Even if you avoid refined sugar, you can make continuous brew kombucha with honey! Continuous brew kombucha is a great way to keep kombucha on hand all the time. In addition, because of the complex fermentation (but it’s easy to do) you get even more strains of microorganisms in your kombucha, making it even more beneficial for gut health and digestion.
Because we are so often on the GAPS diet, I like to make my kombucha using honey rather than the typically called for white sugar.
You can see my honey kombucha setup here, starting at 10:51
How does continuous brew kombucha have more beneficial bacteria?
Because additional sweet tea is added at a frequent basis to the kombucha, there are different parts of the sugars in different stages of fermentation. This means that different microbes are active at all times to complete the fermentation process. The more active microbes, the more beneficial strains for your gut!
How can continuous kombucha be done on GAPS?
I had a great conversation with Hannah of Kombucha Kamp, who is not only knowledgeable in fermentation from a home-cook standpoint, but also she knows tons about the microbiology and science behind it as well!
Hannah explained that what I was doing while we were on GAPS (using honey to make kombucha) was just fine, and even a traditional way of making kombucha. When we were on the GAPS diet I wasn’t willing to risk any non-GAPS sugars sneaking in and ruining the diet.
With single-brew kombucha it is typically accepted that after 30 days of fermentation the sugars have all been digested, but I didn’t want to risk it. I saw my kombucha thrive, and I was constantly trying to pass off SCOBYs to friends as the SCOBY replicated.
Every kombucha maker soon wants to try new things with their kombucha. Continuous brew was next on my experiments to try.
Before trying continuous brew with honey, I wanted to make sure all the effort wouldn’t go to waste. Hannah let me know that the kombucha SCOBY is adaptable, as I found it to be with single brew, and would quickly and effortlessly adapt to honey rather than traditionally used sugar or rapadura as the sweetener!
What about raw honey in kombucha?
Yes, you can use raw honey to make kombucha! There are strict warnings against it all over, but there are also a lot of old wives tales surrounding kombucha making. I buy minimally processed honey from trusted sources, and more often than not, this is raw. I did add the raw honey to my hot tea, so likely all the enzymes were killed in that process. But still, you don’t need to be as cautious as some books claim you need to be with fermented food.
The microorganisims in the starter culture (SCOBY in this case) are pretty hearty and adaptable.
Continuous brew kombucha
Continuous brew is super cool! Once you make your initial continuous brew batch, you can then put it into air-tight containers. If you add a little fruit and your homemade kombucha will turn fizzy, just like kombucha from the store. See how to do that here.
If you’d like to try continuous brew kombucha, you can purchase a kit here. If you add up the bottles of kombucha from the store, DIY Kombucha quickly pays for itself. It also is a fun hobby that you can share with friends!
More Kombucha Links:
- Making Kombucha Sweet and Fizzy (like what you get at the store) with the 2nd Ferment
- I Made a Kombucha Mother (SCOBY) from my Store Kombucha!