Kombucha brewing may seem like a complicated process, but it’s actually a very easy and enjoyable experience when you know the secret to make it work. What is that secret, you may ask? Using excellent quality materials!
Unlike other brewing processes such as beer or winemaking, creating kombucha doesn’t require a complicated setup. All you need is tea, sugar, and a couple of great containers. In this guide, we will talk about the best bottles you can use for your Kombucha. These bottles can last a lifetime, minimize accidents, and make sure you’re getting the highest quality batches possible.
Here are some quick links to our favorite kombucha bottles. Below you can read our reviews, as well as a little background information on the kombucha bottling process.
- Hemlock Home Brewing Swing Top Glass Bottles – Best bottle strength for carbonation
- Epica 18-Oz. Glass Beverage Bottles -Best wide-mouth bottles for second fermentation
- Otis Glass Water Bottles – Best travel bottles for kombucha
- 2-Pack 1 Gallon Glass Jar Kit – Best for first fermentation and SCOBY storage
- YEBODA 16 oz Amber Glass – Best for UV Protection
*If you’re in a hurry, I’d recommend the Hemlock Home Brewing Swing Top Glass Bottles as the best bottle set. These bottles are an excellent value and are perfect for someone looking for a strong bottle that won’t break or explode under the pressure of kombucha’s carbonation.
Best Bottle Strength for Carbonation
These bottles are great for a safe and secure bottling process. These six bottles include a silicone funnel and replacement high-pressure gaskets, which can extend the life of your bottles indefinitely. Each bottle is 16 oz and is the perfect size for traveling or drinking your kombucha straight from the container without needing to grab another glass.
They are clear, making them perfect for those who want to be able to watch the fermentation process as a part of determining whether or not the batch is ready. The glass is rated at a 58 for pso, which is twice as much pressure protection needed for carbonated beer. Investing in bottles that are specifically made for carbonated drinks is a great way to guarantee that you won’t have an explosion.
Customers state that these bottles are incredibly sturdy and can withstand a large amount of pressure, even if you leave your kombucha and allow it to carbonate days or even weeks longer than expected. Such a forgiving product is helpful for the long-term production of kombucha.
Best Wide-Mouth Bottles For Second Fermentation
The Epica 18-oz glass bottle comes with 6 durable, led-free units that are dishwasher friendly, temperature friendly, and can handle a good amount of pressure. This makes these bottles perfect for both the second fermentation stage as well as general storage.
Their wide-mouth design is perfect for adding fruit, tea, herbs, ice, or anything a bit large into your beverage. The stainless steel cap is air and water tight, which means you don’t have to worry about random explosions or spills in your bag or purse.
In order to prevent spills or leakage, each bottle cap comes with an “o-ring” that acts like a gasket that can block air and liquid. Some people don’t enjoy these lids for sipping several times throughout the day, and many consumers feel this bottle is best for drinking a beverage in one sitting to avoid the complexity of it’s lid.
Best Travel Bottles for Kombucha
These six clear glass bottles are great for storage of your kombucha, and are the most “ready to go” bottles available. They come with spare tops and 6 neoprene koozies that help to regulate the temperature as well as pad your drink when you’re on the go. The koozies also come in 6 different colors, if color-coding helps you to remember when or what you put into a specific Kombucha batch.
These containers are BPA and lead free, meaning that there won’t be any unwanted reactions with the acidity of the kombucha. They hold 18 oz of liquid each, are air tight, and leak-proof. Essentially, this is a bottle you won’t have to worry about!
Finally, we love these bottles because of their versatility. With a wide mouth opening, they are perfect for thicker drinks such as smoothies, protein shakes, or fruit infused beverages. They can also be used to store dry materials such as nuts, beans, teas, or coffee beans. Any homesteader knows how valuable it is to have multi-purpose tools in the kitchen.
It’s important to mention that these bottles are not pressure rated, meaning that they are not recommended for use during the second fermentation process. When you’ve completed the second fermentation, transfer them into these bottles and store them in the fridge to pause the rate of fermentation.
Best for first fermentation and SCOBY Storage
These large jars, or “bottles”, are perfect for brewing your kombucha. The kit comes with two jars, two 7” rubber bands, two airtight lids, and two sheets of breathable muslin cloth. You can also easily put your kombucha to “rest” with these jars. Simply screw on the included lid and place it in the refrigerator to pause.
These large jars are also great for the second fermentation process if you are working in bulk or simply don’t want the hassle of several smaller bottles around the house. Add juice, fruit, and any flavorings into the jar, and then pour your kombucha over and seal with the lid.
Customers also enjoy using these jars for other fermentation processes such as making sourdough starters, kim chi, sauerkraut, and more.
Best for UV Protection
These kombucha bottles are perfect if you’re looking to protect your beverage from the light. In general, it’s best to store your kombucha in a shaded place. Amber bottles help add additional protection by blocking UV rays and blue light from passing through. This light damage is called photo-oxidation and if strong enough, it may hurt or even “cook” the probiotics in your kombucha.
In addition to this special property, these flip-top brewing bottles offer the same strength and reliability as their clear-glassed counterparts. The silicone gasket ensures a perfect seal that will hold the carbonation in the bottle, and the glass itself is thick, sturdy, and suitable for the high pressure of kombucha.
They also come with six replaceable washers, the red rubber disk on the cap that helps it to maintain it’s tight seal, extending the life of these bottles indefinitely.
