Alright, so it seems that folks have enjoyed our initial posts on kombucha (including the kombucha recipe we provided). Because the level of interest on this topic seems high, we’ve provided some additional insights to guide you in making your own kombucha below:
- The ideal temperature range for brewing kombucha is 74 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit. While the yeast can thrive below 70 degrees, the acetobacter cannot, and undesirable microbes might take hold. Temperatures warmer than 84 degrees will kill the SCOBY. In general, low-temperature fermentation takes longer and produces a lighter brew, while high temperature fermentation goes faster and produces a darker brew with a more powerful flavor.
- Your SCOBY might float to the top of the solution, stay the middle, sink to the bottom, or slowly move from one level to another; all are normal, resulting in good, healthful kombucha.
- Allow the fresh kombucha to “rest” in the refrigerator for a day or two — a process wine brewers call “cold stabilization.” This reduces the acidic bite and allows insolubles to settle out. The result is a clearer brew with a more subtle, complex flavor.
- Store your SCOBY covered in kombucha (at least ½ cup). It can be stored either in the warm, dark place where you ferment your kombucha, or in the refrigerator — just be sure and check it frequently, to make sure it doesn’t dry out. Although a SCOBY can be frozen (again, making sure it is completely covered in kombucha), doing so runs the risk of killing the SCOBY.
- Over a few dozen batches, your SCOBY will get old and exhausted. A ragged, dark brown SCOBY is ready to be retired (throw it away, compost it, or feed it to your dog), and replaced with one of your backup “daughters.”
August 19 2008 10:47 am | Kombucha