Kombucha Equipment & Supplies

  • SCOBY and starter liquid: $10 to $15
  • Brewing Vessel: $20 to $25
  • Vessel Thermometer: $1.50 to $2.00
  • Clean Filtered Drinking Water: 
  • Tea Brewing Bag: Earthwise Reusable Mesh Produce Bags 9 for $13.97.
  • Tea: $.50 per batch for 2 gallons
  • Sugar: $8.99 for 10# bag at Costco
  • Bottles: used drink bottles or 12 EZ cap bottles for $39.99
  • Cloth Cover for Container
  • Optional: pH Strips
  • Optional: Wrap Around Heat Wrap
  • Optional: Big Book of Kombucha
  • Optional: Digital Thermometer

SCOBY and starter liquid: $10 to $15 (or get it from a friend for free!)

  • The SCOBY is a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast that forms a seal on top of the kombucha. The SCOBY creates a barrier between the aerobic (with air) activity at the top of the jar and the kombucha liquid fermenting anaerobically (without air) below.
  • How much: It is important to get a healthy 5 ounce SCOBY and 1 to 2 cups of starter fluid for each gallon of Kombucha.
  •  For the 2 gallon container, we started with 10 ounces of SCOBY and 3 cups of starter fluid. You can start with less starter fluid which only means it may take longer for the brew to mature.
  • Where: There are many Kombucha brewers and breweries popping up everywhere and most will sell the SCOBY and liquid. Do not purchase a SCOBY that has been refrigerated or freeze dried. Check with a friend who is making booch . . . the SCOBY has babies each time your brew, so most home brewers are more than happy to share.

Brewing Vessel: $20 to $25

  • Be sure the vessel is food grade and sturdy enough to hold your brew. Etched glass and tinted vessels may look pretty, but may have additional toxins, so stick with something designed to hold water and liquids for consumption.
  • Size: A 2 gallon container with a spigot is perfect to start your continuous brew. I found a 2 gallon container with a spigot online at Bed Bath & Beyond for $25. Bed Bath & Beyond frequently has a 20% discount for on line purchases.
  • Material: I prefer glass so I can see what is going on inside. Other materials include stainless steel, ceramic, wood and plastic. I prefer not to use plastic. Again, be sure the vessel is food grade.
  • Spigot: A spigot makes it easy to dispense your brew. Most poor reviews on the vessels are because of leakage from the spigot.  Most vessels come with instructions to clean and tighten the spigot, so be sure to clean the spigot and tighten!

Vessel Thermometer: $1.50 to $2.00

  • Adheres to the side of the brewing vessel and displays the temperature of the brewing kombucha.
  • Often comes with the wrap around heat wrap, or can be purchased at a local brewing company. They come in Celcius and Fahrenheit, so be sure to select the correct one.
  • Brewing temps should be bet ween 75 – 82°Fahrenheit.

Water: Clean filtered drinking water.

  • Filtered: most tap water contains fluoride and other chemicals that can affect the fermentation process. It is best to use filtered water.
  • Quantity: For a 2-gallon container, about 1.5 gallons of water for the first brew and 1 gallon for continuous brewing refill.
  • Purchase Water: You may purchase filtered drinking water at the grocery store or Co Op. Some allow you to fill up your own containers.
  • What I use: I use a Nikken Waterfall (nikken.com) for all of our drinking and cooking water.

Tea Brewing Bag:  Earthwise Reusable Mesh Produce bags 9 for $13.97 on Amazon.

  • Any fine mesh bag will work for brewing tea.
  • We use reusable mesh produce bags, so I use one of those.
  • BONUS: When you buy the 9 bags, you get an extra 8 bags to replace those plastic produce bags, too!

Tea: $.50 per batch for 2 gallon container

  • I prefer loose leaf tea instead of tea bags
  • Do not use flavored, herbal or infused teas.
  • Use Organic and Fair Trade if possible
  • Use White, Green, Black or Oolong tea.
  • I use Organic Green Gunpowder tea
  • Most Co-ops sell loose leaf tea. You can also buy online and at local tea shops.

Sugar: $8.99 for a 10# bag at Costco (3/4 cup for 1-gallon batch @ $.25 per cup)

  • Raw, organic, dehydrated cane sugar
  • Sugar is the food for the bacteria and yeast. The longer the brew ferments, the less sugar remaining in the final product.

Bottles: used Kombucha or drink bottles OPTION: 12 EZ cap bottles for $39.99

  • When you first start brewing, reusing store bought Kombucha bottles are the least expensive route. I used Kombucha bottles that I purchased at the store and they worked well.
  • After a couple of brews, I purchased a dozen “EZ cap” bottles and caps (they come separately) at the local brew store.
  • After reading the reviews about online purchases of bottles, I decided to purchase locally so I could touch and feel the bottles and caps as well as prevent breakage in shipping.

Cloth Cover for the Container: 4 reusable, washable, cloth napkins for $9.99 at Target

  • The fabric should be a tight, yet breathable weave. The cover will allow air flow and keep fruit flies away from your booch.
  • Do NOT use an open weave cloth like cheesecloth.
  • We use washable cotton napkins at home, so I just grabbed one and secured it on the top of the container with a rubber band.
  • You may also use a cotton dish towel or a clean lightweight washable cotton fabric.

Optional: pH Strips: $7.99 to $9.99 on Amazon or at your local brewery supply company

  • pH strips with a range from 0 to 7 work best.
  • The alkalinity of Kombucha is what tells you that the booch is ready.
  • Your booch should be at 2.8 to 3.5 pH
  • The lower the pH, the less sugar in the booch.
  • The pH Test strips are an easy way to test when the booch is ready.

Optional: Wrap Around Heat Wrap:  $30 at Kombucha Shop and Amazon

Optional: Wrap Around Heat Wrap:  $30 at Kombucha Shop and Amazon

  • Although the heat wrap is considered optional, I think it is critical.
  • The best temperature for the booch fermenting process is 75 – 82°Fahrenheit.
  • I ordered a heat wrap with a temperature control and thermometer. It works great!
  • A heat wrap, securely wrapped around the container, is preferable to a heat pad where the container sits on top of the heating surface.

Optional: The Big Book of Kombucha: Under $20 online

Optional: Digital Thermometer: Inkbird Thermaprobe Digital Thermometer under $15 online.

  • Used to measure temperature of water to steep tea.
  • Steeping in water that is too hot can affect the taste of the tea.
  • Some water warming vessels that are used for coffee and tea, have temperature gauges, which work just as well.
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