The Best (and Cheapest!) Kombucha Brewing Bottles


kombucha fermenting bottles

Good quality kombucha brewing bottles are one of the most important investments you can make when it comes to home-brewing kombucha. Without good ones, your brew can end up flat, contaminated, or even explode all over your kitchen walls. 


My Quick Pick

My favorite brewing bottles are this set of 6, 16oz high pressure bottles with ceramic lids and stainless steel closures. This is the set I own and I absolutely love them. 


A fun and unique thing about this set is that it comes with a dry erase marker. You can use this marker to write or draw whatever you want on the bottles and easily erase it after. I use it to write the flavor and the starting date of my second fermentation.


Let's get into more detail about what makes good brewing bottles and some different options that you have depending on your style of brewing.


What are Kombucha Brewing Bottles Used for?

Kombucha brewing bottles are used during the part of the brewing process known as 2nd fermentation.


During the 1st fermentation, sweet tea is fermented into kombucha, but it isn’t carbonated or flavored yet. In the 2nd fermentation, the kombucha is poured from its large container into the brewing bottles that are partially filled with some kind of flavoring. The flavoring can be things like fruit, juice, herbs or roots. 


Some of the flavors I like to use when home brewing kombucha are:

  • Cinnamon Pineapple

  • Mango Peach

  • Ginger Turmeric

  • Blueberry Vanilla

Once the brewing bottles are filled with flavoring and kombucha, they are closed air tight and left at room temperature to ferment for 3-4 days. 


During this time, the living bacteria culture in the kombucha eats the sugar in the flavoring and converts it into carbon dioxide. And because the bottles are sealed air tight, the carbon dioxide builds up pressure and eventually infuses into the kombucha, creating carbonation.


After 3-4 days have passed and the bottles have developed carbonation and flavoring, they placed into the fridge. The cold air in the fridge slows down the activity of the bacteria culture significantly, stopping fermentation and cooling the kombucha for drinking later.


Second fermentation is now done and we have ourselves flavored, carbonated, and tasty kombucha!


Why it’s Important to use Good Brewing Bottles

One of the best investments I made at the beginning of my kombucha home-brewing journey was buying a good set of brewing bottles. 


Having a set that worked well and that I could trust saved me from spending tons of time struggling to get enough carbonation in the kombucha, or cleaning up kombucha and glass because a pressurized bottle blew up. 


So what should you look for when buying a set of brewing bottles?


Carbonation

Good brewing bottles create the best carbonation possible because they are completely air tight. If the bottles you use for 2nd fermentation aren't airtight, some of the pressure created during the fermentation will leak out, leading to a lack of carbonation and a flat or only slightly carbonated booch.


If you’re struggling to develop good carbonation in your kombucha and are looking for simple tips to increase it, check out the article I wrote on the secrets of kombucha carbonation here.


Safety

Another quality of good brewing bottles is that they’re safe.


You don’t have to go far on the kombucha side of the internet to find stories of people brewing bottles exploding during 2nd fermentation. An explosion happens during 2nd fermentation when home-brewers use bottles that are not specifically made to handle the pressure created during the brewing of beer, kefir, or kombucha.


There are some bottles out there that look like kombucha brewing bottles, but are actually made for decoration. DO NOT USE DECORATIVE BOTTLES TO BREW KOMBUCHA. They are not made to hold the pressure that builds up during 2F, and will likely explode once enough pressure has built up, leading to a dangerous and sticky mess of glass and kombucha in your pantry or kitchen. 


When looking for brewing bottles, look for bottles specifically made for brewing things like beer, keifer, and kombucha. They should be rated to handle up to 58psi of pressure.


The last thing anyone wants is to have to waste good kombucha and have to clean glass and kombucha off their kitchen walls. So invest in good quality brewing bottles, they aren't expensive and will be more than worth it in the long run. 


Best Material for Kombucha Bottles

Usually, all the equipment used in brewing kombucha, including brewing bottles, is made of glass. 


Glass is used because it doesn’t have chemicals in it that negatively react with the bacteria culture. 


Materials such as plastic and metal have toxins and chemicals such as BPA that when put into an acidic environment, like that of kombucha, will rub off into the liquid and damage the bacteria culture. This is one of the reasons why we can’t just use plastic water bottles for 2nd fermentation.


