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What is kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented tea beverage, made by adding a symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) to a solution of tea and sugar. During the course of the weeks-long fermentation process, the cultures metabolize the sugar and tea components to render a naturally carbonated beverage, with a slightly sweet-tart flavor, full of healthy components like B vitamins, organic acids, and antioxidants.
Being a “raw” beverage, it is teaming with healthy bacteria and yeast. During our second-stage fermentation, our brewer adds whole ingredients like ginger, elderberries, or chaga mushroom to give the kombucha unique taste profiles.
Is this a new health fad?
Both sales and access have recently exploded, as kombucha has gone mainstream, with sales estimated at over $500 million. Buyers can find kombucha well beyond the traditional retail outlets like health food stores. It can be purchased in supermarkets, restaurants, bars (it is used as a mixer), farmers markets and at breweries. Find our kombucha at these participating retail locations:
Why is kombucha made with sugar?
As with any fermentation process, sugar is necessary to feed the yeast. Think about yogurt, the yogurt cultures consume the milk sugar (lactose) to produce a sweet-tart milk product teaming with probiotics. The process is similar for kombucha. The sugar feeds the yeast, which creates CO2 & ethanol, then the bacteria consume the ethanol and convert it into healthy acids. Very little sugar remains when it is bottled, depending on how long the fermentation process lasts. Moreover, the fermentation process cleaves sucrose (polysaccharide) into fructose and glucose – both of which are utilized by the fermentation process thereby reducing the glycemic load.
Why does kombucha have to be refrigerated?
The majority of kombucha sold on the market is raw, and therefore biologically active. The fermentation process continues as long as bacteria and yeast have sugars to feed on. Yeast are temperature sensitive, and cold temperatures keep them less active.
Keeping kombucha cold is an important means to ensure the quality remains consistent and compliant.
If exposed to warm or hot temperatures, the fermentation continues rapidly and the carbon dioxide will build up quickly. The results could be anywhere from an excess carbonation upon opening to an exploding or broken bottle. It is important to keep commercial kombucha refrigerated at all times to prevent any mishaps. Good thing it is so delicious, leaving it in the bottle almost never happens!
Do you force carbonate your products?
What is the pH of kombucha? Why is it important?
What are the “jellyfish” or “floaters” in the bottle?
During the fermentation process and even after bottling, the bacteria continues to flourish and produces a by-product of the fermentation. This gel-like mass of cellulose, often resembling a jellyfish, is completely harmless and can be consumed or discarded. This is what the “floaters” or “jellyfish” are that are seen in Kombucha.