How to Sweeten Your Kombucha? Pros and Cons

Sugar is essential to brewing your own kombucha. The sugar is what the SCOBY eats to grow. Without this fundamental ingredient, bacteria and yeast in the kombucha will not be able to ferment the drink. Concerned about consuming sugar? No worries! The SCOBY feeds off of most of the sugar so by the time you drink your kombucha not much of the sugar remains. Here is a breakdown of the best and worst types of sugar to use:

Organic Cane Sugar: 

This is an excellent choice to use for kombucha and is commonly used by many brewers. We highly recommend cane sugar as it has worked the best and will give you consistent results.

Raw Cane Sugars:

Raw sugar such as turbinado and demerara, are less refined and typically have molasses. These sugars can be beneficial to use because they have less pesticides and go through less processing. However, brewing with raw sugars will create longer fermentation periods due to the SCOBY working extra hard to break down the sugar.


Honey is  highly beneficial when used due to its countless vitamins and antioxidants. It is a central component in Jun Kombucha. However, with a traditional SCOBY, using honey isn’t recommended because the organisms in the honey may affect the brew. 

Agave, Coconut, Maple Sugar: 

We do not suggest these types of sugars. The reason is that it will alter the brewing process because it can potentially interfere with the bacteria and yeast. We highly recommend using cane sugar to keep a healthy and balanced brew.

Stevia, Xylitol, Artificial Sweeteners: 

Avoid as much as possible. These processed sweeteners do not contain the proper nutrients for the SCOBY to grow.


  • Store your SCOBY at room temp. The longer it ferments the stronger the starter liquid will be for your next batch.

  • Your instructions indicate: Step 1. Remove and store your scoby
    Remove the scoby from the 1 gallon jar and place in a clean container. Pour 1 to 1.5 cups of kombucha into the container with the scoby and cover with fermenting cloth. This will serve as your starter tea and culture for your next batch. If I don’t intend on brewing the next batch for one or two weeks how should I store the SCOBY and liquid? Refrigerator or room temp?

    Joseph Hensel

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