Kombucha

Alcohol free kombucha: is it possible? – 6 strategies for an alcohol free kombucha

Alcohol free kombucha: is it possible? – 6 strategies for an alcohol free kombucha - kombucha drink

Dear kombucha friends,

Many costumers ask us: Does kombucha contain alcohol? How can I make alcohol free kombucha? Are my kids allowed to drink kombucha and am I allowed to drink kombucha during pregnancy? But the real question is: Does kombucha really contain alcohol or is it just a myth? So many questions but very easy answers are waiting for you in this article.

To answer the first and important question immediately if kombucha contains alcohol we can answer with yes. But don’t panic: In this article you’ll learn how low the alcohol level is and what you can do to make an alcohol free kombucha.

Where does the alcohol inside your kombucha come from?

As you already know from our article – selfmade kombucha* during the fermentation process yeast is using the sugar and builds carbon acid and alcohol. The lactic acid bacteria need the alcohol and other nutrition to build lactic acid. This is what gives the kombucha a slightly sour taste.

One important difference between kombucha and kefir is that kombucha needs oxygen for the fermentation process.

Other factors are:

-the sugar level: The more sugar you use for your kombucha batch the more alcohol can be build

-not enough oxygen: If the bacteria don’t have enough oxygen to work they are not able to work with the alcohol anymore and the alcohol level rises

-Too many yeasts inside the drink: If the balance between yeasts and bacteria gets out of control in a way it has a positive effect on the yeasts you have not enough bacteria left inside your batch to work with the alcohol.

How much alcohol does my kombucha have?

All in all, you can say: the longer you let you kombucha ferment, the more alcohol the drink gets. It varies between 0,1% and if you let it ferment for a very long time up to 2,5% of alcohol. But don’t panic: if you compare those numbers with other products in our everyday life, you will find out that kombucha does not contain as much alcohol as you thought it would have. For example, apple juice has an alcohol content up to 0,38%, grape juice up to 1% and vinegar up to 1,5%.

Now we know how small the alcohol level in kombucha really is but now we come to another question

How do I get my kombucha alcohol free?

  1. Sugar level: We have learned, the lower the sugar level, the lower the alcohol level is as well. Make sure that especially on the second fermentation to use less sugar to keep the alcohol level low.
  2. Starter Liquid: If your starter liquid is very cloudy or has brown streaks on the bottom, then you have a lot of yeasts inside. To lower the level of yeasts to have less alcohol, just filter your starter through a coffee filter and the yeast streaks will stay out your batch.
  3. Wash your scoby: Before every new batch, rinse your scoby carefully under lukewarm water to remove yeasts.
  4. Oxygen: Your kombucha batch needs oxygen to work perfectly. Search for a space in your house where you have a good air circulation and only use breathable materials to cover your batch.
  5. Temperature: Make sure that your kombucha does not get warmer than 28°C. The warmer it gets the more active and productive the yeasts get and the more alcohol you will have in your drink.
  6. Fermenting time: The longer you let your kombucha ferment, the higher the alcohol level gets. If you want a low alcohol level, you should drink your kombucha between day 5 and 10.

If you obey all the strategies we prepared for you, your kombucha batch should have an alcohol level around 0 percent. We wish you a lot of fun with your scoby

I am looking forward to see you again for my next recipes.

Petra

Watch also this video and many more regarding Kefir and Kombucha on my Youtube channel…

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