What Kind of Sugar Should I use when Brewing Kombucha?
With only a few ingredients in kombucha, it’s essential to understand the role that each one plays. Not to say that if you don’t know what sugar’s purpose is, it won’t ferment. The knowledge allows you the freedom to play around and tweak your recipes to make your kombucha brewing experience truly your own.
Why do you need to use sugar?
Sugar is food for the yeast and bacteria and them eating and breaking it down is the essence of the fermentation. The yeast breakdown the sugar and convert it into carbon dioxide and alcohol–The bacteria break it down into healthy acids. Without sugar, there would be no fermentation.
By the end of the primary fermentation, the majority of the sugar has been eaten up. It’s important to realize that the sugar in kombucha isn’t there for you–it’s there for the micro-organisms. In many store-bought brands, you may have noticed that the sugar content or carbs are higher than you’d like. This comes mostly from flavors added in the second fermentation, which is after the kombucha has finished fermenting. One of the beauties of brewing your own kombucha is the sense of control that you have over the final result. If you’re trying to avoid sugar, caffeine, alcohol, etc., your brew can be tailored to suit your individual needs and goals!