Kombucha vinegar or Kombucha drink?

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Kombucha vinegar or Kombucha drink?

Postby alserton on Thu Feb 26, 2015 3:42 am

I've been drinking a lot of Kombucha lately, mostly for the probiotics inside (although I love the taste as well).
I consume both regular Kombucha as well as Kombucha vinegar on my salads.

I was wondering a few things:
- Are there more bacteria in regular kombucha drink or kombucha vinegar?
- Since kombucha vinegar ferments for over 60 days and almost no sugar is left and the ph is very low, does this mean the probiotics inside are actually already dead and the drink is worthless for probiotic supplementation?

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Re: Kombucha vinegar or Kombucha drink?

Postby noonm on Thu Mar 05, 2015 4:36 pm

Edit: After looking at some more data, I'm not so certain the max amount of yeast/bacteria (i.e. probiotics) is not closer to Kombucha vinegar than Kombucha drink. To get a little more precise, I've pulled this chart from: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 188.x/full

The important parts are the sucrose and ethanol levels. The yeast are turning the sucrose into biomass + ethanol and the bacteria are turning the ethanol into biomass + acetic acid/organic acids. The max amount of yeast/biomass is going to be near when the sucrose/ethanol is mostly used up. See here for an example:
Image (from http://www.mdpi.com/1996-1073/7/4/2421/htm)

That suggests you'd see the most amount of cells/mass of cells (probiotics) closer to 30d or more.

Original: My guess is yes, since 1) the yeast need sugar to produce the ethanol that 2) the bacteria eat to make the acetic acid (and other organic acids). The very acidic conditions of vinegar likely indicate that this process has gone to near completion and the remaining yeast/bacteria are either dead or dormant. I imagine the low pH also helps kill the yeast/bacteria, but I haven't found a source on the ideal pH level for the SCOBY yeast/bacteria.
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Re: Kombucha vinegar or Kombucha drink?

Postby AlexandraPchb on Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:40 am

What research you have gone through! Thanks for sharing it (even though I don't quite understand the charts, school is a long time away ;-)

I have read somewhere that the ideal PH for kombucha was 2.5 acidity - but it didn't say if there were max amounts of organisms at that point or not. Not a lot of help but I thought I'd share. (my kombucha seems about 3 acidity as I never let it go to vinegar, it's brewed continuously and we drink it too quickly!! )
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Re: Kombucha vinegar or Kombucha drink?

Postby AlexandraPchb on Tue Mar 10, 2015 3:44 am

PS, might not be interesting to you but I experimented with a supposingly live kombucha from a shop here in UK (hard to find kombucha here, it's not popular enough yet) and it was packaged in a clear bottle, in a bright shop, and has a really long expiry date. Obviously i couldn't find out when the batch was made, but I thought "yeah right, the bacteria will be dead with the light going through that bottle" plus I thought the bacteria would die slowly once it had ran out of food.
Well, I did try to make a SCOBY using that liquid. I had NO faith at all. Added sweetened tea etc, and it took AGES. About 3 weeks, but...there was a little scoby on it, and tasted of kombucha vinegar!!!.
Now, what I don't know is whether there were cultures in that kombucha, OR whether the acidity of the liquid contributed to the right conditions to attract the cultures in the air, required for that to grow. After all, it must be able to create itself, since someone started making it some time in history, he can't have been given a scoby by an Angel? (actually...)

I thought it was an interesting experiment anyway. It was like having a little pet living in conditions I never thought it would be born!
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