Complete Kombucha Brewing Kit Oak Barrel
Our Complete Kombucha Oak Barrel Brewing Special includes:
1. American White Oak Barrel Medium Toast. This is simply the very best method for brewing Kombucha Tea (or beer, wine, cider, vinegar, whiskey, Ginger Beer, Jun, Water Crystals, pickles and vegetables). For kombucha it adds a slight buttery taste, mellows harshness, filters undesirable elements, eliminates toxins, while the tannins in the oak, the wood sugars and the breathability of oak adds complexity and character. Oak surpasses all other containers to create the best ferments and something to be proud of.
2. Kombucha Mushroom Starter Culture. Our Brettanomyces Kombucha Mushroom Culture (SCOBY). This unique yeast ferments very well in oak. Additionally this yeast does well in higher temperatures better suited to the kombucha's gluconobacter bacteria that produces the beneficial acids that make kombucha so unique and healthy. If you prefer one of our other SCOBY Cultures simple mention which one in the <<comments section >> when you order.
3. Good amount of liquid Starting Kombucha Tea (typically one + cup per gallon)
4 Comes with Standard Wood Spigot with Metal Insert.
5. Cloth Cover and extra large rubber band
6. Includes a free sample of our Organic Black & Green Tea. Enough to get you started.
7. Sterilizing and Conditioning tablets.
8. Our 68 page Kombucha Brewing Guide
9. Full support and unconditional success guarantee
Choice of Spigots
1. Default: Wood Spigot with Metal Inserts. Popular with our Beer and Whiskey friends. Has the look and feel of all wood, with a faster flow rate than the all wood. Free. No additional charge.
2. Wood with food grade plastic insert. Offers alternative to the metal insert and a faster flow rate than the all wood. Food Grade Plastic.
3. Plastic Food Grade Spigot with silicon washer. offers the fasted flow rate. Best if you are always in a hurry. Another advantage is it clogs less often
4. All Wood Spigot. Nice and Sweet. Have to have more patience. as the flow rate is slower.
5. Stainless Steel 305 grade Stainless Steel with food grade silicon washer. Plus stainless steel filter. Fast Flow and looks good. Premium spigot
There are two FILTER OPTIONS
a) Racking Cane Filter - all food grade #304stainless steel
b) Barrel Filter - stainless steel mesh and food grade plastic
Setting up your new American Oak Barrel please see DETAILS above
If you decide to return your purchase - for any reason - you may do so within 90 days.As long as the product is returned in good condition we will refund your purchase price. We are the only store to accept returns on Barrels (or Glass) ! We do not pay any shipping costs.
At this time our Kombucha Tea is the only know cure for EBS.
Additional Information see our Online Library for Kombucha FAQ, Recipes,
Continuous Brew Guide, Step by Step with pictures
This is a 30 Day Guarantee.
All natural all wood. We do not varnish or coat the outside of our barrels, A outside coating will prevent the barrel (and the ferment) from receiving oxygen. This albeit minute exchange is necessary for the proper fermentation of both aerobic and anaerobic ferments and proper aging of the ferment. essential to properly release oaky flavor and color to the contents. Varnish only serves to keep the outside of the barrel looking good. Nor do we wax line our barrels. Wax lining is used in some French Vinegar production. Wax prevents alcohol from being absorbed by the barrel, and thus less conversion of alcohol to acetic acid and weaker the vinegar. Not a problem for our family folk ferments where less alcohol is preferred.
Over time barrels may leak. This may be solved by using normal wax or paraffin or for permanent solution with food grade silicon.
Made from American White Oak. Why OAK?
Oak Barrels adds a nutty, buttery flavor and additional tannins to the ferment. Tannins are necessary to a ferment. In kombucha tannins are obtained from the tea. Tannins also produce the astringent quality that some find appealing. Though the tannins will be exhausted over the years, they may be replenished with oak chips.
Oak Casks also breathes. This allows oxygen into the ferment below the SCOBY, where the bacteria are attempting to suffocate the yeasts into fermentation. This reduces the potential alcohol levels, adds greater yeast contribution to the flavor profile, while allowing greater oxygen to acid ratios producing a crisper fresher brew.
Wild Lambic Beers. The sour and unique character of these beers originates from the metabolic activities of various yeasts, lactic acid bacteria (LAB), and acetic acid bacteria (AAB). which are fermented and matured in the same wood casks for up to three years at up to 25C (77F). Does that sound familiar! With Kombucha you don't have to wait that long ! That's wild.
Why is the barrel burnt on the inside?
