Alcohol in Kombucha: What You Need to Know
Is There Alcohol in Kombucha?
One of the more common questions we get at Brew Dr. Kombucha is if kombucha contains alcohol and if so, what is the kombucha alcohol content? We’d like to clear up any confusion, myths or misperceptions so consumers can make an informed decision on whether kombucha is right for them.
First of all, yes. Kombucha does contain alcohol. But before you begin thinking it’s like other alcoholic beverages, read on.
How Much Alcohol Is in Kombucha?
Kombucha is a fermented drink. A by-product of any fermentation process is alcohol. It naturally occurs during the fermentation process and cannot be avoided. The amount of alcohol produced, however, greatly depends on several factors.
Related: Kombucha 101
First, the length of time the brew is fermented will dictate the alcohol content. Home-brewed kombucha often has the highest levels of alcohol, up to 3%, in fact. For comparison, a light beer has around 4.2%. Why does how it’s produced and by whom matter?
Homebrewers don’t always understand how the fermentation process works. Many ferment their brews twice to reduce the sugar content and increase the carbonation. What they may not know is that this method increases the alcohol level as well.
The type of yeasts in kombucha also impact the level of alcohol. Yeast that can ferment at lower temperatures will produce a lower-alcohol brew. Homebrewers often heat their kombucha at higher temperatures than most commercial manufacturers to destroy any harmful bacteria that may be present in their kitchens, inadvertently increasing the alcohol in their kombuchas. Home kitchens are rarely sterile, unlike commercial facilities that must present a sterile environment. Manufacturers go to great lengths to ensure their facilities, equipment, tools and people are completely sanitized.
Commercially-produced kombucha, on the other hand, must contain less than .5% alcohol in order to be sold as a non-alcoholic beverage. At these levels, you would have to drink many bottles of kombucha in a short period of time to feel any effects of the alcohol.
How Does Brew Dr. Lower the Kombucha Alcohol Content?
Our processes adhere to the alcohol rules, therefore all of our kombuchas have less than the .5% alcohol content. We balance those requirements with our passionate desire to keep our brews authentic and raw so they retain all of their beneficial traits.
Related: Process of Making Brew Dr. Kombucha
We use a method of non-heat distillation that removes excessive alcohol without damaging the live and active cultures that we want in our kombuchas. Those probiotic cultures are often why our customers drink our brews and we wouldn’t dream of harming the beneficial bacteria. The lower temperatures also enable us to keep the alcohol levels in check. We also brew our kombuchas for a specific length of time to get amazing taste, the right level of carbonation and acidity, and the appropriate level of alcohol.
Can Anyone Drink Kombucha?
As you can see, brewing authentic kombucha is more than a recipe. It is a science. Sure, kombucha does contain trace amounts of alcohol if it is produced the proper way, but it is well within acceptable limits. It is safe to drink at any time of day by adults and children alike.
It’s important to note, if you have any medical reasons why you cannot consume fermented products, you should not drink kombucha. While the alcohol content is nearly immeasurable, the fermentation process does produce multiple strains of bacteria. Most people can consume billions of bacteria without negative effects. In fact, it’s why so many people love fermented foods. The “good” bacteria formed during the fermentation process has been reported to improve gut health as well as help the body produce vitamins, break down foods and prevent food poisoning.
So, drink your Brew Dr. Kombuchas with confidence knowing you’re getting all of the goodness you want and none of the buzz you don’t!