Simple Kombucha FAQ
Drinking Kombucha promotes better health by detoxifying and improving the efficiency of your digestive system which boosts immunity. All fermented foods are good for you in this regard – let your palate help you decide which ones are a good fit for you!
It is recommended to begin drinking 4-8oz on an empty stomach 2x a day followed by plenty of water to flush the toxins. Over time, you can increase your intake as your body craves it.
Though yeast are technically fungi, Kombucha is not mycelia (what we traditionally think of as mushrooms). It is a near-lichen.
The sugar isn’t for you. Sugar is the easiest food for the culture to ferment. You can use molasses, honey (not raw!), agave, etc. You CANNOT use Raw Honey (it has its own host of bacteria that could adversely affect your culture), Stevia or Xylitol (these are plant based sugars that do not ferment.)
Herbal Tea is not recommended for the long term health of the culture. The Kombucha culture requires certain nutrients (nitrogen, tannins, polyphenols, etc) that are provided by Camellia sinensis, the tea plant, in order to thrive. Herbal teas contain much lower levels of these nutrients, sometimes none at all.
Additionally, many herbal teas are made with essential oils which should never come in contact with your culture.
The first batch or two made with herbal tea will likely brew as normal, but over time the culture will mutate and/or degrade. If you must brew with herbal teas, make sure they are organic and oil free. Then, either blend in 25% black or green tea OR brew every 4th batch with regular tea to reinvigorate the culture.
The recent voluntary recall has sparked concern over Kombucha’s alcohol levels. When you brew at home, primary fermentation (pre-flavors) alcohol content will likely be less than .5%. Should you decide to add flavors, that level could elevate due to the naturally occurring sugars reactivating the yeast. To test your ABV – alcohol by volume – you can purchase a hydrometer at your local brewing supply store.
Are you sure it is mold? First time or novice brewers often mistake the first growing layer of SCOBY for mold. Compare your brew to these pictures:
- The Age Old Fear: Kombucha Mold
- Oh No! I THINK I HAVE MOLD – OR What is That? (Pictures!)
- Arghh! I DEFINITELY HAVE MOLD! (Pictures!)
If you are certain you have mold, throw everything away. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.
Start over with a back up culture from your SCOBY Hotel.