We give our barrels a medium toast. Toast, or charring is burning the wood to a certain degree. This charcoal serves many purposes. Primary for our ferments, the charcoal filters out undesirable elements like methanol (toxic alcohol). It reduces the ethanol (alcohol) and acetic acid levels slightly which allows a more complete ferment of the sugar. A more mellow brew.
Each year the beneficial probiotic bacteria and yeasts impregnate the wood, over time each cask develops a unique character of health and flavor. One special kombucha yeasts, Brettanomyces, favors wood and may survive alone and abandoned for years. Used properly a cask will last more than a life time.
I have speculated that kombucha may have made its way to America by the Chinese railroad workers, and those panning for gold in the Sierra’s. They may have found a better use for those discarded beer barrels than just for storing their Chinese tea in.
Why do we place the spigot so high ?
We intended our barrels for fermenting and not simply to store or age a ferment. Which it does a fine job at. But with an active ferment, the yeast will continue to pile up sediment on the bottom. Many folks find this sediment (called lee’s) desirable. Finding sediment in your beer bottle is where a brewery deliberately does not filter their beer and its called bottle conditioned, i.e. naturally carbonated and unfiltered beer.
Yes, you can eat (or drink) the sediment. It’s just yeasts. High in nutrition, protein and vitamin B’s. Some folks say it gives them gas, some say it shows their bravery.
Some brews develop fuller more complex profiles when aged on the lees. None-the-less Sediment will continue to clog the spigot so we moved the spigot up. Besides its easier to fit a glass under.
Independent testing Kombucha brewed in our Oak Barrels.
We selected Silver Needle White Tea, as this tea is lightest in flavor and would allow a greater perception of what the Oak had to offer. The results were fantastic. it produced a smoother deeper flavor yet very fine. The White Tea flavor in our opinion was richer but still delicate.. Also as expected from the Oak, there was the mellowness and very slight buttery character. Well brewed.
However it did slightly reduce the gluconic acid levels (when compared to our glass brew). However it should be noted that overall Silver Needle White Tea fermented in a Oak Cask still produced far greater gluconic acid levels than kombucha tea made with a black, green or combination of black and green tea fermented in glass. With our American White Oaks casks you can produce a fine fermented beverage rich in taste and benefits.
Our Oak Casks, with the spigot higher is great for Continuous Brewing Method This is simply the easiest method to ferment kombucha. Once under way just add fresh pure water, sugar and tea.
Of course you may use this art piece as the more common single stage method but do consider the advantage of the Continuous Brewing method.
With Continuous Brewing the “optimum” health benefit of the nutrients are more readily available. Another advantage is that there is no need to do weekly cleaning, no need to worry about the kombucha mushroom, mold is less likely to form , Great Kombucha Tea is readily available, and there is less need to do bottling or extra storage. Simply pour off a cup of perfect Kombucha.
Only continuous brewing of the kombucha allows the formation of different acids that are constantly being produced and broken down through out the active ferment. Kombucha Researcher Mike Roussin indicated that at 80F and 7 days the ferment has the greatest variety of health benefits (vitamins, oxalic acid, etc). However, he also noted that the longer fermentation proceeds the more beneficial acids have a chance to form. Some of these acids don't even appear until 14-21 days in the process. These acids are largely responsible for the detoxifying nature of Kombucha Tea and are the catalysts we seek in brewing Kombucha Tea. Glucose content maximizes around the 8th or 9th day. This implies that gluconic acid production could not peak until after that point. Gluconic acid is the biggest single contributor to the detox effect.A longer brewing cycle, say 20-30 days, may deplete the total sugar or reduce the caffeine content, but the taste is pretty much undrinkable. With Continuous Brewing the complete range of nutritional benefits is always present and can be maintained by bottling.
Setting up your new American Oak Cask
Place in an area that will allow for some leakage (like in the tub)
Push in the wooden spigot. Add a few light taps with a hammer.
or if using the plastic spigot the washer may go on the inside or outside. Hand tighten only be careful not to overturn and strip the plastic not.
Fill 75% with warm water. Avoid getting the outside of the barrel wet. Black spots may appear. Rinse off with vinegar and dry.
Leave until any leaks stop and the wood has properly swollen.
Next, drain the barrel and flush it with clean water until water runs clear from the barrel.
Then add the camden tablets. One tablet per gallon. Dissolve in a glass of warm water, then add to barrel.
Swish and around so it comes in contact with all the interior of the barrel.
Drain the solution,
rinse the barrel well,
You are now ready to fill with kombucha, Ginger Beer, Japanese Water Crystals, Water Kefir, California Bees, Tibicos or your favorite ferment.
The barrel should be filled and maintained at 75-80% level.
