Skip to content

How to Bottle Kombucha

After 7-10 days your kombucha is pleasantly tart and ready to drink. We love still kombucha and often transfer our finished kombucha into jars and into the fridge to enjoy un-carbonated, poured over ice. But if you like your kombucha carbonated, you’re going to want to let it undergo a secondary fermentation in bottles to trap in all those bubbles you love. To learn how to carbonate kombucha, what bottles are best for kombucha, and more kombucha bottling tips read on:

Kombucha is a continuous process, so when you’re ready to bottle one batch you want to get started on your next. Timing wise it makes sense to start the tea for your next batch first (and bottle while it’s cooling), but if you went straight to bottling that’s okay too, your SCOBY can hang out in its starter liquid until it’s ready to be added back to the fermenter.

How to Bottle Kombucha Step-by-Step

  1. Remove SCOBY & Starter Liquid

    Using clean hands, remove your SCOBY and 1/2 cup of kombucha starter liquid for your next batch. Store your SCOBY in the starter liquid in a non-reactive container until it’s ready to go back into the fermenter. Please note that these measurements are for a 1/2 gallon batch, if you are brewing a larger batch you will need to reserve more starter liquid.


  2. Strain & Transfer to Bottles

    Using a small funnel, transfer kombucha into bottles leaving any yeast sediment or stringy cultures in the fermenter. Add any fruit, herbs, or juice if using. Leave a half inch of head room in each bottle and close. Clean your fermenter and get started fermenting your next batch.


  3. Carbonate in Bottle

    Store your bottled kombucha at room temperature for 1 to 3 days to carbonate. Your kombucha will carbonate faster in warmer temperatures and if it has more sugar when bottled (either by bottling on the earlier end of fermentation or by adding additional sugar when flavoring).


  4. Store in Fridge

    Once carbonation is established, move to the fridge to store. Enjoy once fully chilled.

Do You Add Sugar When Bottling?

Kombucha carbonates naturally after being bottled. When you transfer your kombucha to bottles, there is enough residual sugar and yeast to carbonate your kombucha. If you plan on adding additional sugar at bottling (ie: fruit or another flavoring) you will want to bottle on the later side (so there is less residual sugar) and/or move it to the fridge after 1-2 days in bottles as it will carbonate faster.

What Day Should You Bottle Your Kombucha?

This is a great question because it varies. When you are making kombucha you aren’t letting it ferment completely (it would get too sour and vinegar-like and wouldn’t be enjoyable to drink). We recommend making a fresh batch of kombucha every 7-10 days for a delicious balance of sweet and tart, but what the right balance for us, might be a little different for you.

The longer you let your kombucha ferment the more sour it will be. So if you are looking for a sweeter kombucha, bottle it earlier and if you are looking for something more tart, bottle later. Your kombucha will continue fermenting (and getting more tart) while carbonating in bottle so take those days into account when planning what day you should bottle. Temperature also comes into play here, in warmer temps your kombucha will ferment faster and you will want to bottle it sooner, where the opposite goes for colder temps and your kombucha fermentation will take a bit longer.

What Bottles are Best for Kombucha?

There are two important rules to follow when choosing a bottle for carbonating kombucha. You want a bottle that was designed to hold a carbonated beverage, and one that has a tight seal. During the secondary bottle fermentation you are looking to build up carbonation (or CO2) to give your kombucha that delightful fizz. That means that the glass needs to be able to withstand the pressure of carbonation. And because you want that carbonation to stay inside your bottle, you need to have a good seal. We love swing-top bottles, but make sure you are using ones that are designed to hold carbonated beverages. There are a lot of decorative bottles on the market that are made with thin glass (that could break under pressure) or poor gaskets that will let all that CO2 seep out.

Do you Need to Store Bottled Kombucha in the Fridge?

Yes. While you ferment your kombucha at room temperature and let it carbonate in the bottle for 1-3 days at room temperature, once carbonation is established you want to store your finished kombucha in the fridge. When you bottle kombucha there are more sugars than you want to carbonate (because a little sweetness tastes good). Moving your finished kombucha to the refrigerator to store will slow-down fermentation, while if you stored your kombucha at room temperature it would keep converting all those sugars to CO2 leading to very over-carbonated bottles.

Kombucha Picks:

Everything Bagel and Cream Cheese Making Kit box on concrete