Which kombucha starter kits are best?
Over the last decade, kombucha has grown from a niche health product to a popular soft drink found in nearly every grocery store. Consumers are drawn to the fermented beverage for its many purported health benefits and unique taste, but buying the drink by the bottle can get expensive over time.
As a result, many kombucha fans are looking for ways to brew the effervescent beverage at home. DIY home brewing is a satisfying, affordable hobby, and with real kombucha starter kits like the Get Kombucha Home Brew Kit on the market, it’s easier than ever before.
What to know before you buy a kombucha starter kit
SCOBY stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast and is the ingredient responsible for giving your kombucha its tang and fizz. Globby and disc-shaped, the SCOBY is often included in starter kits and has a limited shelf life, so use it quickly.
Jars and bottles
Your starter kit will usually come with a vessel for brewing the kombucha. Ideally, the reusable container should be durable and made of clear glass so you can monitor the culture’s progress. Look for a jar that can hold 1-2 gallons of home brew (more size means more kombucha). Bottles will be used for storing your concoction after brewing, so look for ones that can be tightly sealed and easily reopened.
Other required components
- Starter tea: The starter tea is usually a small amount of kombucha taken from a previous batch. You can also use unfiltered, store-bought kombucha or vinegar in a pinch.
- Sugar and tea: Usually included in the starter kit, sugar and tea are fundamental to the brewing process. Sugar is what the SCOBY feeds on, so an organic kind is recommended for brewing high-quality kombucha. Regular, store-bought black tea is a suitable tea choice since it’s high in tannins.
- Testing: Most kits come with a temperature gauge and pH strips. These are used for monitoring your brew and determining when it’s ready to drink.
Kombucha brewing tips
Ideal brewing conditions
Kombucha should be brewed away from extreme temperatures and out of direct sunlight. The ideal conditions are between 68-78 degrees. The higher the brewing temperature, the faster the culturing will occur. Jostling the brewing jar can disrupt the brewing process, so be sure to leave the kombucha out of the way where it can’t be disturbed.
Flavoring the kombucha
Kombucha can be flavored with fruit juice, herbs or pretty much anything you’d like. All flavorings wear out the SCOBY, so use them sparingly if you want the mother to live a long life.
Additional tips and tricks
Even though the brewing process involves growing “good” bacteria, it’s best to avoid conditions that produce “bad” bacteria. Sterilize your brewing space thoroughly and throw out batches that bear mold of any kind. Be sure to read any instructions that accompany your starter kit. The internet is also a great source for DIY brewing information and additional tips.
How much you can expect to spend on a kombucha starter kit
Basic kombucha starter kits start at around $40-$50, while premium and organic kombucha starter kits can be as much as $200.
Kombucha starter kit FAQ
How long does kombucha take to brew?
A. Kombucha can be brewed in a week or in a month, depending on your personal preference. A longer brew time results in a more vinegary beverage, while a short brew produces a sweeter flavor.
What are the health benefits of kombucha?
A. Studies have shown that kombucha is loaded with antioxidants, gut-friendly probiotics and B vitamins. While some of these purported benefits have not been confirmed by the USDA, the beverage is at least considered to have many of the same benefits as black tea.
Can I reuse a SCOBY?
A. Yes. As long as you’re brewing in the proper conditions, a SCOBY can be reused as many times as the substance will allow (typically three or four brews). If the SCOBY becomes thin or dark-colored, it’s probably time for a replacement.
What’s the best kombucha starter kit to buy?
Top kombucha starter kit
What you need to know: This kombucha starter kit comes with a porcelain brewing jar, culture and everything needed to start brewing.
What you’ll love: The 2.5-gallon porcelain brewing vessel is aesthetically pleasing and enormous, big enough to fill 127 bottles of kombucha with a single batch.
What you should consider: The bottles included in the kit and the spigot attached to the jar are both made of plastic.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top kombucha starter kit for the money
What you need to know: This more affordable starter kit comes with everything you need if you’re new to brewing kombucha.
What you’ll love: This kit comes with organic ingredients and a money-back guarantee.
What you should consider: This introductory kit lacks a brewing jar.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Kombucha starter kit worth checking out
What you need to know: This all-in-one starter kit comes with glass swing-top bottles and USDA organic ingredients.
What you’ll love: This introductory kit comes with everything you need to start brewing, all built from high-quality, durable materials like stainless steel and thick glass. The included ingredients are also vegan, and the kit comes with bonus tools like funnels and brushes.
What you should consider: This organic kombucha starter kit only comes with enough ingredients for a single batch.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Patrick Farmer writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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