We are really excited to share some helpful hints to gather your kombucha brewing supplies in order to get you started brewing at home!
It’s crazy to me that making kombucha at home is a super hipster thing to do now. I love that there are small breweries opening all over the country and more and more labels are available in stores each time I go to Whole Foods and other natural markets. I’m so grateful that these products are available to purchase, but as always, it’s just cheaper to make it at home. If you are learning how to make kombucha for the first time, just give yourself all kinds of grace and don’t give up! It’s like having a wacky science fair experiment in your house and it might not be good the first few times you make it, but keep trying. The benefits and bubbly, refreshing taste will be worth it!
Where can you find bottles and jars for your kombucha brewing supplies?
The first thing you will need is a gallon glass jar. My family in Ohio has been a part of the Weston Price foundation since the early 2000’s. Back then, they all collected gallon sized pickle jars for brewing. There were some people that went out and bought the giant jars of pickles and dumped them in the fields. I do not recommend you do that. Go find a gas station, restaurant, concession stand, etc. and ask them to keep their jars for you. If your church or local organizations have soup kitchens, ask them to keep their jars.
You have to be bold and humble all in the same breath. Be willing to ask and you will be surprised how many people will be willing to respond. There is Power in Asking!
The same holds true for the bottles you will need for your kombucha.
The first bottles I used were Torani coffee syrup bottles. I got a bunch from a friend who worked at a local coffee shop and they gave them to me for free. These are great starter bottles until you master brewing kombucha.
You’ll find that as you make more and more, you might want to move to better quality bottles. We love using liquor bottles, which you can ask any bar or restaurant to keep for you. Absolute Vodka bottles work so well for kombucha! Just make sure that whatever bottle you are using can hold up under pressure. We also recommend using plastic lids rather than metal. I once had a house full of guests when one of the metal lids of my bottles exploded in the cabinet. It was when I was still a ‘closet’ kombucha maker. Because some people just don’t get it, and that’s OK! It’s not for everybody.
Anyway, make sure you have a good lid for your bottles. If you are asking someone at a bar or restaurant to keep some for you, make sure that you stress the importance of the lid to them. If there are no lids, the bottles are no good whatsoever.
(Check out Starla’s tips for How to Get What You Want or Need for Free)
When Your Lids are Out of Control, Look for Swing Top Bottles!
Once you have collected a ton of bottles, you end up having to keep up with a ton of lids. Eventually, you may end up squirreling them away in all the dark corners of your kitchen. This will work on your nerves, I will not lie to you. That’s when you can invest in some legit bottles with the swing top lids. These bottles have either ceramic or plastic stoppers with a rubber gasket that are attached to the bottle with a wire frame. These are so perfect because you don’t have to keep up with the lids!
The great thing is that you don’t have to spend a ton on these. There are several brands of French soda that are sold in these types of bottles. I have found them at TJ Maxx, Ross, and sometimes at Big Lots. The cheapest place I have ever found them was at Aldi. Last summer I hit the jack pot at the Aldi in Wapakoneta, Ohio when I found an entire case of them. I bought 2 cases of bubbly lemonade and had drinks to offer guests. Then I had the added benefit of reusing the bottles.
You can also use Grolsch beer bottles. My mom collected a whole box of these from a group of priests who get together every month to play poker and drink Grolsch beer. Perfect! =)
Recycle, Reduce, Re-Use!
I used to buy swing top bottles of Virgil’s Root Beer as a sweet treat and they come in really nice bottles as well. You can also reuse GT bottles or other store bought brands of kombucha. The only issue I have had with GT bottles is that it can turn into a genuine wrestling match to get those lids off when they are under pressure. You have to have a rubber gripper or super freakishly strong hands to deal with this. Otherwise they are great. You will have a lot of these on hand when you get going in the beginning, because you will need them for starter.
Purchasing Bottles from Brewing Supply Companies
Lastly, another obvious option is to buy bottles from a brewing company. I completed my (slightly obsessive) collection of kombucha brewing supplies when I found these on Amazon.
It worked out so beautifully because they are from a company in Ohio, so I was able to support a business in my home state. They are really beautiful, and I really do love the cobalt blue, but it can be a challenge to see where the level of your liquid is when you are filling them. I don’t recall having that trouble with amber glass, and obviously it won’t be an issue if you order the clear glass bottles.
Collecting kombucha brewing supplies for your at-home brewing purposes is another opportunity to think outside the box and practice frugality! Resources are available, you just have to embrace the thrill of the hunt!
Happy brewing and God bless! ~Shanna
Now That You Have Your Supplies, Check Out These Probiotic Drink Recipes!
FREE Probiotic Drinks Printable Ebook:
Looking to get more probiotics in your diet? Look no further than our Free 15 page Ebook of 3 delicious lacto-fermented drinks; pineapple tepache, water kefir soda, and ginger ale! Enjoy!