Ultimate Guide to the Best Vessels For Making Kombucha At Home

Ultimate Guide to choosing a vessel for brewing your kombuchaIf you want to make your own kombucha at home, the most essential piece of equipment is a kombucha brewing vessel. Read this handy guide to choose between the different kombucha brewing options, and find the best choice for you.

Lots of people are brewing their own kombucha today. It’s easy to get set up, and DIY-ing it will save you a lot of cash, compared to buying fancy kombucha from the fridge at the organic store!


The reasons to brew your own kombucha are simple. Kombucha is an antioxidant and probiotic, so you can reap the health benefits while drinking a delicious effervescent soda.

The best brewing vessel for kombucha will be different for different people, depending on a number of factors. But there is a perfect kombucha brewing container for everyone!

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Choose the perfect kombucha vessel. Whether you are into batch brewing or love the idea of continuous brew, find the perfect vessel for you.

Compare the Best-Selling Vessels for Making Kombucha

Use the comparison chart below to compare the best vessels for making kombucha, and to see how the pricing for the different options compare. By reading this information and comparing brewing vessels you can get the perfect kombucha fermentation vessel for you.

(If you’re on a mobile device, tip it sideways to see the table more clearly)

NameImageCapacityMaterialTapPriceMy Rating /5
1 Gallon Glass Jar1 Gal
3.7 L
GlassNone4
Humble House Crock1.3 Gal
5 L
CeramicS.Steel5
GetKombucha Crock2.5 Gal
9.5 L
CeramicPlastic4
Mortier Pilon1.3 Gal
5 L
GlassPlastic3
EverBru2.4 Gal
9 L
S.SteelPlastic4.5
2 Gallon tap jar2 Gal
7.5 L
GlassPlastic4
1 Gallon tap jar1 Gal
3.7 L
GlassPlastic4
KKamp S.Steel2 Gal
7.5 L
S.SteelPlastic
/S.Steel
4.5
KKamp Stoneware Crock2.5 Gal
9 L
StonewareWood
/S.Steel
5
KegCo Carboy7 Gal
26.5 L
Glassnone4.5

If you’re just getting started with kombucha, check out my book Simply Kombucha for all the details to get you started.

Continuous Brew Kombucha Vessels vs Batch Brew Kombucha Vessels

Continuous Kombucha Vessels

One of the most common brewing vessels that you will see online when investigating making your own kombucha is a big glass container with a spigot. These are popular for a number of reasons.

They are usually bigger than the jars used for batch brewing, so you can make a bigger volume of kombucha at any one time.

They are fairly predictably (and inexpensively) available during the summer season, as a lot of stores sell big glass jars with a tap for party drink dispensers. You can also find some high quality continuous brew crocks, purposely made for kombucha.

People really enjoy the idea of having kombucha ‘on tap’ in their own kitchen!

Batch Brew Vessels

Despite the continuous brew vessels being the one seen most often in Pinterest shots about kombucha, most people I know in real life who brew their own kombucha do so using the batch brew method.

Batch brewing can use a vessel of any size, although usually of 3 Litres (3 quarts) or larger.

Many people begin with batch brewing in a container that they already have at home – such as a covered glass casserole, before moving on to more specialized brew containers as they get more comfortable with the process.

The Sauerkrock – a great little continuous brew jar. Click image to see customer reviews and pricing. 

Which Kombucha Brewing Method Should I Choose?

Batch or continuous are both great for brewing your own kombucha. Which one you eventually choose will mostly depend on the size of your containers and how much kombucha you drink.

Some people find that batch brewing makes too much kombucha for them. One benefit of batch brewing is that you can set it going, and then bottle the whole brew at once when the flavor is just the way you like it.

The main disadvantage of batch brewing is the flip-side of the same coin. You need to bottle the whole brew all at once. A gallon of kombucha to drink up can be quite intimidating!

To solve this, you can switch to smaller vessels to do your batch brew, or have a go at continuous brewing, where you only bottle what you plan to consume.

On the other hand, some people find that continuous brewing can result in a brew that is either too tart for their liking OR too sweet for their liking. The first problem happens when the scoby is left in for so long that it can get very large and efficient and they drink it quite slowly.

