Batch method v Continuous method
While making Kombucha is quick easy and very adaptable, those new to home brewering can have questions about the two different methods, Kombucha Continuous Brew vs Batch Brew so below we have complied a brief breakdown of the two different methods.
Ultimately please always remember so long as you are enjoying the flavour and the process, there is no wrong way to make Kombucha.What works for you is best.
So what is Batch method kombucha brewing?
- Batch Brewing involves removing everything when your brew is ready and starting the brew over each time, using a small amount of starter liquid and SCOBY from the previous Batch. This is the traditional method of kombucha making. It is simple cheap and easy to learn and doesn't require any specialist equipment.
- Advantages: Good for those who want only a glass or two a day or for those who like to change the type of tea they use regularly.
- Disadvantages: Weekly maintenance and if you want to produce large volumes it can take up a lot of space as you will need a few jars.
What is Continuous method kombucha?
- Continuous Brewing involves using a larger vessel with a tap for draining Kombucha when ready, then adding sweet tea to the top, without removing the SCOBY or starter liquid. You never actually ever empty your container you simply top up and draw off regularly.
- Advantages: Makes lots of Kombucha with less work
- Disadvantages : whilst its not exactly specialist equipment you will need a jar with a good quality tap brew safe tap on it to use.
Is one safer than the other?
Continuous brewing is generally considered to be a slightly "safer" method as the scoby is not regularly handled and this cuts down on any risk of contamination. It has to be said however that food fermentation (which includes kombucha) is classed as low risk from a food safety point of view if you have sourced your cultures from a reputable supplier (like us!) and follow good food hygiene then food safety is not generally an issue anyway.
Is one harder to do than the other?
Whilst batch brewing is the easiest and simplest method to learn, Continuous brewing is also not complicated. The continuous method takes a little longer to set up and learn but once it is up and running it is very quick and simple. Technically the continuous method is slightly harder but there is not much in it really.
Is one method quicker than the other?
All brewing methods are determined by the size and quality of the starter tea and the environmental temperature however you can make larger volumes of Kombucha faster with the continuous method, with a 5L container once it is fully established and at a good ambient temperature you would likley get around about 2-3L of kombucha every 3-5 days. Most batch method brews take around 7-10 days (depending on the temperature) so continuous is generally a little bit faster.
Is the kombucha the same?
There is very very little difference taste wise, continuous brewed kombucha can be slightly less fizzy than batch and it can sometimes have a bit more of a twang. You can also blend and mix different tea's in a continuous brew which can give you some really interesting tastes but really taste wise there is not a great deal of difference and from a probiotic point of view they are the same.