Kombucha not carbonating

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Kombucha not carbonating

Postby MikeinHalifax on Wed May 13, 2015 8:57 pm

Hello, I have made my fifth successful batch of kombucha. I let it ferment for 2 weeks to get nice and tart. For the last 4 batches it seemed logical it didn't carbonate after bottling because perhaps all the sugar was processed in the 1st ferment. In my last batch, I added a tsp of sugar to each pint bottle and let it sit out 2 days before refrigerating. Still, it is not carbonated much and it was too sweet.

Does anyone have any tips? Should I leave it out longer? Maybe bottle it before 2 weeks and let it finish it's ferment in the bottle? (I may be answering my own question writing this out!) I'm looking for a fizzy lemonade flavor.

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Re: Kombucha not carbonating

Postby Christopher Weeks on Thu May 14, 2015 7:39 am

Letting it sit longer once bottled is the key, for sure. I'm not sure if that means you should just wait longer or also bottle earlier in the souring curve. Hopefully someone who knows will happen along.
Christopher Weeks
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Re: Kombucha not carbonating

Postby Algoldor on Sat May 16, 2015 7:45 am

Hi to all,
my first recommendations is - make sure that your bottles are really well sealed so your carbon dioxide is not escaping, that may be easily the case.

For the fermentation and in this case "secondary fermentation" the temperature is quite important as I'm quite sure you have seen already. If your temperatures are above 20C or preferably around 25-30C, than your kombucha should be fizzy within 1-3 days depending on stage of your culture and of course having some sugar left ther (I bottle after after a week to 10 days in general). Please note that if you are flavouring your beverages it can considerably affect the level and "texture" of carbonation. If you add any fruit juice before bottling you are making basically "a bomb" which can go off even after hours at room temperature (20-24C). If you add for example mate you will see a lots of foam - combined with some fruit sugars amazing results when opened, even better if shaked first :-)

All in all if you are in doubts bottle at least one bottle in plastic and by touch check the pressure level, within few to several days it should start to get carbonated. However I have had batches of kombucha out there at over 25C for a week and very light carbonation, sometimes it just is any issue even with the sugars being there.

Hope it helps,

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Re: Kombucha not carbonating

Postby Tibor on Tue May 19, 2015 11:09 am

Friends of mine have a Kombucha coop/csa. They ferment for 2 weeks with the scoby and then transfer to snap lock liter bottles for 2 weeks to carbonate. He says some like the carbonation after a week but most like it after 2. Temperature will have some effect to the timeline.
I like my Kombucha without carbonation so I refrigerate after about 2 weeks.
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Re: Kombucha not carbonating

Postby MikeinHalifax on Sat May 23, 2015 5:32 pm

Thank you, everyone, for the feedback,

I am happy to report that after a week one batch was nicely carbonated! I am going to leave the second fir another week and compare. The plastic bottle idea is ingenious and I will keep that in my pocket for all batches.

This endeavour has proved to be a great one. While there is much science, there is even more art and exploration to it. I am eager to taste the next batch, an oolong tea and am wondering what to try next. So far, the Sencha Kyoto Cherry blend is my Favorite. I have a third mother ready to try on a Rooibus de Provence. Here I can have some kombucha in the evening without caffeine!

Thanks again,
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Re: Kombucha not carbonating

Postby Tdlotus@gmail.com on Wed May 27, 2015 2:58 pm

Hey Mike,
Try adding a little piece of ginger when you bottle it and leave it out for the second ferment for 3-5 days. In fact we don't even refrigerate ours but we have to burp them every few days to avoid champagne explosions. If you live in Nova Scotia and do not have it on a heating pad then 12 days is not too long, there should be enough sugar to make carbonation happen. The other tip is that the lid of the bottle must be airtight. I use soda pop bottles with a wire lock top that is strong. Those work the best.
Good luck!
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