Use More Kombucha Starter Tea
Second, is to use more starter tea. The more starter tea you use, the quicker the ferment goes, a sure plus in the world of winter temperatures. When running an optimal temperature, 10% of starter tea is recommended. To achieve a similar timeline of seven to ten days in colder temperatures, try 20% or even 30% starter and adjust as necessary.
You can also use stronger starter tea, from a hotel or older brew. The stronger the tea, the more developed and effective it is at fermenting. Having a SCOBY hotel comes in handy! If kombucha is something you’re really getting into, add a SCOBY hotel to your ferment squad, you’ll thank yourself when it comes time to use it. More on SCOBY Hotels here.
Find the Warmest Spot
Third, is to take a thermometer and find the warmest place in the house. Not all areas or rooms in your home will be the same temperature as your thermostat. There’s no rule saying it has to stay in the kitchen, either. If there’s a spot in your house that is warmer than any place in your kitchen, go ahead and keep it there as long as it doesn’t receive direct sunlight! And don’t forget about it :).
Fourth, get creative. Placing your kombucha brew above the refrigerator is common, as it’s usually the warmest spot in the kitchen. You can even place your jar in the oven with the oven light on for heat. Monitor the temperature and turn off the light once the desired temperature is achieved. Oven lights may run at different temps, though, so don’t forget this step. You don’t want the brew to get above 90F. I use this trick for proofing sourdough and inoculating tempeh, too. If you go this route, let the household know it’s in there, you don’t want someone preheating the oven for a pizza.
Try Brewing Jun Kombucha
The fifth is to consider brewing Jun tea over traditional kombucha. Jun ferments comfortably at lower temperatures, between 68 and 77F, and maybe a better option if your house maintains those temperatures. You can refer to our post on what is jun kombucha to learn more! Want to learn how to make jun kombucha tea?
Don’t let the wintertime stop you from brewing!
If you have any cold weathered brewing advice, please contribute in the comments and let us know :)