Can You Make Kombucha With Herbal Tea?

can you make kombucha with herbal tea

Many kombucha drinkers opt to add herbs, fruit or juice as an ingredient when flavoring their drinks with kombucha, in order to enjoy its benefits without the typical vinegary tang. When doing this, however, make sure all vessels and equipment used is clean and sanitary – any time kombucha goes bad due to mold growth it must be dumped and started again as soon as possible.

Kombucha is made by fermenting tea, sugar and a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). To prevent contamination of your SCOBY it’s best to use de-chlorinated water that has been boiled for one minute to remove chlorine, either directly from the tap or placed into a bowl overnight for dissipation naturally – this prevents chemicals from disrupting its natural functions being absorbed by it.

Avoid herbal teas that contain strong-scented essential oils as these can inhibit fermentation of kombucha. This includes mint, sage and other strong herbs with natural oils. Furthermore, keep in mind that oxygen is key for successful kombucha production so the SCOBY should ideally remain above the liquid surface rather than immersed completely within it.

When adding herbs or fruit to your kombucha, using frozen pieces of fruit allows the SCOBY to break down cell structures more effectively, extracting more flavor than possible from their cells. Dried fruit should also be avoided to ensure a better finished product without off-flavors in its finished state.

People who prefer their kombucha with only minor variations should use caution when adding fruit and herbs, as too much could overpower its acidic base and remove its beneficial properties. A small sprinkle of sugar should do just fine to sweeten it – although you mustn’t go too far as too much can impair fermentation processes and decrease health benefits.

As with any business endeavor, those brewing kombucha for commercial sale should ensure their products comply with FDA standards before selling them to ensure compliance with FDA guidelines. Producing fermented beverages requires specialized knowledge and in most states requires a license for production. If possible, keep some spare scobys stored in a SCOBY hotel (a jar filled with kombucha with loosely woven cloth cover) so you have back-up in case your batch fails or for future experiments with different ingredients.

Check your kombucha regularly for signs of mold. A batch that smells musty should be dumped immediately and replaced with fresh SCOBY starter culture to produce optimal results.

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