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How Surface Area Affects Kombucha Brew Time
Kombucha is one of the most popular cultures to make at home. It is simple and inexpensive, with a distinctive flavor loved by many. One of the advantages to kombucha is there is no daily maintenance requirement. It takes anywhere from 7-30 days for a batch to reach that sweet-tart point of perfection. For those who have busy lives, kombucha easily fits into a complicated schedule.
However, some people may want a batch of kombucha to brew faster. By adjusting the temperature or culturing vessel, kombucha can be brewed in a much shorter period.
Kombucha brews best between 68-78°F. Brewing it on the warmer end of this range will speed up the culturing. It is possible to brew kombucha even up to 85°F. A warmer brewing temperature will result in a stronger tasting kombucha.
When adjusting culturing temperatures, be sure to check the kombucha frequently with a thermometer. If it gets too warm, the scoby can be damaged. A damaged or weakened scoby may result in spoilage or mold on future batches.
Like many cultures, kombucha depends on oxygen for its life-cycle. Increasing the oxygen available to the culture increases the rate at which it converts that tea and sugar to kombucha tea. This means that a half-gallon glass crock with a 10-inch diameter opening will make kombucha tea more quickly than a half-gallon jar with a 4-inch diameter. The new scoby will form to cover the surface, resulting in a larger “baby” scoby.
Advantages and Disadvantages
A faster brew has obvious advantages. If there are many people consuming the kombucha, it can run out quickly. Waiting weeks for a new batch requires patience. Brewing kombucha faster is an alternative to purchasing a very large container or having a large collection of jars brewing simultaneously.
There are disadvantages to brewing kombucha quickly. Fermentation happens in stages, and fermenting slowly allows certain flavors to develop more fully. A faster brew tends to get very vinegary quite quickly, which may be fine for someone who likes a very tart kombucha. However, there is a chance that the kombucha will go from pleasantly tart to strong vinegar too quickly, and final flavor may be compromised.
Ready to Learn More About Brewing Kombucha?
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