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Continuous Kombucha Fermentation

 
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I've heard its possible, but has anyone done it? I'll be in a summer living situation without a fridge, very busy. It'd be nice just to have it ready all the time and not have to worry about storage.
 
steward
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I haven't done it, but it should be fine once you get an ideal volume worked out. just put as much raw material back in as you take out to consume. larger volume will mean it's got longer to ferment.
 
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Location: Zone 9B Santa Rosa, CA
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I've had a continuous brew kombucha going for around a year. I use one of those ceramic water dispensers with a cotton dish cloth over the top. I set the system up per the directions at the Weston A. Price web site. There are also directions for making a concentrated sweet tea to use for topping off the container. I pull off two to three quarts per week. When I pull off a quart, I pour in 3/4 cup of the sweet tea concentrate mixed with 3 1/4 cups filtered water.

I usually flavor the Kombucha in quart bottles, and let it sit for a day or two before I drink it (secondary fermentation). I don't need to do a secondary fermentation to get the Kombucha fizzy anymore. It comes out of the ceramic container fizzy now.

I don't think I'd make Kombucha if I had to do single batches. That's a lot of work. Setting up the continuous brew system was the same amount of work as prepping a single batch. I have to make the concentrate every couple of months. I highly recommend the continuous brew method. It's easy, inexpensive and produces a superior product.

Julie
 
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Tell me more!! We cannot keep up with the brewing.
 
gardener
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R, I think this is the article Julie mentioned.
 
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I suppose you have to remove layers of SCOBY occasionally, to avoid excessive build-up.
 
R Scott
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THANK YOU
 
Julie Anderson
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Location: Zone 9B Santa Rosa, CA
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Patrick Mann wrote:I suppose you have to remove layers of SCOBY occasionally, to avoid excessive build-up.



Define excessive build up?

My SCOBY is huge. I think that is part of what makes the process work, and why I can pull off three quarts a week of finished Kombucha. I have removed it twice in the more than one year it has been going. I did this to give others a SCOBY so they could start there own.

If you want to have an ongoing source of Kombucha, continuous brewing is the way to go. The initial setup is virtually identical to brewing an individual batch. You have better QC, because you can taste a bit each day until the brew is exactly what you want. Then you pull some off and refill. Using the concentrated sweet tea mix as a refill makes the whole process even more user friendly. I have to spend an hour every 60 days doing prep work for my Kombucha vs. something every time I want to make a batch.

My son and his wife have a one year old. Since he was born, my son stopped making Kombucha (he does single batches). His wife needs it for her digestion. I've been pulling off some of mine for her every week. She prefers the flavor of mine. I'm thinking about setting up a continuous brew at their house as a MOther's Day present for her.

Julie
 
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I do the continuous brew method wouldn't do it any other way healthier, more resilient and safer product is produced.

I clean out the brewer about once a season (every 3ish months)...

I also make sure to set aside some every now and then for further aging into vinegar for various medicinal uses; such as body sprays, body toner/cleaner, douches, etc.
 
pollinator
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Julie Anderson wrote: There are also directions for making a concentrated sweet tea to use for topping off the container. I pull off two to three quarts per week. When I pull off a quart, I pour in 3/4 cup of the sweet tea concentrate mixed with 3 1/4 cups filtered water.
Julie


Thank you, this is a great idea. I am making continuous batch, but I didn't know I can make a concentrate as well to make it even easier.
 
gardener
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Here is a post with pics and discussion of my continuous brew set up. I wouldn't do it any other way!

https://permies.com/t/49660/paleo/kombucha
 
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We use a continuous brew system for kombucha. It seems to work very well. We didn't study or read or watch videos on how to do it. That just seemed like the easiest way to kombucha around the house.

I haven't had much luck with bottling kombucha, as it gets too fizzy, and when I open a bottle of it, I end up with kombucha foam everywhere. So, we keep it in the glass jar and let it go.

It gets a little too tart for some people's tastes. My kids like it when it's still pretty sweet, but my wife and I like it when it's tart.

Occasionally, I will clean out the jar, and any excess SCOBY goes to the chickens. They LOVE it!
 
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