Posted by Arbor Teas on September 25, 2008
Some of you may be seasoned Kombucha-brewing veterans, but many of you out there have only just begun to explore the incredible process (perhaps in response to our recent posts on the topic). To keep you out of trouble, we've put together the following lists of "do's" and "don'ts" when brewing kombucha.
Kombucha Brewing Do's:
- > Clean everything thoroughly before brewing or bottling.
- > Filter or boil your water before brewing.
- > Use refined white sugar; it is healthier for your SCOBY, and results in a more palatable tea with higher levels of the several healthful organic acids. Also, since the SCOBY consumes almost all of the sugar, there is no need to worry about the health risks associated with eating refined sugar.
- > Check the pH if you’re nervous. Kombucha generally finishes with a pH of 2.5. Anything lower than 4.6 is safe to drink, since the acidity acts as a preservative. Commercially available pH strips can be used to verify that your brew is ready.
- > Watch for mold and throw away a batch that gets moldy.
Kombucha Brewing Don'ts:
- > NEVER ferment your kombucha in a metal, plastic, or ceramic container. Finished kombucha is very acidic, and can leach toxins out of some metals, plastics, and ceramic glazes.
- > Stay away from teas flavored with oils (such as Earl Grey), as these may damage your kombucha SCOBY.
- > Don’t add flavorings -- such as ginger or raisins -- to the fermenting kombucha; they can damage the SCOBY or encourage mold. Add these when bottling the finished kombucha; the high acidity will preserve the fruit.