Kombucha Tea Concentrate

Kombucha Tea Concentrate

These are my kombucha brewing vessels. Aren’t they amazing?! The first one is a toasted oak barrel made specifically for kombucha from Kombucha Kamp. The center handcrafted ceramic crock is also from Kombucha Kamp. The one on the end is a vinegar barrel I bought a few years ago which works great with kombucha. While both are great, I prefer the one from Kombucha Kamp because the opening on top is wider and the spout is located higher up which is more ideal for a continuous brewing system.

When I make kombucha, I go big. Really big. I have a family of 6 and everyone loves kombucha. Keeping up with 6 people drinking kombucha regularly can be a big task but with a big enough barrel and kombucha concentrate, it’s totally doable. So I make about 4 gallons of kombucha at a time in a 5 gallon oak barrel.

To make 4 gallons of kombucha, I need to brew 4 gallons of tea. I don’t have a pot large enough to do that, and making 4 separate brews just takes too much time and space. To save time and space, I brew this kombucha concentrate. 4 gallons worth of kombucha in 1 gallon.

Making the concentrate quickens up the tea making process as well. No need to wait for the tea to return to room temperature, just add cold water to the hot concentrate and use right away.

I use this tea concentrate to get my large system going and I also use it to whenever I need to add more tea to my system.  I usually harvest my kombucha once or twice a week (depending on when it tastes ready). Instead of brewing more tea every week, I just grab my concentrate and add water. It will last for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. To make it last longer, freeze the concentrate in smaller portion sizes. I freeze mine in 1 cup portions so I can make any amount, 1 quart and up.

Tea Concentrate Ingredients

  • 24- 32 tea bags or 1/2- 2/3 cup loose leaf tea*
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 3 quarts filtered water

In a large pot, heat water and sugar to a boil. Turn heat off and add tea. Let steep for about 15 minutes. Remove tea bags. Pour tea into a 1 gallon container. Top off with more filtered water, if needed, to make exactly 1 gallon. Use right away or store in the fridge until ready to use. Will keep for up to 2 weeks. Freeze in 1 cup portions to extend the life of the concentrate.

*I recommend using at least 25% black tea to maintain a healthy SCOBY. If using green or white tea in addition to black tea, place different teas in a separate tea balls. Steep the green or white tea for only 3-5 minutes to keep the tea from getting bitter. Let black tea steep for 10-15 minutes. Adding herbal tea, or different types of tea like rooibos is perfectly fine. Steep for as long as recommended.

How to Use Tea Concentrate

You can use the tea concentrate to make any amount of tea desired using a 1:3 ratio, 1 part kombucha concentrate, 3 parts water. Adding water to the concentrate while it is hot will bring it down to room temperature. Don’t add hot concentrate to the SCOBY without diluting it with cold water first.

1 Quart = 1 cup kombucha concentrate + 3 cups water.

1 Gallon = 1 quart kombucha concentrate + 3 quarts water.

4 Gallons = 1 gallon kombucha concentrate + 3 gallons water.

Recap on How to Add Tea to Your Continuous Brewing System

If you are unfamiliar with continuous brewing systems, see my post on them here: Kombucha Continuous Brew System

To use this tea in your continuous brewing system, be sure to add 2 cups of starter per 1 gallon of reconstituted tea. For a 5 gallon barrel like mine, I add 4 gallons of tea plus 2 quarts (8 cups) of already brewed kombucha.

If you don’t have brewed kombucha on hand, you can use apple cider vinegar in place of the starter tea as long as it is not raw (just boil your raw ACV for a minute to kill off ACV producing bacteria).

Place your kombucha mother on top. If it ends up sideways or at the bottom, don’t worry, it’ll still work. It usually rights itself after a few days. If you are in need of a kombucha mother, find a friend who brews. They usually have some extra SCOBY’s. If you don’t have a kombucha making friend, Kombucha Kamp sells top quality kombucha SCOBYs along with some great brewing systems. They’ve produced beautiful kombucha for me over the last few years.

For ideas on how to flavor your kombucha, check out my kombucha page.

**This post may contain affiliate links. Purchasing from these links helps support Pickle Me Too, allowing me to post and store all of my free recipes. Thank you!**

9 comments to Kombucha Tea Concentrate

  • diane

    this wonderful news making kombucha concentrate.. I love my kombucha it has helped me for arthritis, IBS, Indigestion going to save this for futire use

    thank you >>love the oak barrels

    diane Ontario canada

  • Carrie Saagim

    Doesn’t the hot water kill the scobys n where does it say to ferment. I make kombucha n would love to make a concentration but I do not get the directions on here

  • Heather

    Where did you buy the containers at?

  • Michelle Rodman

    I have a mushroom that has been in the fridge for years. Suppose it is still okay to use?
    Thanks for any and all responses!

  • Julia

    I have been trying to decide which vessel to purchase from Kombucha Kamp. I am torn between the oak barrel and the USA handcrafted pottery. I like the fact that the oak barrel comes in a 5 gallon size, but I am not really sure how to maintain it. I know Kombucha Kamp sells tablets to clean the barrel. Can you please tell me whether it has been cumbersome to maintain the oak barrel and which vessel is your favorite?

    • The ceramic jar is definitely easier to care for but I think the oak barrel is worth if you always plan on brewing kombucha and you have the space for it. The only trouble I’ve had with the barrel is when fruit flies managed to get in. It’s not easy to to clean them out. As long as you are continually brewing and don’t get fruit flies, there is no need to clean the barrel.
      If you need to take a break from brewing, you do need to keep liquid in it to keep it from drying out. I usually just let the kombucha turn to vinegar and when I’m ready to start another batch, just empty it, saving enough kombucha vinegar to start more.
      Also the toasted barrel gives the kombucha a great flavor for the first few batches but it does go away after a time.

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