Best Kombucha Temperature For Brewing
At Joshua Tree Kombucha we love a sparkling home-brewed kombucha in the summer, but we also love a crisp home-brewed kombucha just as much in the winter months. Kombucha cocktails are a great way to keep warm in the winter, amiright? But the cold weather can be a major bummer for any home-brewer.
Kombucha loves heat more than Donald Trump likes to tweet. But what is the perfect temperature for kombucha? First and second fermentations should both aim for a constant of mid-high 70’s Fahrenheit for the duration of your brew. Technically, anything in the 65 to 85-degree range will work. Now keep reading for all your kombucha temperature control needs.
Higher Brewing Temperatures
Brewing kombucha at the higher end of the spectrum will cause greater yeast production. This can make for a strong, more acidic brew. We’ve all been tempted to bump up the heat for faster fermentation. Unfortunately, this can also cause the brew to turn sour and it’s not healthy for the SCOBY.
Check out our experiment below:
This brew was kept at 82°F (or higher) for one week. You can see the condensation on the inside of the jar in the first image.
The brew formed a bubbly SCOBY that kind of resembles boiling water. While it did ferment faster, I do not prefer the overly strong tangy-tartness of the brew.
Lower Brewing Temperatures
On the flip side, you do not want your kombucha temperature too. Cold temperatures will result in a less acidic brew. This is because the yeast and bacteria are more lethargic.
Careful not to let the brewing temperature drop too low! This can be a cause of mold growth in your kombucha brew. It is always advised to shoot for the range listed above.
Lowering your temperature can be useful if your brew is creating too much yeast. Lower brew temps will help the bacteria thrive instead. Kombucha brewed at lower temps is usually weaker and your SCOBY will take longer to form or may stay very thin.
If you have a thriving SCOBY hotel, storing in the mid-60s range can work for the long term. This slows the activity between yeast and bacteria. This way your SCOBYs will eat less of the liquid so you can have more time between refills.
Note: Always make sure the kombucha tea temperature is within the preferred range before adding your SCOBY and starter liquid for your first fermentation. If too hot or cold, you could kill your SCOBY. (More on SCOBY health here).
Tips and Tricks:
So, if you live on a tropical island, these tips below may not be for you. But for the rest of us, here are a few ways to keep your brew happy during the winter months or in colder climates.
- Place your jar in the warmest spot in your home – near a heater or up higher where more heat is trapped. Always make sure the location is well ventilated so your brew can breathe.
- Use temperature strips on your glass brewing vessel to watch your kombucha temperature throughout the brew.
- For colder months or locations, use warming pads or warming wraps to help keep your brew warm.
Note: warming pads can also increase yeast production if concentrated in one hot spot. If used, try to wrap evenly around the vessel and keep temperatures in the mid-70s for best results. Or only use at night when temperatures drop.
- Using extra starter tea can also increase the acidity of your brew and help get things moving more quickly during the winter months.
Happy brewing! 🙌