'The 5th Ingredient’ Launches World's First Software for Kombucha Brewers

September 10, 2020
Here at The 5th Ingredient we are incredibly excited to announce our launch of Bucha30 - the first brewery management software specifically designed for kombucha brewers.

That’s right - you can stop using that generic brewery management software or maker, and start using a program that is tailored to fit your distinct needs as a kombucha brewer.

And we know it will meet your needs - because we designed it alongside someone just like you.

Dr Hops Kombucha Beer is a pioneer in the high alcohol content kombucha industry. Their mission is to craft health-conscious, eco-friendly, vegan alcoholic beverages and pride themselves on being completely transparent about their process and ingredients.

To ensure their beverages meet the highest standards, they sometimes do things ‘the hard way’ rather than the simplest way - to avoid having to compromise on their standards.

Dr Hops Testimonial

Dr Hops Kombucha Beer

Our The 5th Ingredient CEO, Pulkit K. Agrawal, says Bucha30 has unique features that set it apart from other software packages.

‘A lot of kombucha brewers have been using standard brewery management systems to track their accounting and inventory,’ he says.

‘But Bucha30 goes into much more detail. Being able to track what’s happening inside the mother tank - and the associated cost of harvesting the SCOBY is a real game changer.’

But we don’t expect you to just take our word for it!

We sat down with Dr Hops Co-Founder & Brewmaster, Tommy Weaver, for a debrief, to hear what he has to say about Bucha30 - and how it has helped him.

What’s Happening in your Mother Tank?

Bucha30 has a feature that allows the kombucha brewer to track the quality of the mother tank and understand the health, genealogy, and costs of your SCOBY.

Tommy says this was a real game changer for his business.

‘Having the history of that continuous brew right there, being tracked at all times is invaluable. I can see every action that’s been done with it and the information is easy to read.’

‘When you have a continuous brew it’s easy to let it go for a couple of weeks. But when you have this software tracking its quality, you can see the data and it encourages you to take action.’

‘And it links with inventory and accounting, as I can see the associated cost of harvesting the SCOBY and repitching the SCOBY.’

Inventory Tracking of Base Sugars and Tea

Being able to specifically track your base system takes the hard work out of monitoring your sugar and tea levels.

It keeps your inventory up to date and your data on your recipes all in one place.

Tommy says the software gives them all the information they need to know about the core tea and core sugar for their base recipe.

‘Bucha30 also makes it really easy to go back and look at brews - and do analysis of flavors and taste and how it fermented out.’

‘It encourages us to constantly look at ways to increase quality and figure out what’s working - and what’s not.’

Tommy was having to keep all this data in binders and spreadsheets. But when he opened a second location, he realized this was taking up too much time - and leaving too much room for human error.

‘I can’t be in two places at once. I needed to see the data from both locations in one spot.’

Keeping it User Friendly

At the 5th Ingredient, our ethos is to create systems that are user friendly - and designed to meet our customers' needs in a way that makes sense to them.

Tommy says he looked at other accounting systems on the market - but they were overbuilt, overpriced, and weren’t customized for the kombucha brewer.

‘I looked at several brewery management software systems, but they provided a heap of information I didn’t need and were really expensive to onboard. We were a start up, so it didn’t make sense for us.’

‘I met Pulkit at a craft beer convention back in April 2018, and he was chatting about his idea for Beer30 and I thought - that’s exactly what I need.’

‘It tracks all the essential information and presents the data in a way that is easy to understand.’

‘Because we had all this data in our system, when we hired a CFO to take care of all our accounting and cost projections, there it was ready for them to dive in. It saved us countless hours of handing over and going through the information.’

A few months ago, Tommy and The 5th Ingredient team sat down and outlined a game plan to take the current Beer30 system, and revamp it to become their next vertical integration - Bucha30.

Tommy says the system has helped them see where they are making savings and where they are overspending.

‘Before Bucha30, we didn't have great data on our costs per brew - it just wasn’t easy to ascertain how much things were costing per unit. Now we can track this in a sophisticated way and compare it against our profit margins and other costs.’

Let’s Make Great Kombucha

Our The 5th Ingredient COO, Ryan Allis, says the partnership with Dr Hops was an integral part of creating a software that is completely focused on the kombucha brewer.

‘Bucha30 was definitely on our product roadmap, but Dr Hops showed us how much they really needed something like this,’ says Ryan.

‘Tommy really helped us to dig deeper. Trialing and testing the software at Dr Hops means we have done the hard work to ensure that Bucha30 meets the many and varied needs of the kombucha brewery, as well as anticipate potential issues before they arise,’ he said.

We believe in always being there for our customers. We don’t just hand you the system and walk away. The 5th Ingredient team is with you for each step.

‘One thing I know I’ll struggle to find anywhere else is the responsiveness of The 5th Ingredient team,’ says Tommy.

‘If I have a question and I’m sweating it out at 10 o’clock at night, stressing about a problem - they are there. I don’t know how much sleep they get! But the response time is generally 15 - 20 minutes.’

‘There really isn’t anything that can replace the value of this kind of service.’

To read more about Dr Hops Kombucha Beer and what they're about - visit their website.

To get in touch with us about Bucha30 - or to just have a chat! - contact us.

Bucha30 will make its public debut at the 7th Annual KombuchaKon, September 17th-18th, 2020. KombuchaKon is the largest conference and trade show for the craft kombucha industry, and is hosted by Kombucha Brewers International (KBI), the trade association for commercial kombucha brewers. This will be the first year that KBI will be bringing the conference to a virtual platform and features a special track dedicated to Hard Kombucha. Key presentations in the track include a statistical overview on the growth of the Hard Kombucha segment by SPINS, the impact of Hard Kombucha on the craft beer industry, how to brew Hard Kombucha by Boochcraft and a roundtable of experienced Hard Kombucha producers including Dr. Hops, Lazy Beach Brewing & Local Roots. For more information on Virtual KombuchaKon 2020 or to sign up to attend - visit their website.

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