Tag Archives: bottles

  • Kombucha Brewing: Starting From a Commercial Bottle, pt. 1


    In making kombucha, starting from a commercial bottle of kombucha was not a bad idea 5 years ago but the industry has changed. The day of the small micro-kombucha brewery making unfiltered, raw kombucha is coming to an end.


    These days, many breweries are using additives and filtration processes to help control the fermentation process - a standard practice in the commercial brewing world for established industries like beer and wine. Sure, it can be a relatively inexpensive way to get going, but you may be propagating something you didn't intend. For this reason, it is best to start a batch of kombucha using a fresh, straight-from-the-fermenter SCOBY.


    Think about it like this. A town of 5,000 trying to build a new meeting hall will have a hard time not building more than a room with four walls.


    A town of 5,000,000 will be able to not just build a room with four walls but a whole structure full of rooms, passageways and fun things to do (definitely an amazing kitchen).


    The same can be said for a colony of kombucha microbes coming from a commercial bottle of kombucha (town of 5,000) and a fresh kombucha SCOBY and starter (town of 5,000,000). There is really no comparison. The fresh SCOBY will brew a potent delicious kombucha the first round, in the normal 10-14 days, where as the commercial brew starter may not even form a new SCOBY let alone ferment a perfect batch in 10 days.



    We get photos all the time of peoples brews that have molded after trying to start a batch with a bottle of the popular brands of kombucha.


    Don’t waste your time or ingredients trying to build a colony from a subpar SCOBY. Start with a lab-grown, fermenter-fresh SCOBY and get perfect brews right away. Because let's get real, who wants to wait more than 10 days for their ‘buch?


    Stay tuned for Starting from a Commercial Bottle, pt. 2!

  • Hops and Kombucha: Not Just for Beer Anymore


    Hops and kombucha, Kombucha Brooklyn


    We go on and on about flavoring kombucha, and have covered both pre- and post- fermentation flavoring. We've espoused a different approach than, generally, store-bought kombuchas have taken.


    But there's one avenue we haven't covered yet, and that's the use of the glorious herb that is hops in flavoring your kombucha. We've found that the combination of hops and kombucha makes an exceptional spicy, dry and floral kombucha whose thirst-quenching ability is second to none. For a couple of years we've gotten our hops from Wrobel Farms, in Bridgewater, NY and have been very pleased to use their whole cone and pellet cascade hops in our keg program's 'buch.


    Dry Hopping


    The approach we've taken with hops and kombucha is to "dry hop" it - that means that the hops are added to the kombucha after we've steeped the tea. Unlike our love for using herbs in the tea infusion, we've been leaving the hops out of this stage.


    Hops and kombucha, Kombucha Brooklyn


    Generally, in beer brewing, it's common to add hops during the boiling process to contribute a bitter aspect - this can be early on in the boil, or at the end of the boil, depending on the amount of bitterness desired in the final brew. This does reduce the amount of volatile hop oils in your brew, but the addition of hops after the boil has become commonplace as well, and it is this practice we label "dry hopping." The end result is that the hops contribute an intensely hoppy essence to your brew, with a deeply floral aspect that is incomparable to boiled hops, which will have lost much of the volatile oil originally present in the herb.


    On the whole, hop with low alpha-acid ratings are chosen for dry-hopping, since they will have less of a bittering effect on the brew, and will contribute more highly floral and aromatic notes.


    When we're dry-hopping our kombucha, we simply add the hops to a vessel containing kombucha for secondary fermentation. For a 32-oz growler, adding 3 grams of whole cone hops gives your brew a nice, strong flavor.


    Consider this approach: add 12 grams whole cone hops, per gallon, to kombucha that is finished with primary fermentation. Allow to sit in the refrigerator for at least a week. After a week, strain out the hops, distribute into bottles, and allow to undergo secondary fermentation.


    Remember, though that you should monitor your secondary fermentations with a plastic bottle so you can observe the carbonation taking place in all of your glass bottles. Read more on this simple process here.


    Hops and kombucha, Kombucha Brooklyn


    So - get some 'buch going, and spice it up with some hops!


    Hoppy brewing!


    *Click here to purchase these same hops from our website*


  • Auto-Siphon's Best Friend: The Auto-Siphon Clip


    You've got your best friend (the auto-siphon). You know how to take care of it. But really, the auto-siphon is a much needier friend than to rely simply on you. That's where the auto-siphon clip comes in.


    Auto-siphon clip Kombucha Brooklyn


    I thought I had single-handed siphon operation down, but when I discovered the clip I started to wonder what I was doing without it. Not only is it great for stabilizing the down tube, it makes it so I can make the siphon hover in the fermentation vessel just above sediment-level. That way I get less sediment in my bottles when I'm filling them, and I can be active with both hands just in case anything goes awry in bottling (when doesn't it...).


    Auto-siphon clip Kombucha Brooklyn


    After my contentment subsided in just using the clip, I realized another part of my routine that was about to receive an upgrade - drying my auto-siphon. Just laying it in the drying rack doesn't do much for it, you really need to hang it. So, I simply clipped it to my metro rack and voila! It's now an essential part of my 'buch brewing procedure.


