September 14, 2016

Why ferment 21+ days

Kombucha works in a cycle that is dependent on time to become full of health benefits and low in sugar. Antioxidants, properly active probiotics, significantly more beneficial acids and significantly less sugar. All you need is a little patience.

It’s not truly kombucha until the sugars have been converted into the beneficial components, like probiotics (good for your gut) and beneficial acids (good for detoxification).

When using a properly balanced culture, fermentation goes like this. During the first 7 days of fermentation the yeasts use the minerals from the tea to produce enzymes that separate (or break down) the sugar into glucose and fructose. After about 7 days 100% of sugar is left and the composition is about 80% yeast. From 7-14 days the yeasts begin eating the sugar and producing small amounts of alcohol, but there is still about 60-75% sugar left at the 14 day mark. During the same 7-14 day period the bacteria begin producing beneficial acids and the kombucha starts tasting sour. As the kombucha becomes more sour the yeasts die or go dormant and the bacterias take over. From 15-25 days the bacterias eat the alcohol and the remaining sugar. This is when the probiotics, beneficial acids and antioxidants bloom and become properly active. After about 30 days the cycle is complete and all of the sugar is gone and you have kombucha tea vinegar.
Acetobacter (the bacteria responsible for making vinegar) builds up in old SCOBY’s. To properly balance the kombucha culture one should always use only the very top thin layer of the SCOBY in each new batch. Or don’t use a SCOBY at all, you don’t need it. A thick SCOBY is an old SCOBY and will cause the yeast and bacteria ratios to be out of balance.

WHY DOES THE INTERNET SAY TO FERMENT ONLY 7-10 DAYS?Most of the information on the internet is recycled from the same sources. It’s not drawing from science. Using old SCOBY’s is a source of contamination and will put your culture out of balance. Always use a fresh, thin SCOBY, never use an old thick SCOBY.

Don’t believe the hype, not all kombuchas are created equal.