If you are new to the art of kombucha-making, the equipment options can seem a little overwhelming at first. The good news is that you really need only a couple of specialty items to get started. By the term "specialty", I really just mean an item that you probably don't already have in your kitchen or pantry.
For the continuous brew method (the method I prefer), all you really need is a vessel with a spigot (i.e. a beverage dispenser). And perhaps a few carafes for storing your kombucha for the secondary fermentation, or simply to serve and drink. The large vessel will hold your kombucha during the fermentation process and allow you to easily transfer your booch to your bottles or carafes.
KOMBUCHA-MAKING CONTAINERS: THE MATERIALS YOU USE ARE KEY
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the vessel, the spigot and your storage containers- anything that makes contact with the kombucha for any period of time- should be nonreactive. This is because kombucha is acidic and may cause certain metals to rust and/or pick up chemicals from materials like plastic. Non-reactive materials include food-grade stainless steel, unfinished wood, and glass. Glazed ceramic vessels can also fit into this category because ceramic glaze is actually a thin layer of glass. The one thing you should be absolutely certain of is that the glass, and ceramic glaze, is lead-free.
The links below will take you to the products shown on Amazon's website. I use Amazon for practically all of my online kitchen supplies.
This is the dispenser I use for my continuous brew kombucha. It's lead-free and, to be extra safe, made in the USA. The size is perfect for brewing 1 gallon of fresh, fizzy, gut-healthy kombucha each week. My favorite features are that it is perfectly cylindrical (so the SCOBY can float and shift with the changing level of the kombucha), it has a wide opening (making it easy to fill and maintain), and the clear glass allows me to see what's going on inside. It comes with a glass lid and spout, but I don't use either of these in my setup.
This is the spigot I use because it's stainless steel and fits perfectly in the dispenser above. I simply removed the spigot that came with my dispenser (it unscrews fairly easily, but you may need a set of pliers to grab it on either side of the glass) and installed this stainless steel version in it's place. It's a good idea to clean the vessel and the spigot with warm soapy water before assembling them. Once assembled, you'll want to fill the vessel with clean water to make sure the spigot works and that the assembly is leak free.
I LOVE these carafes. The lids close to create an airtight seal so my kombucha stays fresh and fizzy. Plus the wide opening makes it easy to clean and easy to add my ingredients for the secondary fermentation. This link is current going to a seller that lists this as a set of (6) 34 ounce bottles but you will want to verify the size and quantity carefully by reading the product description before hitting the BUY button *See warning below* Also, be forewarned, they are imported from Italy and are often on backorder so grab them while you can. As a cheaper (free!) option, you can always recycle the bottles from your store-purchased kombucha to store your home brew.
WARNING: On two separate occasions, I've purchased what I thought was a set of 6 from the seller LIJO DECOR and received only 1 due to a "product description error"- if the link takes you to a listing by LIJO DECOR, do NOT purchase from this seller. (Unfortunately Amazon will automatically link you to a product via whichever seller currently has available stock, so I have no control of the price or the seller.)
Tools You Probably Already Have
A digital thermometer is helpful to have to make sure your sweet tea isn't too hot for you SCOBY.
A 6 quart stainless steel pot like this one, with a no-drip rim and spout for easy pouring, will work perfectly for prepping sweet tea for kombucha.
I use a teak wooden spoon like this to mix up my sweet tea. Since this is before it's been transformed into kombucha the acidity isn't much of a problem and you could pretty much use any large spoon at that point. I just really like the weight and feel of this spoon so it's just a little splurge.
I use a strainers like this to remove any fruit and spices I add as a flavor infuser, or any mini-SCOBY that sometimes forms during the secondary fermentation. (These are great for making kefir too!)
IMPORTANT NOTE: This page contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase a product through an affiliate link, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. However, I only recommend products I either use myself and absolutely love, or their equivalents (some of my tools are no longer available but I always check the specifications and reviews carefully before recommending any alternative products)! Thank you for supporting Blue Quarry when you shop.
Most of the Amazon items above are eligible for free shipping through Amazon Prime. If you order a lot online, (or like the added benefit of free streaming videos) this is definitely something to consider. To get information on their free 30 day trial click here .