Since I last wrote about the strange and wonderful art of brewing kombucha I’ve switched brewing methods. I switched from container brewing to a continuous brew system. I like the continuous brew system better for a few reasons: we drink a lot of kombucha in this house, so the container brewing actually occupied more space because I needed to brew at least two jars at once; continuous brew allows you to hit all of the enzymatic sweet spots during the brewing process whereas if you let a container brew go for 30 days, you basically have vinegar; Hamling can access the kombucha on his own which encourages him to drink it more often; the process itself is much easier.
Continuous brew kombucha needs the same ratios of tea, water and sugar. So, for 64 ounces of kombucha you need 1/2 cup sugar and 4-6 bags of tea. I’ve split the tea and sugar (sucanat) into two jars so that I can use cooler water to dissolve the sugar while the tea is brewing. I do this in an effort to leave the minerals in the sucanat as undisturbed as possible, it’s really just a preference thing.
All you do is brew the sweet tea, take out the tea bags or strain your tea leaves out, allow the tea to cool and then pour it over what’s left in the continuous brew container. Easy-peasy.
To maintain the brew I take everything out to clean the glass jar about twice a year, or as needed depending on the amount of yeast that settles on the bottom. Also, the SCOBY can get adventurous and start growing in the spigot. When it blocks the spigot enough to be annoying (and I can’t get it out with just a toothpick), I’ll clean it out.
Make sure to always keep a thin cloth (like muslin, or even a coffee filter) secured over your SCOBY home to keep fruit flies and debris out. It’s important to use a cloth rather than a lid so that the SCOBY can breathe.