How to Bottle Kombucha

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Bottles natural Kombucha

If you haven’t heard of or tasted kombucha at this point, you must be living under a rock! Known commercially as a tart effervescent fermented tea beverage. Kombucha is created by fermenting sweet tea with a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (also known as SCOBY). The living bacteria in the SCOBY have probiotic properties, one of the reasons for the skyrocketing popularity of the drink over the last few years. Once the SCOBY has finished fermenting the real fun begins with bottling your finished product. There are different options for bottling kombucha. You can either go ahead with a secondary fermentation or simply bottle the kombucha once the taste is to your liking.

Preparing your Kombucha for Bottling

Now that fermentation is complete, it needs to be prepared for bottling. There are a few simple steps to follow and in less than a week you should have delicious carbonated kombucha.

Removing the SCOBY

Scoby Kombucha Tea

Before you begin, there a few things note:

  • Do not use any cheap metal utensils once fermentation is complete. It can react with the finished kombucha in a negative way. If you must, only use 304-grade stainless steel.
  • Before you remove the SCOBY you need to sanitize your hands without the use of household soap. Instead use white vinegar or a food-safe sanitizer, like Star-San.
  • Sanitize your bottles and SCOBY storage jar by running them in your dishwasher without detergent or submerge them in food-grade sanitizer.

Kombucha Tea

At this point, you should have a “mother” SCOBY and a smaller “baby” SCOBY. You will need to remove both before bottling. Reach into the container and remove the two SCOBY cultures with your sanitized hands. The mother and baby may be still be attached, feel free to separate them into separate containers or leave them attached. Put your SCOBY into your sanitized jar with enough kombucha from your current batch to make sure it’s fully submerged. You can also make another batch of tea and start the fermentation process over again in a new batch.

Sediment in Kombucha

After fermentation is complete you may notice some floating or stringy bits in your kombucha. This is normal and naturally occurring products of fermentation. Any remnants from the SCOBY are completely harmless. If you are looking for perfectly clear sediment-free kombucha, feel free to run it through a sieve to filter your product.

Choosing the Right Bottle

Fermented Tea in Glass Bottle

Having the right bottle for your kombucha is extremely important. After you bottle and seal you kombucha secondary fermentation occurs, which produces carbon dioxide (CO2) as a by-product. This creates the bubbly effervescent tea that you come to expect when drinking kombucha. If you do not select the proper type of bottle you risk the chance of your kombucha bottles exploding, which can be dangerous. We recommend that you use a glass bottle that is rated for carbonation since they are more resistant to pressure. These 32 oz swing top glass bottles are the perfect pairing for your newly created brew. The swing top also makes depressurizing the bottles much easier.

Bottling Your Kombucha

Now you're ready to learn how to bottle komucha. Remember, you must sanitize them before bottling. If you decide to flavor your kombucha, you can either enjoy it immediately or let it ferment longer through secondary fermentation, for a more complex taste in the final product. When adding flavorings to your kombucha, know that a little goes a long way. Depending on your batch size only a half or full teaspoon of a concentrated flavoring is all that is required. Once bottled, be sure to keep the kombucha out of sunlight to avoid off-flavors. Be sure to regularly depressurize your bottles to keep them from building up too much carbon dioxide and exploding. The secondary fermentation in the bottle will take 2 to 14 days. The longer you let it ferment, the less sweet it will become.

Homemade Kombucha

To summarize, learning how to bottle kombucha is a rewarding experience. If you choose the right bottles, sanitize properly, and add the right ratios of flavorings it will combine for a delicious glass of kombucha. Packaging Options Direct offers a wide variety of bottles that are perfect for your next batch of kombucha. If you have any questions about choosing the right packaging for your product don’t hesitate to contact us.


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