The opposite problem happens when they drink it too quickly for the scoby to get a decent chance to ferment the brew, and because it keeps getting topped up it can be hard to judge how long the brew has been fermenting. This can be a particular problem if there are multiple people in a household helping themselves to the kombucha.

This is a 7 Gallon monster-sized batch brew container. Click the image for customer reviews and pricing. 

Another minor problem that people can come across with continuous brew is that the tap can get clogged up with yeast strands. This requires the vessel to be drained and the tap thoroughly cleaned.

The only way to really find out is to give them both a try and see what works. The best brewing container is one that meets your needs.

The best brewing container is the one that meets your needs.

If you really can’t decide which way to start, go with batch brewing. The variety of containers used for this are more versatile if you decide that kombucha isn’t really for you after all.

Ultimate Guide to kombucha brewing vessels

How to Choose the Best Container for Kombucha

There are a few key things to focus on when evaluating the different containers. These are the main points of difference between the kombucha brewing equipment options, and will help you narrow down your focus to choose the right one for you.

Of course, there are other things to consider, but if you can clarify these points you will be well on your way to making the right choice for kombucha at home.

Volume Capacity

My standard recipe for kombucha gives the recipe for a 10 cup/3 litre/3 quart volume. This is about the right amount for me – although I often increase it to a full gallon since I now use one gallon glass jars. Either way, you’re talking a much larger container than your standard glass preserving jar – most of which are 1 quart/1 litre.

For your first batch of kombucha, go ahead and use whatever big jar you have on hand, but you’ll probably find that the standard quart-sized Mason jar just doesn’t produce enough kombucha to make the effort worthwhile. You’d be better off looking around your home for other suitable vessels like glass casserole dishes, or even brew-safe plastic buckets, like are used in beer brewing.

For this reason I haven’t ranked any kombucha brewing vessels that are smaller than a gallon.

2.5 Gallon bench-top kombucha brewer in stainless steel. Click the image for customer reviews and pricing. 

Opening Size at Neck

No matter the volume of your kombucha urn, make sure that the opening at the top is not too narrow.

There are two reasons for this.

In the first place, you will need to get the scoby in and out. Either regularly, in the case of batch brewing, or every so often to clean and re-set the brew in the case of continuous brewing.

No matter how often it happens, that scoby is going to need to come out of that jar.

So, no matter how lovely and perfect that wine-making demijohn looks, do not use it! The narrow spout at the top is a deal-breaker.

The other reason is that kombucha is an aerobic brew. It seems to really do best in a container with a decent surface area exposed to the air.

For both these reasons, make sure your vessel has a wide-mouthed opening at the top.

Plastic vs Glass vs Stainless steel

Another important factor to consider is the material that your vessel is made from. There are pros and cons for each.

Glass

Pros: Easily available. Easy to sterilize. No leaching. You can see what is happening inside the brew very easily. Available in a very wide range of shapes and sizes.

Cons: Breaks easily. When buying a jar, look carefully at how thick the glass is, especially around the base and the top. Some large glass jars available are produced to be more ornamental than practical. Remember that a full jar can be very heavy, and pouring and lifting it can place a strain on the jar.

Glass is a great option for a brew vessel. Click image for customer reviews and pricing. 

Stainless Steel

Pros: Easy to sterilize. No leaching (if it’s the high quality fermentation-grade stainless steel). No breaking. This is the way to go if you’re brewing large volumes of kombucha and are getting serious with it.

Cons: Leaching and corrosion possible if it’s a poor grade of stainless steel. Don’t just use any old saucepan you find lying around. Only use stainless steel of grade 304 or higher. If the vessel or your scoby starts to go black, then stop using it!

Plastic

Pros: Easily available in a variety of sizes. Durable (but read the cons).

Cons: Some people are suspicious of plastic leaching in their food (and I am one of them). I would only use plastic as a short-term last-resort for a brew vessel. If you do want to use plastic, make sure it is highly rated as food-grade, and that it has NO SCRATCHES inside it. Plastic is hard to sterilize well at the best of times, and scratches make it even more so.

Ceramic

Pros: Look amazing. Easy to sterilize.

