As the popularity of hard kombucha continues to rise, so does curiosity about "How much alcohol is in kombucha?" While there is not a straight answer, we believe we can help clear up some of the confusion on the topic. Let’s go!
Does kombucha contain alcohol?
Would you believe us if we said “yes,” but also “no?” As we’ve discussed before, kombucha is a fermented beverage. Due to the fermentation process and the presence of yeasts necessary for that process, there are trace amounts of alcohol in kombucha (therefore: “yes”). However, most kombucha you see on the shelves in your local grocery store is not considered an alcoholic beverage (hence: “no”). How can this be?
Well, to be in compliance with current laws set forth by regulatory agencies, kombucha must test under the 0.5% ABV limit to be considered a “non-alcoholic beverage.” The trace amounts of alcohol found in a properly fermented kombucha are non-inebriating, but serve the dual function of drawing out the medicinal properties from the herbal ingredients and serving as a natural preservative.
So, how much alcohol is in kombucha?Although alcohol is a natural byproduct of fermentation, the exact amount of kombucha alcohol content produced in each batch depends on a myriad of factors - the primary variables being fermentation time and yeast variety. Similar to how tea steep times affect the amount of caffeine, fermentation times affect the amount of alcohol that is produced.
Additionally, many commercial brewers use various processes for removing alcohol from their brews. Each method presents its own sets of challenges. In regards to Buchi, our in-house lab technicians have spent and continue to spend countless hours reading, researching, testing and experimenting, to perfect a process that works best for our kombucha. Our proprietary process uses many tools, however they do not involve nor require the use of preservative chemicals.