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How Much Alcohol is in Kombucha?

Kombucha alcohol content

It seems not a day goes by that we don’t get questions regarding kombucha alcohol content.  This is a valid concern for many people but is especially common with pregnant women, recovering alcoholics, and parents concerned with their kids drinking kombucha. Before we dive in, essentially, we can divide kombucha up into three categories – store bought kombucha , home brewed kombucha and hard kombucha. Hard kombucha is becoming more and more common in bars, restaurants, and grocery stores. These are obviously alcoholic so, I’m not going to patronize you and explain any further. So let’s discuss kombucha.

Does kombucha have alcohol?

Yes, kombucha does contain trace amounts of alcohol as with all fermented beverages. The difference here is with kombucha the alcohol content isn’t enough to matter but does fluctuate slightly by batch.

How much alcohol in is kombucha?

The alcohol percentage of kombucha typically range between 0.25%-1.00% A.B.V., sometimes a bit higher. This range is typical of homemade kombucha. Store bought kombucha in the U.S. must be 0.5% A.B.V. or lower. In fact, here in the states – all drinks, including store bought kombucha’s, are required by federal law to be at or below 0.5% A.B.V. to be considered non-alcoholic. For example, non-alcoholic beers like O’Doul’s contain 0.5% A.B.V. Anything higher than this, 0.6% A.B.V and above, is considered alcoholic and regulations come into play. Commercial kombucha breweries in the U.S. take great care to ensure the alcohol content of their kombucha is below this threshold. In fact, the law requires that it not go above this threshold at any point during the entire shelf life of the product and is subject to testing at any given time.

Can you get drunk off Kombucha?

No, but that’s not to say that people haven’t tried. Well, to my knowledge, not exactly with kombucha but with non-alcoholic beer, which as noted earlier can contain similar alcohol levels. So, what happened? Well, a gentleman by the name of Tim Janus attempted to reach a blood alcohol content (B.A.C.) of 0.08%, legally intoxicated, by rapidly drinking non-alcoholic beers. Based on his calculation, he needed to drink thirty O’Doul’s in under an hours’ time. The results? He didn’t quite make it to thirty. But he did, however, manage to drink twenty eight of them, blew a 0.02%, and then vomited it all up. You can find the whole story and video here Can you get drunk from non-alcoholic beer?

So lets break this down;

  • In the U.S., the blood alcohol limit when operating a vehicle is 0.08% – except Utah 0.05%.
  • A 160 LBS man will blow a 0.02% after drinking one twelve-ounce beer.
  • Tim Janus needed to drink twenty-eight, twelve-ounce bottles of non-alcoholic beer (similar to kombucha) to blow a 0.02%.

Takeaways

If you’re trying to get drunk on kombucha, you’re going to need to add liquor. No worries though, we have a few hard kombucha recipes to get you started.

Kombucha Cocktail Recipes

Kombucha Bloody Mary and Kombucha Margaritas