Cons: Only use ceramics that are certified as heavy metal free. Most culinary ceramic dishes use glazes that have heavy metals in them that leach out into the brew in the high acid environment of kombucha. There are a few ceramic fermenting crocks around that are specifically made for fermenting, and are safe to use. Ceramics have the same breakability problems as glass. Don’t use if they have a chip in the glaze.

I have only rated vessels that are glass, or fermentation-grade stainless steel or ceramic.

Tap Quality (also known as a spigot)

Kombucha continuous brew vessels will all have some sort of tap or spigot on them. These taps can be of varying quality.

If you are buying a purpose-made kombucha brewing vessel, the supplied tap is likely of high quality and you won’t have to change a thing.

However if you’ve bought one of those inexpensive glass drink dispensers, the tap might need some attention.

Most of those little taps are plastic, with a thin metallic pain covering them. These are usually fine.

There’s only a small amount of plastic in contact with the kombucha so any plastic leachate (if any) will be minimal. The metal paint doesn’t contact the kombucha and usually flakes off quite quickly anyway so ceases to be a problem. These plastic taps are also very easy to dismantle for cleaning.

On the other hand, the cheap plastic taps might not be very durable, and if one springs a leak then you have a multi-gallon kombucha problem on your hands!

The better solution is to upgrade the cheap plastic tap for a stainless steel brewing-grade tap. These can be sourced from your local beer supplies store. Just make sure the diameter of the tap is right for your jar.

Good quality taps can be bought separately. Click image for current pricing. 

If your brewing vessel comes with a cheap metal tap, discard the tap immediately and replace with a plastic or high quality stainless steel one, as your budget allows. Cheap metal and kombucha don’t mix well at all.

Kombucha Kamp sell great brew-safe taps in both high quality plastic and stainless steel. Check them out here

How Serious Are You?

This is really a question about style and intent.

Some people jump into their hobbies boots and all. If there’s a piece of cutting edge technology available, then they have to have it – in their wish list, at least!

Are you someone who takes their hobbies seriously and likes to have all the gear?

Or maybe you like to surround yourself with beautiful things, and you love it when things are both practical and a work of art.

If that is you, then you’ll be looking at some serious equipment.

Whether its a 7 gallon glass carboy to make enough kombucha for your whole neighborhood, a stainless steel kombucha brewer with its own heat-pad, or a hand-crafted made-to-order ceramic fermenting crock, the right brew jar is waiting for you.

11 Top-Selling Kombucha Brewing Jar Reviews

1-Gallon Glass Fermentation Jar

This 1 gallon glass jar  is the every day work-horse of kombucha batch-brewing. This brewing jar is similar to the ones that I use myself, although even better because the opening at the top is bigger. It is easy to source and inexpensive to replace. If batch brewing suits you, there is no need to look for anything else. You can even buy them in sets of four to get yourself up and running at higher volumes (check these out!). Just remember to take the lid off and cover the brew with a cloth of some sort so the fermentation is aerobic.

I give gallon sized glass jars a solid 4 stars out of a possible 5.

Click through here to read customer reviews and check current pricing.

Humble House Sauerkrock

The Humble House Sauerkrock is a USA-made, 5 liter (1.3 Gallon), ceramic fermenting crock. It sports a high-quality stainless steel spigot, so you don’t need to go sourcing one separately. They’ve even designed the top rim so that you can easily secure a cloth to the top without it sliding off.

The glaze is both lead-free and cadmium-free, and the ceramic is solid and durable.

Five stars.

Click here to read customer reviews and check current pricing.

GetKombucha Brew Jar and Stand

This ceramic continuous brew container is larger than the Humble House model, coming in at 2.5 Gallons (9.5 liters). Certified as lead-free it’s a good choice if you really want ceramic and need something a bit larger.

Counting against this kombucha brewer is that the tap is made of plastic, and the wooden stand isn’t of the best quality. The reviews that you can read if you click through to the product page mention the stand being a bit wobbly, and one person said that screws were missing. I suspect their quality control could be improved.

For me, the plastic tap and the fairly average stand mean it’s a roughly equivalent choice to a large glass drinks dispenser.

The one advantage of ceramic over glass is that it keeps your brew in the dark, so you can keep it out on a brightly lit countertop without exposing your kombucha to too much light, so this could be the better choice for your set up.

4 stars

Click here to read customer reviews and check current pricing.