Best Type of Kombucha Brewing Bottles

The best type of bottles to use for kombucha's 2nd fermentation are swing top bottles. 


Swing tops are the most common type of bottles used for fermenting beer and kombucha. They seal way better than classic twist bottle caps, and are made with heavy duty glass that can handle large amounts of pressure. 


They also have a small neck and opening, which is inconvenient for cleaning, but actually really good for handling the buildup of pressure. If the opening to the bottle was really wide, more pressure would be able to push on it, either releasing pressure and creating a flat booch, or causing a kombucha explosion.


Alternative Brewing Bottle Options

I think that a good set of swing top bottles is one of the best investments you can make when home brewing kombucha. They make it so much easier to get good carbonation and will save you from lots of headaches. 


But, if you’re tight on money or are looking to get started brewing with only what you already have at home, there are some alternative options.

Old Kombucha Bottles

If you're tight on money and have some empty kombucha bottles laying around, you can use those for 2nd fermentation. 


They won’t seal as tightly as swing tops and therefore probably won’t provide as much carbonation, especially if you're using a flavoring with little sugar, but they can get the job done for those on a budget


Old Wine Bottles

Another option is to use an old wine bottle for 2nd fermentation. Just add the appropriate amount of flavoring, fill it with kombucha, and pop a cork in it. 


The downside to using a wine bottle is that it is really big so you won’t be able to try as many different flavors at a time as you would with a larger number of smaller bottles. But it does make it easy to make a large quantity of one flavor.


Do Not Use Mason Jars for 2nd Fermentation

Old kombucha bottles and wine bottles can be used for 2nd fermentation, but DO NOT USE MASON JARS. Because mason jars don't have a neck, the large opening takes on a lot of pressure during fermentation.


And if enough concentrated pressure builds up in that area, the entire jar can explode. Most of the time that someone has glass explode during 2nd fermentation, it’s because they used a mason jar. 


There isn’t an explosion every time someone uses mason jars for 2nd fermentation. But almost every time there is an explosion during 2nd fermentation, it’s because someone used mason jars.


My Top 3 Favorite Kombucha Brewing Bottles


Best Swing Top Kombucha Brewing Bottles

The brewing bottles I use are a set of 6, 16oz high pressure bottles with ceramic lids and stainless steel closures. 


A fun and unique thing about this set is that it comes with a dry erase marker. You can use this marker to write or draw whatever you want on the bottles and easily erase it after. I use it to write the flavor and the starting date of my second fermentation.


These bottles have served me well over dozens of home-brews and will serve you well too. If you’re interested you can check them out on Amazon here.


Best Wide Mouth Twist Cap Brewing Bottles

I’ve never used wide mouth twist cap brewing bottles, but if I did, these would be the ones. The hardest thing with twist cap bottles is getting a good seal for carbonation. The caps of these bottles are made specifically to seal air tight, so you won’t have to worry about that.


The advantage to wide mouth twist cap brewing bottles is that you can drink straight out of them. Swing tops are kind of difficult to take places and drink out of so you usually have to pour them into a glass or another bottle. These wide mouth golden twist cap bottles are absolutely beautiful and would be great to bring places and drink from.


You can find and purchase this set of 12, 16oz wide mouth brewing bottles with gold lids, on Amazon here.


Best Large Swing Top Brewing Bottles 

If you’re looking for a bigger brewing bottle, this set of 4, 32oz swing tops is a great option. These are made of heavy duty glass and non toxic materials that will seal your kombucha airtight and create awesome carbonation.


And, if a bottle they send you is cracked or broken during shipping, you can request a new one.


The advantage to larger brewing bottles is that they are a lot more convenient if you know what flavors you want. With small brewing bottles, you can make a lot of different flavors, but you only get 16oz of kombucha per bottle. Making a lot of a flavor you love is much easier using a 32oz bottle than using multiple smaller bottles.


You can check out this set of 4, 32oz swing top brewing bottles on Amazon here.


Final Thoughts

If you’re going to home brew kombucha, I strongly recommend using a set of good quality swing top bottles. They are easy to use, will create great carbonation, and won’t explode. 


If you want to learn more about kombucha, how it relates to your health, and even how to brew it yourself, check out the rest of my website!



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