    Auto-siphon clip Kombucha Brooklyn


    So if you're a regular 'buch brewer, and haven't discovered the wonders of the auto-siphon and its sidekick the auto-siphon clip, why not give them a try? You'll be glad you did.


  • Using an Auto Siphon: A Kombucha Brewer's Best Friend


    Auto siphon, Kombucha Brooklyn


    The auto siphon has become my favorite brewing implement for many reasons. It's saved my time and energy for years for the simple fact that it makes small batch brewing and farming SCOBYs faster and less laborious tasks.


    When transferring kombucha from brew vessel into bottle, I can think of no faster or cleaner method than using an auto siphon.


    Using an auto siphon, Kombucha Brooklyn


    Hydraulic little guy. Rinse and clean your auto siphon immediately to prevent any sticky, tenacious kombucha buildup in the tubes!


    You'll find many other uses for your auto siphon to seamlessly transfer liquids! So pick one up today and say goodbye to sloppy pours and time-wasting spills.

  • My First Brew - Lessons Learned by a Kombucha Brewer

    by Cody Cardarelli

    Hey folks!


    Last time we chatted, the police were chasing a suspect across my roof in Bushwick, and my first brew was being steeped. After waiting for my SCOBY to form, thicken and fully ferment, I can safely say that I had a brew's worth of probiotic… well, vinegar.



    This first-time kombucha brewer was devastated. I had just spent an hour trying to tip my jar into appropriate sized-funnels and spilling the lab experiment gone wrong all over the floor. And there I was, trying to convince myself and my girlfriend that the kombucha wasn't an unmitigated disaster, while my roommates gave the familiar and equally reassuring notion that it wasn't, "that bad." I followed our instructions to the letter, and I came into work asking the usual questions such as "Why hasn't my baby SCOBY started forming yet?" or "What's that strand hanging off of my baby?" How could I have gone wrong?



    The truth was, I was in the throes of what I like to call: New Brewer's Syndrome, or NBS. After spending so much time fretting about the specifics of my brew, I'd forgotten that SCOBYs themselves are weird, resilient, alien little things that only need time and a bit of attention.



    So the next time around, I knew the score. My big healthy vinegar SCOBY mocked and cackled, while I whipped up its sugar slurry of a dinner. I placed my antagonist in its jar of broken dreams and waited. This time, however, I avoided NBS and made a well-balanced brew. For all of my fretting from before, I wasn't paying attention to the taste during the fermentation process!



    After 4 days when I started noticing activity in my jar, I used a thief to monitor the taste of my brew. After 7 days, it was finally perfect and the road to victory was within reach. This time around, I also avoided the joke that was my previous bottling process and used an auto siphon. This simple instrument saved me a massive headache, and made my brew move like a dream.


    Thief and auto-siphon Thief, left; Auto-siphon, right.


    With pride I returned to the KBBK office with a growler of my homebrew. The  flavor was even, it wasn't too sweet, and it lacked the funk of some homebrew I've had in the past. This wasn't my first cup of 'buch by a longshot, but it was far and away the most satisfying. My sensei, Chris, nodded with acknowledgment.

    Probiotic Date Night Pt. 2


    When life hands you probiotic vinegar, you make probiotic vinegarade, or salad dressing! After failing to convert my brew with secondary fermentation containing primarily crystalized ginger, Emily and I used the final bottle of vinegar with a nice Spanish olive oil and some minced garlic in a salad. The vinegar has a nice bite-y tart, and at least we were able to reap the 'buch benefits from this wayward brew.


    Happy brewing!

  • Kombucha Brooklyn 12-oz. - Introduction


    5 new bottles
    Our 5 new bottles are USDA organic and Orthodox Union-certified kosher

    Let me introduce you to the new KBBK 12-oz. - the future of kombucha on the go. This line of bottles represents everything we have learned in the last 5 years of commercial brewing. They are the smoothest, most delicious bottles we have ever made, but are also the most potent. I’ve never experienced enjoyment from a bottle of kombucha along with an intense kombucha rush as much as I do with these. Finally, easy-drinking, potent ‘buch!


    Many kombucha drinkers believe that sour = power.


    This is not the case. In fact, it is at the core of why Kombucha Brooklyn was formed. We wanted to give people a bottle of kombucha that would provide all the health benefits loved by enthusiasts in a brew that was both easy and enjoyable to drink.


    Over the years, our bottles have varied in flavor - but our new production methods are yielding consistent kombucha every time. Think of it as the kombucha you can count on.


    Along with the improvements inside bottle, the look has also changed. You might think our bottles look more like a soda than a bottle of ‘buch. Well, you’re right! What better way is there to get the average soda drinker to pick up a bottle of ‘buch than to make it familiar to them?


    Regarding our new bottles, we welcome the feedback and the conversation. If you still can't find the kombucha you're looking for, I recommend getting our home brew kit. What a perfect way to get the ‘buch your palate desires!


    Bottom line, we want the world to be drinking kombucha. We believe that presenting it in an approachable way will accomplish this. Help us replace all of those sugary drinks out there by requesting our line at your local store, sharing a bottle with a friend, or simply sharing this post. Join Kombucha Brooklyn in the revolution for drinkable kombucha. Drink the revolution!
    To your health,



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