Mortier Pilon Kombucha Continuous Brew Jar

This is a 5 litre (1.3 Gallon) glass kombucha fermenter with an inbuilt tap. At first glance it looks perfect. It has sleek Jetsons-style looks, a small footprint, and a purpose-made fabric cover in the lid.

But this glass kombucha dispenser doesn’t really hold up to closer inspection. The fabric in the lid is not sufficiently breathable. The tap is prone to leaking, and I’m not sure how you would dismantle it to clean properly. Some users even report leaking through the seal between the glass and the base. Other users report good experiences, so it may just be the luck of the draw. Caveat emptor.

3 stars

Click here to read customer reviews and check current pricing.

Everbru Stainless Steel Carafe Continuous Fermenter

At 2.4 Gallons (9 Liters), this is a good large-sized family brew vessel. The stainless steel is high quality so won’t corrode with the acidity of kombucha. The tap is plastic, but it’s a solid well-made plastic tap which is BPA-free.

This is an excellent durable option for people who are looking for a continuous brew vessel that will last them for years.

Four and a half stars.

Click here to read customer reviews and check current pricing.

2 Gallon Glass Mason Jar Drink Dispenser

A popular option, these large glass bottles with spigots are easy to find in the summer. Its worth buying a good quality stainless steel tap (like this one) to replace the cheap plastic one it comes with – just check that the replacement tap is the right size for whichever drink dispenser you get. I know it looks like it’s a metal spigot, but it’s plastic covered with silver paint.

These are perfect for people who want to try continuous brewing, but aren’t sure they’re ready to commit to a ceramic or stainless steel option.

Four stars

Click here to read customer reviews and check current pricing.

1 Gallon Glass Mason Jar Drink Dispenser

This is the 1 Gallon version of the previous review. Again, a perfect first vessel for continuous brew kombucha.

Four stars

Click here to read customer reviews and check current pricing.

Kombucha Kamp Stainless Steel Continuous Brewer

Kombucha Kamp Stainless Steel crock with plastic or stainless spigotKombucha Kamp is a familiar name to many kombucha brewers. They are a trusted source of scobys and other kombucha supplies, and Hannah Crum has been a kombucha authority online since 2004. This 2 Gallon stainless steel fermenting crock is of high grade stainless steel, and comes with an optional heating coil to help regulate temperature in the winter months. You can choose to upgrade the plastic tap for a stainless steel one, and pick up a healthy scoby and a gourmet tea mix while you’re at it.

Stainless steel has durability on its side. On the other hand, it tends to transmit heat fluctuations quickly so if you have a highly variable inside temperature in your house, ceramic or glass would be a better bet (or get that heating mat, of course).

Four and a half stars.

Click here to read customer reviews and check current pricing.

Kombucha Kamp USA Handmade Stoneware Crock

This handmade stoneware crock is 2.5 Gallons, and made from lead-free glaze. This is super cool. You get to choose the color of your crock when you order, and can even elect to have it engraved. The standard model comes with a natural wooden spigot, which you can upgrade to stainless when you order.

If anything could convince me to switch from batch brewing to continuous, this amazing set up would be it.

Five stars.

Click here to read customer reviews and check current pricing.

7 Gallon Wide-Mouthed Glass Carboy

And now you’re in serious territory. This 7 Gallon monster is a batch fermenter as there is no tap in it. Using a short segment of hose to siphon the kombucha out would be the way to approach this one, rather than attempting to pour with it!

This is the largest kombucha brewer that I’ve seen for the home kombucha brewer. There are plenty of large stainless steel brewers aimed at the craft beer brewer, but I found it hard to verify what grade stainless steel they were made of. Beer is not as acidic as kombucha, so corrosion isn’t such an issue for beer brewers. For kombucha you would need to find a stainless steel carboy of grade 304 or higher. For me, the glass is a safer bet.

Four and a half stars.

Click here to read customer reviews and check current pricing.

Best brew vessels for kombucha. Get teh low down on all the models available in the market and whether they will suit you and your lifestyle.

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Author: stacey

Stacey lives and works in the South Island of New Zealand with her husband, their 4 children, 4 hens, and a rabbit that they secretly think must have watched Monty Python's Holy Grail movie.