What size vessel for continuous brew?

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johnny42

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I've been doing batch bottling for several years and am considering going the continuous brew method. I drink one bottle per day (12oz). I've searched on-line but can't find a recommendation. Here's my question...

What size vessel should I get? I don't want it to be too big that I can't keep up with consumption nor do I want it too small so that I can't consume what I want.

I simply can't calculate what size vessel I need but it's probably going to be 2 gallon or 3 gallon.

Feel free to expand on your answer.
 

hottpeper13

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I have a 2.5 gal crock with a spigot that is made for dispensing water from a 5 gal plastic bottle. I make 2 gal or so batches and it ferments for about 14-21 days depending on the temp. I get between 12 and 14 flip top bottles per batch.
 
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johnny42

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I'm actually looking for the logistics on how to change over to Continuous Brewing of kombucha. (I posted in the kombucha forum). Hottpeper gave a clue.

I think I understand ..... make a 2 gallon (or so) batch and when it's ready to bottle, fill up 12 or so 16 oz bottles (I erroneously said I drink 12 oz per day. It's actually 16 oz - one bottle) leaving about a gallon of kombucha left in the vessel. Add more sweet tea to the 2 gallon mark and let ferment till ready. Meanwhile, I can drink the bottled kombucha.

I was sort of thinking when the 2 gallon batch was ready to drink, I could just dispense 16 oz each day for several days (let's say 4 days) and then add 1/2 gallon of sweet tea back to the vessel and continue like that.

Would the kombucha in the vessel be ready to drink the next day if I added 1/2 gallon of sweet tea the day before, or do you generally have to let the batch ferment for a while after adding new sweet tea? There would be 1/2 gallon of new sweet tea mixed with the remaining 1-1/2 gallons of ready to drink kombucha.

Is there a method where you could dispense each day or do you have to bottle it?
 

ba-brewer

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Opps, my apologies, I did not see this was in the kombucha area.

I only did a few batches of kombucha a few years back so really cant help much, but bottling adds flexibility and time for the culture to work. Have you thought about having two smaller batches going, drink one and let the other work. Gives you a backup too in case one goes bad.
 
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johnny42

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No worries.

I actually have two, 1/2 gallon batches going but want to try continuous brewing.
 

IslandLizard

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Key is, how long does it take for the replacement pint to ferment out completely?
If it's 1 day, your batch will be ready for another pint draw/replace the next day. You basically can keep doing that indefinitely.

But it takes longer than 1 day (it takes 5-7 days), so the batch will get sweeter every day until it's nearly 100% sweet or a balance is reached between (added) sweet tea and fermented (soured) tea.

When you have a much larger base volume, the 1 pint draw/replacement may become almost unnoticeable. But because it takes 5-7 days to complete each new addition, it will still become sweeter with time, unless you give it a 3-5 day rest periodically for it to catch up.
 
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johnny42

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Thanks folks. With the feedback and link, I think I'm ready to go.

With what I've learned here, I think daily dispensing might not work. I can always give it a try once I'm comfortable with CB. The worst thing is, the bucha might not taste that good immediately after the replenishment and I'd have to wait those those "catch up" days. Plus.......no second ferment with flavoring (which I just now realized!!!)

Thanks again to all!!
 
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