How to Use Sour Kombucha as a Brine (and Four Flavoring Ideas)


Because kombucha contains acetic acid it eventually closely resembles vinegar after a very long (and possibly forgotten) fermentation. This kombucha vinegar can be used in myriad ways, and one of them is for use as part of a brining solution.


Brines are often used to tenderize tough cuts of meat and keep dry meat, like some poultry, moist. It is the acid in the kombucha that breaks down the tough fibers you might find in a shoulder or brisket-type cut of meat.


The salt that is always included in a brine helps to increase the amount of moisture and flavor that the meat can take up by manipulating the structure of the tissues in the meat.


Both of these together equal a tasty, juicy, flavorful piece of meat.


Another ingredient you can add to the brine is sugar. It isn’t necessary, but the sugar helps to increase the caramelization of the meat when it is cooked and caramelization equals better flavor.


Here is a basic formula for a meat brine:

  • 3-3/4 quarts of water
  • 3/4 cup sea salt
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar or Sucanat (optional)
  • 1 cup kombucha (if it is not very sour, omit the sweetener)
  • Flavorings as desired (see below for ideas)



  1. Combine all ingredients and stir to dissolve. Submerge your cut of meat or whole bird in the solution in a large pot or bowl. Refrigerate the meat in the brine for a few hours or 1 to 2 days for larger birds like turkey.
  2. When you are ready to cook it pour off the brine, pat the meat dry, and proceed as necessary.


Flavoring Options:

Add these right to the above brine and be sure to remove any bits of herbs or flavorings from the meat before cooking to prevent burning.


For Chicken
To the basic brine add: black peppercorns, dried or fresh thyme, lemon slices, dried or fresh parsley.

For Turkey
To the basic brine add: black peppercorns, dried or fresh sage, orange or lemon slices.

For Beef
To the basic brine add: black peppercorns, onion slices, dried or fresh marjoram, lime slices.

For Lamb
To the basic brine add: lots of fresh peeled garlic, lemon slices, fresh or dried rosemary and/or mint.


Ready to Learn More?






Related Articles & Recipes:


Related Products:

Kombucha Starter Culture Kombucha Tea Starter Culture

Free eBook Library Access & Weekly Newsletter

Sign up today for free access to our entire library of easy to follow eBooks on creating cultured foods at home, including Lacto-Fermentation, Kombucha, Kefir, Yogurt, Sourdough, and Cheesemaking.
  • Library of eBooks for making your own cultured foods
  • Weekly newsletter filled with tips & tricks
  • Expert advice articles, recipes, and how-to videos
  • Join 150,000+ other health-conscious readers
  • We never share your information!
first name last name email address