The kombucha trend is taking off, and many business owners are clamoring to make the fermented drink available to their customers. One way to do that is by kegging and serving it on tap.
To keep your kombucha tasting its best, use 304 stainless steel draft faucets to serve it from the kegerator or other short direct-draw kombucha tap system. This will ensure that the acidic beverage doesn’t damage or break down a brass faucet over time.
Find a Location
Providing a kombucha tap system in your establishment will give you a great way to capitalize on this increasingly popular beverage. Kombucha is gaining popularity in bars, restaurants, grocery stores, and health and fitness studios as a refreshing and probiotic-rich drink.
You must find a good location for your brewing area. It must be out of direct sunlight and away from odors. It should be easy to reach, ideally with a sink for cleaning and adding flavoring. It should also be near a water source, preferably spring water with many minerals.
If you use a kombucha tap system for your kegs, ensure it can hold at least two corny kegs. You will also need a glycol or air-cooled kegerator with insulated lines to ensure the kombucha stays at 38 degrees until you are ready to serve it. This will help the brew maintain its bacterial properties.
Start the Brew
Kombucha is a fermented beverage that can be stored and served on a tap just like beer, wine, or cold brew. Using a kegerator to store and serve the kombucha will help avoid the waste often associated with single-serve bottles and allow for a consistent pour each time.
The first step is to prepare the brewing vessel. Make sure it is clean and free of any mold or debris that could harm the kombucha. Then rinse the container with filtered water. It is best to use dechlorinated water since the chlorine in tap water can kill the good bacteria needed for brewing.
It is also essential to choose a high-quality draft faucet. Kombucha is acidic and will wear down plated brass faucets over time. To be safe, we recommend selecting a stainless steel stopper that is safe for use with kombucha.
Keg the Brew
Kombucha is one of the fastest-growing beverages in commercial sales today. Kegging kombucha instead of bottling offers several benefits, including less waste and the ability to force carbonate the batch to your taste (rather than relying on natural conditioning and priming sugars).
You’ll need a kegerator with short, direct-draw lines that are cooled down to 38 degrees to ensure your brew stays at the right temperature for serving. You’ll also need a CO2 regulator and tank to provide the pressure source that propels the product from keg to faucet while maintaining your recipe of carbonation.
Use only stainless steel keg equipment and vessels for your brewing. Other metals, such as brass, aluminum, and cast iron, can leach dangerous chemicals into your kombucha. For best results, look for a keg cooler with 4″ locking casters, an all-stainless steel interior, and a built-in drip tray. Add a Perlick flow control faucet to maintain the proper level of carbonation.
Serve the Brew
If you’re brewing at home or on a smaller scale, it’s much easier to keg your kombucha than bottle it. It’s also a lot cheaper and more eco-friendly. Kegs and growlers are entirely reusable.
You can dispense kombucha as it is after the first fermentation or force carbonate it to taste with CO2. If you choose to force carbonate your brew, chill the keg to 38 degrees and hook it up to a gas line at a high PSI for four or five days.
Always use stainless steel piping and connectors. Brass (typically used in beer brewing) and aluminum are unsafe with Kombucha as they can leach metal toxins into your brew. Liquid Logistics offers a stainless steel spigot option that is safe to use with Kombucha. You should also be sure to clean your barrel thoroughly between uses and use a cloth that is specifically designed explicitly for kombucha. This will keep your kombucha free of mold and bacteria.