Kombucha Kamp Blog

Does Kombucha really need sugar to make kombucha? – Kombucha Recipe FAQ

Do I have to use sugar in my Kombucha Recipe? The short answer is: YES! However, the sugar is not for you. Watch the video to learn more. Hannah Crum, The Kombucha Mamma of Kombucha Kamp, explains what happens to the sugar in your Kombucha batch. Kombucha is very low in sugar, averaging about 2-4 grams of sugar per 8 ounces when unflavored depending on brewing conditions. 

Why Does Kombucha Need So Much Sugar?

Fermentation of Kombucha is impossible without sugar. Organic Cane Sugar is the easiest sugar to digest by yeasts; they excrete an enzyme (invertase) that cleaves the disaccharide into its monosaccharide components – fructose and glucose. The yeast produce trace amounts of alcohol (preservative) and give off CO2 (carbon dioxide, i.e., the bubbles in your booch).

Kombucha has a lower glycemic impact than other sugar sweetened beverages making it suitable for diabetics or others with metabolic dysfunction.

Can You Make Kombucha With Less Sugar?

Less sugar may be used but we do not recommend using less than ¾ cup per gallon as the flavor profile, organic acid profile and health benefits are minimized when less sugar is used. To reduce the sugar content, simply allow the brew to ferment until it has a tangier flavor (2-3 weeks for a 1 gallon batch). If it’s too sour, dilute with water, juice (THRIVE, AMZ) or add sweetener at the time of consumption just like you would for iced tea.

Can Kombucha Be Made Without Sugar?

Nope! In order to make kombucha, you need water, teasugar, and SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). SCOBY eats sugar to produce fermented sweet tea aka kombucha.

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