Kombucha Forever: How Continuous Brew Kombucha Works and Why It’s So Popular

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There are several different methods for brewing kombucha. This particular method is ideal for people who always want to have kombucha on hand. The continuous brew method allows you to continuously brew new batches of kombucha rather than brewing one batch at a time.

What Is Continuous Kombucha Brewing?

The continuous brewing method typically uses a large glass jar with a spigot at the bottom. Like batch brewing, you need a SCOBY, starter tea, and sweet tea.

What makes this brewing method different is that rather than brewing one kombucha batch at a time, you “harvest” the kombucha via the spigot and then replenish it with more sweet tea to continue the process. The kombucha SCOBY remains in the jar, and the leftover liquid from the previous batch serves as the starter tea for the new batch.

You can, essentially, have more kombucha more frequently with this method, assuming you are adding more sweet tea as often as you are harvesting the fermented tea. It is crucial to add enough sweet tea so that the remaining liquid in the brewing vessel doesn’t become too vinegary. Plan to take and replace a portion of the tea at least once a week to keep your SCOBY healthy.

How Long Is the Continuous Brew Kombucha Fermentation Cycle?

As the name suggests, the fermentation cycle of the continuous brew system is ongoing. You can continue it until you don’t want any more kombucha. As for each batch, the cycle takes less than a week.

Once you have your starter tea ready (which can take about a week when fermenting for the first time), add sweet tea to begin the first fermentation of your homemade kombucha. When harvesting, leave 30% starter liquid in the continuous brewing vessel instead of 10% with batch brewing. This makes the fermentation process faster, as the fermentation time is based on the amount and quality of the starter liquid.

Once you have harvested your first batch and added new sweet tea, you can expect the next batch to be ready in 3-5 days instead of 7-10 days with a batch brew.

How Many SCOBYs Are in a Continuous Brew Kombucha?

To begin this homemade brewing method, all you need is one SCOBY. Once you’ve added your fresh sweet tea, a new SCOBY will form. You will add more sweetened tea (SCOBY food) each time you harvest a new batch. As that batch ferments, a new SCOBY will grow; eventually, you will have quite a few extra SCOBYs.

You will want to remove these extra SCOBYs from time to time to ensure there is enough room in your brewing vessel. You can store these extras in a SCOBY hotel or use them creatively in your kitchen and garden.

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How Much Tea Does Continuous Brew Kombucha Yield Each Week?

The amount of kombucha tea you yield each week depends on the size of your brewing vessel and how much starter liquid you have. Generally speaking, you want to add the same amount of sweet tea as the amount of kombucha you harvested.

Let’s say you have a 2-gallon brew container, and you extract tea to bottle from the dispenser, leaving 30% of the kombucha starter liquid for the next batch. That means you were able to yield about 1.37 gallons of kombucha.

Because this method is typically faster than batch brewing, you should be able to yield a new batch within a week. If you find yourself with an abundance of extra kombucha, you could always share it with friends or give your garden soil a boost.

Does Continuous Brew Kombucha Need to Be Refrigerated?

SCOBYs become dormant in the cold, meaning you do not want to refrigerate your continuous brewing vessel. Kombucha ferments faster in warmer temperatures, so keeping it at room temperature is advised.

However, once both fermentation processes are completed and your kombucha is ready to drink, you will want to refrigerate it. If your fermented kombucha is not refrigerated, it can turn sour and unpalatable.

What Kind of Containers Do You Use for Continuous Kombucha Brewing?

Generally, you want to use a larger container for continuous brewing than batch brewing. A container with a removable lid and a nozzle or spigot is best for easy extraction. Some examples of suitable containers for continuous brew kombucha include:

  • A large glass jar with a stainless steel spigot
  • A large ceramic jar with a spigot
  • A large glass or ceramic crock

You want to avoid any type of plastic container, as it can react with the acidity of the kombucha and harbor harmful bacteria. Another thing to note is that you will not want to put a top on the jar or container you are using. Instead, you can put a piece of cheesecloth or mesh held on with a rubberband so that the kombucha can breathe.

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Is Continuous Brew Kombucha Fizzy?

Just like batch brew kombucha, continuous brew kombucha is carbonated. As usual, the first fermentation is only covered with a cloth, meaning the carbonation is not retained. However, in the tightly sealed second fermentation, the fizziness forms and is trapped in the bottle.

Batch vs. Continuous Brew Kombucha

In the end, the brewing process that works best for you depends on your preferences, kitchen space, and the amount of kombucha you want to produce.

Here are the main differences between the two methods:

You brew the amount you want to drinkRequires a larger brewing vessel and produces large quantities
Ferments within 7-10 daysFerments within 3-5 days
You need to find a place to store the SCOBY when not in useLess hands-on SCOBY handling. Also, it can double as a SCOBY hotel
You must clean the bottles and supplies after every fermentationNeeds a deep cleaning approximately 3 times a year
Allows for more creativity in the first fermentation (different teas/sugar)Once you’ve perfected your recipe, you’ll have good, reliable kombucha


Margaret has been drinking kombucha for its health benefits since 2010. Not only does she love drinking it, but she also enjoys brewing her own homemade booch. Her favorite combination so far is mint-strawberry, but she is always experimenting with new recipes.

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