Recipe: Continuous Kombucha

Recipe: Continuous Kombucha post image

When I first started making kombucha I started small, with this Basic Kombucha recipe. However, I quickly realized I needed more kombucha, more frequently and wanted to try the continuous method, which is so much easier!

Since we are only 2 people in the house at this point, I didn’t need to make 5 gallons at a time (see this method for larger amounts you can find here by a blogger with a large family). I purchased a 2 gallon glass container with a spout and that is where my SCOBY lives.

If this is the first time you are reading about kombucha here, you need to catch up by reading this post to find out what kombucha is and this post to get the basic kombucha recipe.

SCOBY = Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast

What does SCOBY stand for? Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast. It looks like a mushroom – also known as kombucha mushroom and kombucha mother.

You may have noticed in your store-bought bottles of kombucha, vinegar or water kefir, a film may form on top or at the bottom – that is also a SCOBY – a community of bacteria and yeast.

Part of the function of the SCOBY is to seal off the top of the liquid and protect it from outside bacteria. A healthy SCOBY will form a new layer each time it is fed. The SCOBY will get thicker over time – remember, it’s alive. You can keep it thick as long as it doesn’t start to take up too much space in your container, or you can thin it out periodically.

What to do with the extra SCOBY’s? Well, start a SCOBY hotel next to your main container – just in case something goes wrong with the main SCOBY you have a backup. Feed it whenever you fed the main SCOBY.

Share your SCOBY will friends and family.

Here are some other ideas for using your extra SCOBY’s.

According to Hannah at Kombucha Kamp, you can remove some brewed kombucha every 7 – 10 days, depending on the temperature of your home. Slip a straw under the covering of your container to taste test. If it is too sweet, leave it a few more days. If it is too tart, next time test it sooner.

Continuous Kombucha

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Boil the 4 cups of water
  2. Add the tea bags to pot or brewing vessel
  3. Steep 5-7 minutes, then remove tea bags
  4. Add sugar and stir to dissolve
  5. Set aside to cool
  6. Fill smaller half gallon jar 3/4 with filtered water
  7. When the brewed tea is cool add it to each of the half gallon jars
  8. Now add this to the 2 gallon container
  9. The SCOBY will drop to the bottom – that's fine, during the brewing process a new, thin SCOBY will form on top and the older SCOBY will eventually join it
  10. Cover with cloth cover and secure with the rubber band
  11. Place it in a warm location out of direct sunlight unless container is opaque or you have a cover for the container
  12. Let brew for 7 days and then check it
  13. I tend to let it go longer as I like it less sweet but that is something you have to figure out for yourself
http://realfoodforager.com/recipe-continuous-kombucha/

Equipment

  • 1 – 2 gallon glass container (where to buy)
  • stainless steel pot to make the tea in
  • Plastic funnel (for bottling)
  • Distilled white vinegar for rinsing the jars
  • Clean cloth (like muslin) to cover the top of the jar with
  • Rubber bands to secure the cloth to the jar
  • PH strips if you want to be technical and test the acidity of your kombucha

Tips

  • Clean the containers and jars you are using, but do not use soap as that will kill the SCOBY — just rinse with hot water and rinse again with white vinegar
  • Of course whenever you are handling the SCOBY or jars be sure your hands are clean
  • It loves to be at around 70º F so if it is warmer it will go faster and if it is cooler it will go slower
  • It will be slightly tart when it is ready
  • You could also check the PH level if you happen to have PH strips handy – it should be around 3.0
  • Using a plastic straw, stick it into the liquid and taste your kombucha — if it is still sweet, let it go another day and keep checking it until you think it is ready
  • The brewing time will vary for each home and each person’s taste and may differ at different times of the year

Flavored Kombucha

The next step is to flavor the kombucha. Of courser, we can drink it plain if you like, but flavors add interest.

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These recipes are suitable for Paleo, SCD, GAPS and all grain free eaters.

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Leave a Comment

  • Chasity Foster October 13, 2016, 6:50 pm

    I have used your instructions for brewing Kombucha. I just bottled it today, so I have 3 more days to wait. Thank you for this post. I have referred back to it numerous times while brewing.

    Reply
    • Dr. Jill October 16, 2016, 7:36 pm

      Hi Chastity Foster,
      You can taste it while waiting. I usually do the second ferment for only one or two days depending on how warm the house is.

      Reply