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Make Your Own Kombucha - FAQs

Make Your Own Kombucha - FAQs

Feeling a little overwhelmed while making your kombucha? Don't worry, we're here to help.

Posted on

August 21, 2020

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Can I purchase a SCOBY from Buchi?

We don't offer SCOBYs for purchase, but good news – You can actually grow your own SCOBY using the contents of a bottle of Buchi! The instructions are printed right on our kombucha bottle labels!

Don’t have a bottle of Buchi on hand? Take a look at the store locator on our website to find Buchi near you. Or order through our online store! We offer direct shipping to NC, SC, TN, and GA. If you live in one of our delivery zones in the Asheville or Greenville area, we’ve got even better news for you - you’re eligible for free delivery! 

 

Is it okay that my SCOBY sank to the bottom of the jar?

Absolutely! Sinking and floating are both normal for a SCOBY. 


Can I reduce the sugar in my kombucha?

Since the sugar added to kombucha starter is food for the SCOBY, not adding enough sugar can potentially starve your culture. Too little sugar can also cause unwanted bacterial growth. One way to loosely control the amount of sugar you end up drinking is to let the ferment go longer - that way, your SCOBY is eating most of the sugar! There are other options for feeding your culture if you're not into using cane sugar, including molasses, maple syrup, and agave. Read more about brewing with alternative sugars here.  


Can I use my soda stream to carbonate my homebrewed kombucha? 

Yes, you can use your sodastream to carbonate your kombucha. This fellow has some tips for using a sodastream to make kombucha extra bubbly. You can also create more bubbles naturally by doing a second ferment on your kombucha - plus it’s a great time to add flavor! Read more about secondary fermentation here. And remember - even if your kombucha isn’t super bubbly, it’s still packed with beneficial bacteria!

 

Can I use kombucha from one homemade batch to brew a new batch?

Yes! You can indeed keep fermentation going by using kombucha from one batch for the next. You really only need about a cup of one batch to start a new one, and you can continue this process indefinitely. It really is that simple! 

 

Will the Buchi flavor I use to start a home-brewed batch affect the final flavor of my kombucha?

Yes, the Buchi flavor you use to start a batch of kombucha will lightly influence the taste of the kombucha you create - but that’s part of the fun! You can further tweak flavor by doing a second ferment on your kombucha. Read more about secondary fermentation here. What won’t be affected by the Buchi flavor you select for your first batch is the quality of the ferment - all of Buchi’s kombucha flavors are raw, unpasteurized, and packed with probiotics! This means they all have the potential to create a healthy new batch. 

 

Once I’ve mixed the ingredients for my first batch in a jar, should it be refrigerated while it is fermenting?

Since cooler temperatures slow the fermentation process, your kombucha should remain unrefrigerated until you are ready to drink it. Once you’ve achieved the perfect blend of sweet and sour for you, it’s ready for the fridge!


Why didn’t my SCOBY grow? 

There are several factors that can affect SCOBY growth. Cooler temperatures - in your region, your air-conditioned home, or your refrigerator - can significantly slow fermentation. Make sure your kombucha is fermenting in a warm spot - 80°F is ideal. Lower ambient temperatures may require longer fermentation times. 

Quality of water also matters. The chlorine in tap water can damage or kill cultures, so filtered water is best. 

Make sure the tea you add to your batch is cooled. Tea that is added when hot can damage the SCOBY, resulting in inactive cultures. 

 

How do I know my kombucha is safe to drink?

While we can't guarantee that any kombucha brewed outside our facility is safe to drink, there are some clear indicators of a healthy brew for you to consider. The pH - or acidity level - of kombucha acts as a protective factor against harmful bacteria. This means that as long as the kombucha's pH is lower than 4.2 - and has no visible mold on or in it - it should be safe to drink, since the acidity kills any harmful microbes. You can purchase pH test strips online if you’d like to test your kombucha. Remember, kombucha is brewed using a centuries-old fermentation process. While that doesn’t guarantee that your kombucha is safe to drink, as long as all signs point to safe, it should definitely boost your confidence! Read more about pH and acidity level here.  

 

Is this mold on my kombucha, or is it the SCOBY?

It's common for people to mistake bits of culture - or SCOBY - for mold, so don’t assume! Mold on kombucha tends to grow on the surface of the liquid, and it looks much like the mold you might see on too-old foods in your fridge. Kombucha Kamp, a wonderful resource for home-brewing, includes pictures to help you determine whether what you are seeing is mold or culture. If you determine you have moldy kombucha, toss it - including the SCOBY. Don’t worry - you can always grow a new one using a bottle of Buchi! If you’re not sure even after consulting pics, the safest thing is to toss the questionable batch and begin again.  


Can I control the alcohol content of my home-brewed kombucha?

Because yeasts are necessary to activate the fermentation process, there are trace amounts of alcohol in all kombucha. At Buchi, we do rigorous lab testing to ensure that the ABV of our kombucha is below 0.5%, which classifies it as a non-alcoholic beverage. 

There’s no simple way to control the alcohol content of home-brewed kombucha, but because the sugar added during a secondary fermentation feeds the yeast in the SCOBY, it can also increase alcohol content. This means that avoiding secondary fermentation may help keep alcohol content low. Either way, it’s unlikely that most home-brewed kombucha will have an ABV higher than 0.5%, but you can find out for sure by testing yours using a home testing kit. 

 

How can I make my home-brewed kombucha taste like Buchi?

We’re honored that you’d ask! Our kombucha flavors are the result of years of trial, error, tasting, and fine-tuning. But creating your own flavor profiles is part of the fun of home-brewing! Check out the website Kombucha Kamp to learn more about flavoring your kombucha.