A few years ago, I switched my kombucha-making operation from a single batch brew to a continuous brew system. Single batch was fine, absolutely nothing wrong with it! But I immediately found that continuous brew worked better with my schedule, provided me with booch on demand, and produced kombucha with a flavor I preferred and more fizz. As an irrelevant and superficial but fun side note, my SCOBYs became flat, white and pristine, rather than browned, lumpy and laden with loads of slimy strands of excess yeast. You can find my process for continuous brew kombucha here.
I had wanted to try continuous brew for years before I actually did, but I was always concerned that I would have to lay down a lot of cash. As regular readers will know, in addition to being a wild and lazy fermenter, I’m also a cheap fermenter in a small, city house. I never want to buy equipment until I’m sure I’ll use it and I know I’m getting a good deal. I found a small, cheap container that worked really well, but after a while, I wanted to get a larger batch going.
Enter Fillmore Container. Lisa and Keith the kind and lovely owners of Fillmore, brought me to the Pennsylvania Farm Show earlier this year (it was a blast to hang out with them, btw), and the whole time I was at their booth, I was eyeing this 1 1/2 gallon beverage dispenser they had on display. It had a super wide mouth, which is wonderful for the air exposure that kombucha needs to thrive. It had a spigot at the very bottom (something I love in a continuous brew container, because you are drawing right from the bottom (below even a low-hanging SCOBY), and it makes draining the whole thing for (the infrequent) cleanings easier. The spigot is also plastic, which I like in a continuous brew container. If that freaks you out, you can always replace the spigot with one made of restaurant grade stainless steel.
What to look for in a continuous brew kombucha container
Readers in the Continental US have a chance to win the same vessel that I bought from Fillmore back in January (details below), but here are some things to look for in a Continuous Brew vessel if you aren’t the lucky winner:
- Large capacity – Minimum 1-gallon, and larger is better and wider is better than taller.
- Wide opening – Kombucha is an aerobic ferment, you want to make sure an allow as much air exposure as possible for the healthiest possible culture.
- Low spigot – Allows for easy pour off and draining for quarterly or bi-annual cleanings
- Glass or acid tolerant ceramic – I prefer glass because I like to see what’s going on in there, but there are some nice ceramic bev dispensers out there, too.
- Plastic or stainless steel spigot – If you get a plastic spigot, my preference is for one that is not coated, as the coating might be susceptible to chipping by acid. If you get a stainless spigot, look for one that is “acid resistant.” I used this spigot on another vessel and I was happy with it.
- Large spigot opening – Check the opening of the spigot. If you have multiple options, go for the widest one. little bits of SCOBY and excess yeast will always be present in kombucha and can sometimes get stuck in the spigot and clog it. If this happens, try poking at it with a chopstick to break it up or loosen it. If you have a broader opening on your spigot, this is less likely to ever happen.
I bought my kombucha dispenser from Fillmore Container, but they are providing the one for this giveaway for free to the winner. I was not compensated for this post, I just like this dispenser a lot and I think you will too!