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Old 09-29-2013, 12:28 AM   #1
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Default Continuous brew output

Soon I'll be setting up a CB but I'm having a hard time deciding what size vessel to use. I need a volume that can produce at least (1) liter a day or (7) liters per week.
500ml/person/day

What are your suggestions?
I am debating on either a 10-liter or 20-liter oak barrel. Or is that too much?

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Old 09-30-2013, 04:33 AM   #2
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I would suggest a 5-gallon brew bucket with a spigot. Cheaper by far than an oak barrel and you can brew up as much as you like up to 5-6 gallons. Are you looking to get some oak character into your kombucha? First I've ever heard of doing that, but I suppose just using some oak adjunct cubes or chips would achieve the same effect. As for the amount you need, I'd say go with the aforementioned bucket, make 3 gallons a week in it, and use whatever's left over from bottling (I'm assuming you're bottling) for your starter solution and add more tea into it. You'll have enough for the week and by the time you're out you'll have more ready just in time. I wouldn't personally consume that much kombucha weekly, but if you can that rough schedule ought to work out.

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Old 09-30-2013, 12:51 PM   #3
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Hmm I can get a 20L barrel, but I'm probably going to get the 10L one, I think.
I was looking at everything I had going, and I think I would miss the batch labor.
It's become kind of a ritual.
Plus I'll still have experimental batches.
I'm not sure what I would do with all the extra if the CB covered our weekly consumption.

While I appreciate the suggestion, there's no way I would brew in a plastic bucket.
That would make for heck of a SCOBY though lol

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Old 10-02-2013, 02:30 AM   #4
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I've also seen pretty big glass containers with spigots, but the only reason I suggest something more inert than wood is that you're going to get a LOT of oak for a while, especially with a new barrel. I'm not sure how oak would be in kombucha, but if you can tolerate it more power to you. Food-grade plastic not your thing eh?

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Old 10-02-2013, 04:50 AM   #5
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+1 on using food grade plastic. Its cheap and works great. Besides people use food grade plastic to brew lambics and other sour beers all the time and sour beer can have the same low ph as kombucha.

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Old 10-02-2013, 06:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RachmaelBenApplebaum View Post
I've also seen pretty big glass containers with spigots, but the only reason I suggest something more inert than wood is that you're going to get a LOT of oak for a while, especially with a new barrel. I'm not sure how oak would be in kombucha, but if you can tolerate it more power to you. Food-grade plastic not your thing eh?
HOW oaky flavored, is the only thing that has stopped me from doing this already. I really like the idea of using something natural (oak) to perform a natural process. But they're kinda pricey

I have no problem with plastic itself, and it's nearly impossible to not use it daily.
But if I can reasonably avoid using it, I'm going to try to.
Kinda looking at trying my hand at mead. So may have to re-evaluate my stance on plastic. We'll see.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:40 PM   #7
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How about cedar? Or bamboo? Wouldn't those give a less woody character?

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Old 10-02-2013, 06:49 PM   #8
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How about cedar? Or bamboo? Wouldn't those give a less woody character?
I don't know, cedar is pretty pungent. Does bamboo smell like anything?
Does anyone make barrels out of these woods?
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Old 10-02-2013, 09:05 PM   #9
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Barrels come in various kinds of wood. Juniper, cedar, cherrywood etc. But those are mostly used in high-end balsamic production. Also they are very, very pricey. If you're looking for a natural material glass and ceramic are about as natural as they get while still being completely inert. I would suggest looking in to large jars or crocks, though the proper fermentation crocks can be on the pricey side as well. If you have access to a kiln you could just make one yourself, but that requires some training and is a different topic altogether. I know the next time I get around to it with pottery I'll be making myself a nice big fermantation crock for all my veggies. I've been making mead for quite a few years now and am a viticulture/enology student, so all the barrel stuff kinda goes with that. Dunno how much extraction you'd get from the oak, but I can say I wouldn't spend money on a barrel just to funk it up with kombu bacteria.

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Old 10-04-2013, 11:47 AM   #10
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Yea I most likely won't be learning to spin clay any time soon. lol

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