the fermentation process properly.
A good-sized opening is around 5″-6″, like that of the standard gallon kombucha brewing jar. Avoiding using growlers or any bottle that your hand can’t fit into.
Note: this addresses only the primary fermentation. For secondary fermentation, you want to restrict airflow using airtight bottles that are designed to hold pressure.
Kombucha Brewing Capacity
This choice is simply based on how much you think you and your family will consume on a weekly-ish basis. Every seven to fourteen days, you will have a new fresh batch to bottle and consume.
- Half-gallon: You will have 3 16oz bottles of kombucha per brew. This is the smallest batch I recommend, as smaller vessels tend to ferment very quickly, and the SCOBY can take up more room than it should, leaving you with less kombucha to enjoy.
- Gallon: This is good for 1-2 people and is the most popular brew size. You will get 6-7 Bottles of kombucha with each brew.
- 2+ Gallons: For a large family, you can brew as many gallons as you can drink! Just be sure to use the proper ratio of starter tea (10%) and test the starting pH You’ll be good to go! Remember, with each gallon, you will get 6-7 bottles per brew, so you can multiply that by whatever factor you’d like.
Spigot or no spigot?
Many people love and use a continuous brewing method, and it works great for their lifestyles. If you decide you want to try it, opt for a vessel that comes equipped with a spigot. Many spigots are made with cheap plastic, so be aware of that when you are purchasing. You can buy a stainless steel spigot, wooden, or food-grade plastic spigot and use it in place of the spigot that came with your vessel. For me, I prefer the batch brewing method. I enjoy brewing and forgetting about it for a week–it’s like a nice little surprise waiting in the cupboard!
Do you have a favorite brewing vessel? Share in the comments below!
Why is pH important for Kombucha?