Interview: Stout Tanks and Bare Bucha Discuss New Fermentation System

This interview follows on from the April 13 guest posting by Stout Tanks on the equipment options and costs available to home brewers who are thinking of scaling up their operation. We were in the room at KombuchaKon in Long Beach when Stout Tanks took to the stage with the co-founders of Bare Bucha to announce a new kombucha brewing vessel based on trays, rather than cylindrical tanks.

The Symbiosis Fermenter enables kombucha brewers create a product with under 0.5% ABV alcohol content in a shorter time. These slides from their KombuchKon presentation compare Symbiosis and Traditional fermentations.

Bare Bucha, working in partnership with Stout Tanks, developed the new technology over the course of a year.

Their literature explains:

The Kombucha-specific shape of this commercial kombucha brewing vessel provides a balanced environment for both the Saccharomyces yeast and the Acetobacter bacteria strains.  This new kombucha brewing equipment was developed to help companies and commercial kombucha producers remain in compliance with alcohol laws while maintaining the authentic, traditional, live and raw kombucha product that we all love … The unique, kombucha specific shape allows ethanol to be metabolized to acetic acid much faster, promoting faster and more complete fermentation.  Balance of Symbiosis is shifted toward bacteria, reducing overall alcohol production, and yielding better flavor profiles.

The trays are available in racks, sized to produce anywhere from 2 barrels (for a cost of $2,749) all the way up to 10 barrels (for a cost of $6,749).

Earlier this week I took the opportunity to speak with Bill Nootenboom, the President of Stout Tanks, together with David Aycock and Toby Tull, the co-founds of Bare Bucha. Click on the podcast icon below to hear them describe how and why they developed the new system. You’ll also hear them explain why they did not keep the new technology to themselves and their opinions on future innovations in cylindrical vessels for brewing kombucha.

More information is available on the Stout Tanks website, with updates on the Stout Tanks Instagram and Bare Bucha Instagram.

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