The five-gallon bucket (with screw-in spigot and huge rubber band included) arrived about two weeks ago. My kombucha apprentice nessur helped me get it ready. I discovered that our second largest pot (the big red one we mostly use for soup) would not fit the 3.75 gallons desired. The largest pot is the one we roast whole turkeys in, and that seemed like overkill. So, I decided to do a two-stage deal to get started. I made sweet tea from 2.25 gallons of water (the next convenient multiple of my usual recipe), organic sugar, and organic green tea. (I am experimental with the smaller batches but will only brew from green tea in this one.) I let it brew for a week until it tasted good. I was surprised and pleased to find it doesn't take longer in a larger batch. Then I added another large-ish batch of sweet tea. You need to leave room for air so the brew can breathe.
The continuous brew kombucha does taste different from the regular kind, but I'm not sure how to explain that difference. And it's very nice to be able to tap some whenever desired and have it be super-fresh. I will keep bottling some though, both to keep what we need to drink to keep up with things within reason and also because nessur seems to prefer the more tart twice-fermented kind.
mrpet helpfully added a hash mark where the fill line should be so we won't have to keep track of how much comes out and goes in. We can just refill to the line whenever. I brewed sweet tea this morning for that purpose, which will be kept in the fridge so it stays fresh.
There's plenty to go around at this point. Let me know if you would like to sample some of the brew when you're over or take home a spare culture.
In trade for one of the babies I gave out this summer, I got a big jar of ginger beer. Yum yum. I'm looking forward to trying to make that on my own as well.