Best Bottles For Kombucha
Bottles are such an important part of the kombucha brewing process so it is essential to use the right ones if you want good results from your batch. There are four times when your Kombucha will be in a container: The first fermentation, the second fermentation, when they are bottled after fermenting, and when you will store or “rest” your kombucha SCOBY when you need a break.
Here is what to look for when selecting a good kombucha bottle:
Glass is by far the preferred material for kombucha bottling. It doesn’t contain toxic compounds such as BPA, lead, or other heavy metals. It is also scratch-resistant and does not interfere with the flavors of your kombucha. Since th3re is a lot of carbonation in the kombucha brewing process, it’s important to get a thick food grade glass that can handle high pressure.
It’s also better to use round bottles when storing or fermenting your kombucha. Although this seems like a small visual difference, round bottles are much more stable and strong, and are less likely to break or explode under pressure as square bottles would.
In addition to strong class, a strong and air-tight cap will help make sure your kombucha can carbonate properly without leaking out CO2 gas. Flip-top bottles are best for this because they have a rubber seal that creates a perfect tightness on the bottle. These caps can be a little more difficult to open than a twist-off cap, but this is how you know it is really on there and doing it’s job well!
The size of the bottles that you’ll use will depend on how much kombucha you’re producing, how many flavors you want to add to your batch, and which sizes are most convenient for you. If you are doing a second fermentation and want to try a different flavor for each, you may want 6 16-oz bottles so you can use a variety of fruits and juices for your flavoring. If you’re only interested in making one flavor of kombucha, using a liter-sized bottle may be a more simple path.
Having Kombucha bottles in a serving size is a nice way to have your kombucha ready to go. This way you can just grab a bottle from the fridge and take it with you, without having to portion it out.
What is the Second Fermentation Process?
A second fermentation is the process of adding flavoring to your kombucha, putting it in a sealed container, and waiting 2-7 days for the drink to carbonate. This is an optional step in the kombucha brewing process.
It allows you to customize the flavoring of your drink, control how sugary or “dry” the batch is, and give it the fizzy consistency we are used to in store-bought kombucha.
The sky is the limit when it comes to flavoring your kombucha! You can add juice, sugar water, fruits, herbs, and much more. This is a great area to experiment in because the unique flavors are what makes home-brewed Kombucha so special.
Step-By-Step Second Fermentation Process:
- Add your juice, fruit, or herbs to your bottle. I like to add 1 part flavoring to 9 parts of kombucha.
- Remove your Scoby and 2 cups of liquid from your first fermentation, and set them aside for your next batch.
- Stir the remaining kombucha to make sure all of its yeast and bacteria are evenly distributed through the liquid. This helps make sure the second fermentation happens evenly.
- Using a funnel, pour the kombucha into your bottles, and make sure to leave ½ to 1 inch of space at the top of the bottle.
- Seal the bottles tightly.
- Let them sit, preferably in a dark cupboard, for 2-3 days at room temperature.
- After the first few days put the bottles in the drive. Once they have cooled down, you can test them by unscrewing them and tasting them. If they are properly carbonated, go ahead and leave them in the fridge, they are ready! If they are too flat, return them to a room temperature area for a few more days.
Avoid These Mistakes
Don’t use mason jars for a second fermentation
Unfortunately, mason jars aren’t the best for getting a perfect airtight seal. They are also too wide to properly accumulate carbonation.
Don’t use beer bottles
Beer bottles will not be able to withstand the pressure of the carbonating kombucha. They will potentially explode after 1-2 days sitting out in room-temperature. They are best used for immediately bottling kombucha and storing it in the fridge, completely bypassing the second fermentation process.
Don’t use metal or plastic bottles
Metal bottles may react with the kombucha and leech toxic heavy metals into your beverage. Plastic bottles can also impart toxins or BPA into your kombucha. Steer clear of these materials when storing your Kombucha during any stage.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I clean My Kombucha Bottles?
It’s best to use simple soaps and hot water when cleaning your kombucha materials. We would rather sanitize our bottles with heat than use anti-microbial materials that may interfere with the probiotics in our drink. Using a bit of dish soap is okay as long as you rinse your bottles thoroughly afterwards. Another great way to clean your bottles is by washing them in the dishwasher (on a hot setting) without adding any soap. This will use water pressure and heat to perfectly clean your bottles.
Why isn’t my kombucha getting fizzy?
As mentioned above, if your kombucha isn’t carbonated after the first 2-3 days of the process, go ahead and leave it at room temperature so it can continue to develop more CO2. When you’re ready to test them again, place them in the fridge before you open them so they don’t foam everywhere when you open them.
Another consideration may be that your kombucha needs more sugar. The carbonation occurs when your kombucha eats sugar and releases gas, making it a very important ingredient for the second fermentation. Feel free to add a small amount of juice, sugar, or simple syrup to increase the pace of carbonation.
Do I need to burp my bottles?
It isn’t necessary to burp your bottles when making kombucha. If you make sure to use a bottle that can handle the pressure of the kombucha there is virtually no chance an explosion will happen.
Actually, burping kombucha bottles may harm your drink more than help it, releasing CO2 and undoing the work that your air-tight lid did to hold all of that carbonation in the container.
Getting the right bottle for your kombucha will solve 97% of your brewing problems. It really is that simple: use high-quality accurate materials when it comes to your kombucha containers and the beverage will literally do the rest of the work for you.
Then you can focus your time on trying different teas, flavorings, and levels of dryness, and creating your signature kombucha batch.