In the last several years, Kombucha has gained significant popularity. And with anything that is cast into the spotlight, there are lots of rumors surrounding it. This is especially true when it comes to home brewing. In all our years of helping people get started on their brewing journeys we’ve heard some pretty crazy rumors about what was keeping them from getting their brew started! So we’re here to clear the air and serve up some truth about kombucha.
Myth #1 - Kombucha is high in caffeine
Let’s start with the basics on this one. Tea leaves naturally contain caffeine, however significantly lower levels than coffee beans. It functions as a naturally occurring pesticide to protect the delicate leaves from unwanted pests. In kombucha brewing, caffeine serves another vital purpose. It is an important nutrient that energizes the yeast and bacteria, stimulating fermentation and providing nitrogen for building new SCOBY cells. Through the process of fermentation the caffeine present is reduced by approximately ⅓ (varies based on length of fermentation). Remaining caffeine is a more stable nutrient than caffeine found in coffee, due to the L-theanine, an amino acid present in tea. This results in calm focused feeling rather than high energy crash.
Myth #2 - Kombucha has lots of sugar
When people first read our recipe that calls for one cup of sugar, they immediately assume kombucha is just another sugar filled drink. While this may be the case for some commercially brewed kombucha, it is certainly not true when it comes to home brew. Our recipe calls for this amount of sugar because it is necessary fuel for the yeast & bacteria (the two components of the kombucha SCOBY, read more about that here!) Using less sugar than needed can lead to weak brew (aka mold!). Without the sugar, fermentation simply could not happen. Fermentation breaks down sucrose into fructose & glucose, which are vital for feeding yeast & bacteria, these two variations of sugar have a lower glycemic impact on your body. The reduction of sugar present in the final brew is dependent on time & temperature, typically sugar is reduced by 50 - 70% in between 7 - 14 days into fermentation. Starting with 1 cup of sugar (200 grams) reduces to an estimated 4-6 grams of sugar per 8 oz and even less if you favor a longer brew.
Myth #3 Home brewed Kombucha is hard and expensive
With a high quality SCOBY & starter liquid and a proper brew method, you are pretty much guaranteed to succeed (we’ve got this part covered for you!)! With the YEABUCHA Brew Method, a lifetime supply of delicious kombucha is only a commitment about 30 minutes per week. The biggest concern for amature brewers is a fear of mold. you’ve got to watch out for is mold, which will corrupt your whole brew. Mold can be airborne from something moldy in your kitchen or be introduced by using poor quality ingredients, especially flavored teas. Even though home brew comes with a higher start up cost, it is far less expensive than store bought! Our brew kits pay for themselves in just a few short weeks. If you are drinking kombucha 5 days a week at $3 a bottle, you’re spending $60 a month, when you could be brewing at home spending just pennies to brew a whole gallon of kombucha!
Myth #4 Brewing kombucha at home is dangerous.
This myth has kept many of our brewers from starting sooner! There is a huge misconception that brewing your own kombucha can produce a dangerous beverage that can make you sick. As long as you are following a safe brewing method, keeping your brew supplies clean and looking out for mold there is no concern about a dangerous brew! We suggest using hot water and white vinegar to clean your brew jar between batches to keep it clean, being sure not to use antibacterial soap (The “B” in SCOBY is bacteria!). And this bacteria is the helpful kind that helps your body and digestion function properly.
Myth #5 You need to be concerned about the alcohol content in your homebrew.
Kombucha is a non-alcoholic fermented tea that contains trace amounts of alcohol which are naturally occuring. These low levels of alcohol draw out the natural healing properties & nutrition from flavoring herbs or fruit and it acts as a preservative. The average glass of Kombucha contains about .5% ABV (alcohol by volume) and can contain up to to 2% ABV, whereas the average glass of wine has about 11% - 13% ABV. Fermenting for a longer time and at a higher temperature can slightly increase the alcohol content of your homebrew’s, however it would be very rare to see alcohol content above 2% ABV.
Myth #6 You need a lot of equipment to brew kombucha.
YEABUCHA exists to disprove this myth! There is not much you need to have a lifetime supply of kombucha, but the equipment you do need should be high quality to last a lifetime and produce healthy kombucha - and we have it all packaged up nicely for you in our Brew Kits! The most important piece of equipment you need is a healthy SCOBY and some strong starter liquid. This is the key ingredient for homemade kombucha and must be procured from a trusted source.
Don’t let rumors and misinformation about home brewed kombucha keep you from enjoying the health benefits of this delicious drink!