Want to make homemade kombucha, but don’t know what equipment to choose? In this article, find out more about the kombucha equipment you absolutely need, what is optional and what you should avoid.
To make homemade kombucha, you need at least:
Other equipment can be used to make your kombucha. However, this is mostly optional, or even already in your kitchen!
Hey, you can also get our homemade kombucha kit! Discover also all our material.
What Container Should I Use to Make My Kombucha?
The most commonly used container for making homemade kombucha is a 1 gallon (3.8 litre), wide mouth glass jar.
Its wide opening allows for good oxygenation, which is essential for kombucha to thrive. This is the most important feature when it comes to choosing a container for making kombucha.
Which Material for My Container?
Glass is certainly the best material. It has the advantage of being transparent, easy to wash, and safe.
There are also these other options:
- Plastic: only food grade and high density (HDPE), such as plastic pails used in the food industry.
- Stainless steel: professional kombucha producers often use stainless steel tanks.
Can I Use Metal With My Kombucha?
Yes, you can. The myth that kombucha should not come into contact with metal is a tenacious one! Common stainless steel kitchen utensils (strainer, spoon, knife, etc.) are very resistant to contact with kombucha.
What Containers Should I Avoid?
- Narrow mouth containers: Rounds, bottles, or mason jars do not have a large enough opening to allow the kombucha to breathe.
- Old ceramic jars: Many old ceramic jars contain lead, which could contaminate your kombucha. If you want to use ceramic, make sure it is a food grade jar.
Which Cloth Should I Use to Cover My Kombucha?
Kombucha needs oxygen to ferment, which is why the mouth of the jar is covered with a cloth. We also want to avoid contamination from fruit flies (sworn enemies of any fermenter), or from debris and dust.
Choose a fine mesh fabric: a dishcloth, a napkin, an old (clean!) sweater, or fine cotton fabric.
Fabrics to Avoid
- Cheesecloth: The mesh is too large and fruit flies can get into your jar.
- Coffee filters: They do not provide good ventilation.
What Type of Bottle Should I Use for My Kombucha?
A suitable bottle for bottling kombucha must be airtight and pressure resistant.
The bottle needs to be airtight to trap the bubbles and create fizz. And it needs to be strong, so it doesn’t crack under pressure.
The best bottles:
Bottles to avoid:
- Decorative bottles (not pressure resistant)
- Mason jars (not pressure resistant)
- Old kombucha bottles with broken seals (less airtight)
Useful if you use loose tea. Choose one with a fine mesh to limit tea debris in your kombucha.
You can also use a small cotton bag, a sieve, or compostable tea bags.
To find out which tea to choose, see our article on the best teas for kombucha.
Sieve or Filter
A fine mesh sieve is useful for filtering kombucha before drinking it to avoid ending up with little kombucha scobys in your glass.
The sieve can be made of metal or nylon. You can also use a coffee filter or a nylon bag.
Allows you to pour the kombucha into the bottles without spilling it everywhere.
Funnels with built-in filters are also available. Choose a metal or plastic funnel.
Kombucha ferments at room temperature. Fermentation between 18 and 30°C (64 to 86°F) is recommended.
A stick-on thermometer can be placed directly on the jar, so you can see the fermentation temperature at a glance.
In winter, a heating mat can be used to warm up cold kombucha. A seedling mat or heat belt can also be used.
A refractometer is a tool used to determine the residual sugar level in kombucha. People with diabetes, or on a low-sugar diet (ketogenic, low-carb, etc.) will find the refractometer very useful!
Learn how to use it in How to measure sugar in my kombucha.
PH Paper or PH Meter
What protects kombucha from pathogenic microbes is its natural acidity. During fermentation, the kombucha’s pH quickly drops below 4.5, the minimum required to be safe. It often stabilizes between 3.5 and 2.5.
The approximate pH of kombucha can be calculated with pH paper or a pH meter.
The bottles used to bottle kombucha have narrow necks and can be difficult to clean without the right tools.
To easily clean your kombucha bottles, we recommend using brewer’s soap (PBW). This soap is great for cleaning dried out pieces of scoby or kombucha leftovers from the bottles. Moreover, it works by simply soaking and rinsing.
You can also use dish soap, a flexible bottle brush and a little bit of determination!
Cover photo credit: Mathieu Dupuis