NOTE: We guarantee our barrels against initial leakage and damage. The barrel is expected to swell and not to leak upon following the directions above. Damage after is not warranted. The TOP, has been cut open. This does not affect the integrity of the barrel, but may cause wrapping and create an uneven surface. We do not guarantee against this type of wrapping. The pieces themselves may be removed. Such removal will not violate the integrity of the barrel. The barrels may discolor, become black on the outside. This is normal. Thee is a food-grade varnish that may be used to prevent this. However we have found the majority of our clients prefer all natural and do not want any ingredients leaking into their brew. All our barrels are all natural, all wood.
Note 2: the interior of the barrel should ALWAYS be moist and should not be allowed to dry out. A dried out barrel will leak. If you decide not to use the barrel for awhile, fill with water, cover and set in a clean cool area. Add camden tablet (one per gallon) for storage, or add a few cups of vinegar. If possible maintain the water below a pH of 4.0.
Alternative to purchasing a new Oak Cask is to use Oak Spirals. This is cheaper and to a large extent successful. The oak pieces do impart some natural attributes pretty much the same as if barrel aged or barrel brewed. Personally I do not have the same affinity of the oak spirals a sI do of drawing off a tall glass from by cask. But hey, oak spirals do work. Check it out in our ACCESSORIES for other options as well.
From pages 22 - 23 of Barrel-Maintenance-Repair-Manual.pdf
Edited here by Ed Kasper, www.HappyHerbalist.com
note: other recommendations have been using wax, paraffin, honey, and food grade silicon, and food grade varnish.
If one does not intend to use the barrel for a length of time it is recommended to keep the barrel filled with water and a Storing Solution (Camden Tablets / potassium or sodium metabisulfite). Other storage solutions can be critic acid (vitamin C) or white distilled vinegar. Add sufficient amounts to reduce the pH to below 3.5. Check periodicity for evaporation and pH. Keep covered and in a cool dry place.
3.3 Repair of Through Wood Leaks
Wood is honeycombed with small capillary tubes which make up the grain of the wood; this is what makes it so porous. Even though the tubes are partially blocked by cross members called tyloses, the openings are generally not large enough to wick both water and wine.
Most major leaks are caught during the testing and quality control procedure at the cooperage. Problem staves are removed and replaced. Occasionally you may receive a barrel that has a through wood leak that must be repaired.
Repair Procedures For Through Wooo Leaks Method 1 - for tiny leaks
Try soaking the barrel with either a bentonite solution or with unfined wine. This will often stop small seeps by plugging any open pores with particulates.
Method 2 - lor small leaks
The use of garlic and chalk is a trick of many old timers and one that works remarkably well! Clean off the leaking area to pinpoint the leak. Take a clove of garlic and grind it into the leak. Tap it into the wood using a smooth-faced hammer. Next, take a piece of writing chalk and force it into the wood - further driving in the garlic. Let the mixture sit for a couple of hours then clean off the residue. (lf the leak is really small, sometimes chalk alone will do the job.)
Method 3 - for multiple small stave end leaks
Barrels constructed from sawn wood may continue to have multiple stave-end leaks even after hours or days of soaking. One solution is to paint the chime.
The barrel must be emptied, rinsed, sulfured and left to dry for a couple of days. The chime can then be painted; oil based paints seem to work best. The paint can be clear or colored. Most Yugoslavian cooperage has red paint on its chime. This is done primarily to minimize leaks, not for cosmetic reasons
Method 4 - tor moderate sized leaks
The application of epoxy is an effective means to stop most leaks. The advantage to epoxy over paint is that it can be used on damp (not wet) wood. Empty the barrel to relieve the pressure on the leak. Clean ihe area around the leak and apply the sealer. We use and sell O'sullivans Wet Surface Liner. lt is food grade, adheres to damp surfaces, and drys to a brown, "wood-like,'color. Curing time is heat dependent. ln a cool, danip cellar, curing may take several days.
Method 5 - for large stave end leaks
Large. seeps and outright leaks can often be effectively plugged with spikes. To pinpoint the leak, scrape the area with the edge of a knife blade. The exact site of the leak should become obvious. Using a large nail (1 2d or 16d), make a pilot hole about 1/4 inch deep at the site of the-leak. Angle this note so it heads towards the outside of the barrel, not in towards the head. Using a hammer, drive the.spike in as far as it will go, taking care not to break or split the surrounding wood. The object is to crush the wood around the ieak. ln addition, the spiles will swell in a few days. ln the case of a large leak, several spiles may be needed. After the leak has stopped, any protruding spikes may be cleaned off with a chisel or a sharp knife.
Barrel Maintenance and Repair Manual Barrel Builders, lnc. @ Copyright 1995. Allrights reserved.