So, the things you’ll need to make kombucha are a bit too unsophisticated to be called equipment, but because starting to make kombucha is a bit of an undertaking, I’ll list all the “stuff” you’ll need to begin brewing your very own probiotic drink!
First off, a couple of things to keep in mind. Kombucha is acidic, and it can suck nasty stuff out of a plastic container, or one that contains aluminum or lead. So it’s best to stick with glass for the finished kombucha, and stainless steel for boiling the tea. Also, kombucha doesn’t like soap, so you can’t wash anything that will hold finished kombucha with soap or in the dishwasher. Instead, it is very important to sterilize everything with boiling water.
To make kombucha, you’ll need several basic household items. First, a large (at least 5 L capacity) stainless steel pot with a lid. This is for boiling the tea. Second, you’ll need a large glass container (no lid necessary) to brew the kombucha in. Mine are two-gallon size, with a narrow rim on top. I think they were originally intended to be some sort of glorified candy jar. I think I put them to much better use. Make sure the glass is fairly thick, because you’ll want something sturdy and well-made.
You’ll also need something to cover the tops of the crocks to keep dust and bugs and other intruders out. It’s important that the cover you use allows the scobys to breath. If it’s cloth, it must be 100% cotton. I like to use bandanas– they’re the perfect size and material, and tightly knit enough to keep dust out. I highly recommend them. Make sure you have some big rubber bands to keep the bandana on, like the pink ones in the photo above. I always use two rubber bands, just in case one of them breaks.
The last things you’ll need are lots of glass jars or bottles to hold the finished kombucha. They need to have tight-fitting lids, but other than that, they can be any shape or size. Mason jars work well (I like the 1/2 gallon size), as long as they haven’t been previously washed with soap. You can also re-use commercial kombucha bottles, but even thoroughly sterilized food jars (think spaghetti sauce) will do in a pinch. Just remember: NO SOAP!!! (You can use vinegar with boiling water to make sure everything is squeaky clean.) You’ll also need a couple of sturdy wooden spoons.
And that’s about it! Let me know if this post was helpful, and I’ll write more about kombucha (including- eventually!- a recipe) in future posts.