PH of Kombucha, a lot people have been asking, what is the best PH level for Kombucha tea, well it's a combination or personal preference and personal safety. When you brew Kombucha, when you first make your Kombucha tea using a Kombucha tea recipe, you are starting with mostly, we recommend 80-90% regular sweet tea, which has a PH level way higher then the end result of Kombucha. This is why we add that start tea that Kombucha starter tea to your initial brew, why? Because if you left regular tea, just sweet tea out at room temperature, guess what's going to happen?
Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?
Right, you're going to get mold, you're going to get pathogens, it's not going to be pretty, because the reason why we refrigerate food, or we have it on a chaffing dish warming it up or in a crock pot or something, it's the acidity level that initially helps preserve your Kombucha tea, now there's other things, like the introduction of CO2, which helps you preserve your Kombucha tea, especially when you bottle it, but initially, it's really that PH level.
A good thing to do is, not just test your PH when you go to bottle, or when you go to consume and drink, test that PH when you initially make your Kombucha tea. When you go to bottle, a good PH level would be anywhere from 3.3, 3.4, down to 2.9. Now, getting to the tenths of a degree, like a 3 point something you would probably need to use a more accurate measurement than just those PH strips, something like a PH tester. Once you begin brewing though, you could, I'm not saying this is the best way, but for my own personal consumption, if you're selling Kombucha, you should be testing it, but for your own personal consumption, simply tasting it does it have that bite, reminiscent of apple cider, if it tastes kind of like apple cider, you have a PH of around 3.
Something also to consider is when you bottle your Kombucha at room temperature, it will continue, even though it's capped, there's still going to be some more fermentation happening, which means you PH level will continue to go down. One way to do this is, to bottle your Kombucha tea at a slightly sweeter, slightly higher PH level, certainly nothing above 4.0, but something a little higher, so a 3.5, versus a 2.9, so that when you go to bottle it, it continues to ferment to get that CO2 to build up and the PH level when you go to consume will still be enjoyable and be safe to drink.
Now many people talk about making sure your ph isn't too high when you begin the brewing process. But did you know you don't want it to be too low either? If the ph is too low it could kill of some of the yeasts before they even get a chance to convert the sugar into glucose. This doesn't happen too often… but if you've ever had a batch turn out to be super acidic AND super sweet, this could be your easy fix! You want to shoot for a ph of around 4.5 to 6 when you first start brewing (the lower end would be during winter months as since it will take longer to ferment, the lower ph starting level will provide a nice protection before the fermentation process gets rockin!).
Hope you enjoyed this lesson! We will have more on kombucha ph levels in the future on how to balance skin tone and sunburns. What do you want to learn next about kombucha? Write it below and Happy Brewin', -Dave
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About Kombucha Dave
Happy go lucky guy who most recently (past 6 years or so), has been enjoying his time teaching people how to make kombucha, traveling, and playing dodgeball. If you are asking yourself what is kombucha? Fear not, as it is one of the most common questions I receive on a daily basis... that and why are you always smiling? :) Connect with me on Google+