Frequently asked questions about brewing kombucha
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1. How long does it take to make a kombucha drink?
Fermentation process depends on many factors, but normally between 7-14 days are enough
to have ready kombucha.
2. What type of sugar should I use?
You can use any, as long as it is sugar without added artificial sweeteners. Keep in mind that
each sugar gives a different taste.
3. Does the type of sugar matter to the benefits of the drink?
No. Sugar is a food for the yeast. They are processed and in the ready beverage you do not
have sugar the way you put it.
4. Can I use honey?
Yes, but keep in mind that it changes the taste quite a bit as it develops different amounts
and types of yeasts, bacteria and enzymes.
5. Can I make kombucha in a metal container?
Yes, if it’s a high-grade stainless steel container. For best results use a glass container.
6. I want to put fruits in the drink. When should I do it?
You can add them to the primary fermentation, as well as in the bottle with the ready-to-
7. I want the beverage to be more carbonated. How can I do this?
Keep the ready-made and bottled kombucha for a bit longer in a warm place before putting it in the refrigerator. The normal period is 24-48 hours, but if necessary, you could wait for 3-4 days.
8. Can I store the kombucha out of the refrigerator for more than 2-4 days?
No, the process continues and you risk having to repaint the kitchen because of the strong carbonation that will be formed.
9. Can I store the kombucha in a plastic bottle?
It is not recommended if the bottle is not of the highest class and is not intended for carbonated beverages.
10. What is the best temperature for growing kombucha tea?
22-27°C. The minimum is 20°C and the maximum is 30°C.
11. Do I have to hold it in a dark place, while the fermentation process lasts?
No. It is important that the drink is not exposed on direct sunlight.
12. Can I prepare it with mineral water?
Yes, as well as with tap water. The tap water should be boiled for 2-3 minutes or filtered through a filter jug.
13. I want to make a kombucha with only Bulgarian herbs. Is it possible?
Yes. You’ll get a drink, quite different from the original, because the culture requires a specific set of active substances that procure from black or green tea. I recommend combining your herbs/fruits with green or black tea.
14. What temperature should be the sweetened tea to be fermented with kombucha?
15. Can I use tea from the store to make a kombucha?
Of course, but look for higher quality teas. Even more expensive, you will create a more delicious and useful drink. Still talking about your drink and the tea is the least which can guarantee a good result.
16. My sponge is at the bottom of the jar. Is this normal?
Relax! It did not drown! When the fermentation process begins, part of which is also the release of carbon dioxide (carbonation), the sponge will rise to the surface.
17. I see a light film on the surface of a jelly-like sponge. What is this?
Congratulations! You have a new baby sponge.
18. I already have a lot of kombucha sponges. What am I supposed to do with them?
You can give them to people who want to make kombucha like you. They will be grateful forever.
19. How to preserve the kombucha sponges if I want to rest from brewing kombucha?
You have two options. One is to put them in the refrigerator, well covered with the drink and closed with a thick lid, and the other is to leave them in a jar with kombucha out of the refrigerator covered with gauze. Just be careful not to run out of liquid and dry the sponge.
20. Can I use stevia for sweetening?
I did not try, but I know it’s not working.
21. There is mold on the sponge. What should I do?
Your sponge is infected. This happens very rarely, but it is possible. It can be treated with abundant washing first with cold water and then with pure apple vinegar. Leave it in vinegar for 48 hours. This should save the sponge, but if you have other healthy sponges, best throw this one.
22. Can I grow it in a wooden barrel?
I have not tried, but it should be quite difficult, since you have to constantly maintain the required cleanliness to get good kombucha.
23. My sponge has a hole. Is this normal?
It is not a problem.
24. The old and the new sponges have stuck together. Can I divide them and how?
Yes, you can. Just pull them. It doesn’t hurt them, though I know you think of them as pets.
25. I have a lot of sponges. What am I supposed to do with them?
Kombucha sponges can be used in various cosmetic procedures. You will find many recipes on the internet. Also, sponges have many culinary applications – from sauces to candy.
26. Can I use a plastic container for brewing kombucha?
Yes, you can – as long as it is certified for nutritional purposes. Water gallons of water dispensers are suitable. However, I recommend that you try to use glassware or stainless steel containers because they are easier to wash and do not degrade, thus eliminating the risk of developing microorganisms.
27. How can I flavor the kombucha drink?
For example, add your favorite juice or fruit to the ready drink.
28. Is there an alcohol in kombucha?
Yes, that’s a part of the process. The levels are from 0.25 to 6.00%, but most often – from 0.5 to 1.2%.
29. With how much juice can I flavor kombucha?
It’s up to your taste, but the normal practice is 20% juice and 80% kombucha.
30. What is the shelf life of kombucha?
If you keep it in a refrigerator, you can consume it even after a year. Because of its low pH, the drink is self-protected. However, it depends on many factors, including how clean the bottle was, how many sugars were left, and so on. If you open the bottle and the flavor is disturbing, you better throw it away. Consume fresh kombucha!
31. My sponge became brown. Is this normal?
It is normal pigmentation from the tea. Everything is fine.
32. How do I know when the drink in the jar is ready?
After 4-5 days try the taste through a straw. When it becomes sour, but good, it can be bottled.