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Importance of Kombucha Harvest Point and Fermentation Time

Ever wondered when is the best time to pick Kombucha?

You're in the right place. This post will help you understand what factors affect the quality of your final product, and how to choose the best time to harvest. We'll also give you some tips on how to make sure your Kombucha It's ready when it's time to bottle!

Let us be your guide as we explore all things related to the times of fermentation and harvest of Kombucha, from the importance of this process, to the set of variables that can affect it.

Read on if you're interested in finding out more about this wonderful drink!

Related Article - How to make Kombucha at home

Kombucha Harvest Point and Fermentation Time

After making the first fermentation, where an aerobic fermentation takes place - with the presence of oxygen -, for at least 10 days, in which the SCOBY (symbiotic community of bacteria and yeast, English translation: symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast) will transform sweet tea into a live, probiotic, packed of organic acids and of course carbonated.

As we saw in the article on Kombucha base recipe, you have to let nature do its work. O SCOBY and the symbiosis of its live microorganisms are responsible for transforming a sweet tea into a live drink full of benefits. 

This is the most important part in creating the good drink, because at the end of this process the Kombucha will already present all the qualities and benefits after the first fermentation.

Although the introduction of new flavors with natural gasification open a world of possibilities for new tastes, the benefits of Kombucha are achieved from the first fermentation, with the production of more microorganisms, organic acids, vitamins etc.Kombucha Fermentation Times

The second fermentation is optional, but only for those who want carbonate of course Kombucha. In this phase, an anaerobic fermentation takes place, that is, without the presence of oxygen, and during which we want to "trap" the carbon dioxide produced inside the bottle to be incorporated into the liquid.

What is the Ideal Fermentation Time?

Next, we address an important topic in which we would like to expose the following: there is no ideal fermentation time, but a necessary time for transformation.

the fermentation It's an inexact science, com several variables that influence your process. Fermentation time and the transformation of sweet tea into Kombucha, depends on several factors, such as:

  • Temperature
  • power of tea starter (SCOBY)
  • Fermenter size
  • Oxygenation of the environment
  • quality of ingredients
  • A preference for a more acidic or sweeter taste.

The temperature factor is what most influences the speed of fermentation. When it's too cold, below 20°C, bacteria and yeast "fall asleep" and work very slowly. In addition, low temperatures can lead to contamination as the fermentation activity will be weak. Below we make a prediction of fermentations in 3 liter flasks according to the temperature

How to Find Out What is the Kombucha Harvest Point?

We recommend practicing your sensory analysis - palate, smell, vision - to become the master of your own Kombucha.

The moment we notice that the transformation of sugar into acids has already taken place, we can call it liquid Kombucha. However, the fermentation point also depends on its taste, more acidic or sweeter: the longer it ferments, the more acidic and less sweet it becomes.

In professional productions, where most factors are strictly controlled, the harvest point can be defined by measuring pH, acidity and sugar levels. 

However, homemade productions do not need such control. Tasting and tasting is the simplest method, but the most efficient way to evaluate your Kombucha is to understand what you want in terms of flavors and acidity.

Try it several times throughout the cycle and pay attention to its complexity and levels of sugar, acidity, and fermented flavor. With time and practice, you will be able to distinguish the different fermentation points and the ideal time for the transformation to take place.

Fermentation from SCOBY

As for the visual part, it is possible to understand whether it is at the beginning or in the middle of the SCOBY fermentation process, as you can see in the top image. In each fermentation cycle, a new SCOBY will form at the top of the bottle.

In addition, it is also normal to see yeast strands, sediment deposits and some CO2 bubbles as a result of the yeast producing carbon dioxide gas. the SCOBY-mother it may darken over time and may also float, adhere to the new culture or sink to the bottom of the flask. There is no rule; it's how he feels better.

How to Harvest?

At the moment when the Kombucha presents the flavor of your choice, it's time to harvest. Don't worry about the sediments, culture threads and SCOBY's, they can be consumed and are full of good microorganisms, but as many of us “drink” with our eyes: if you prefer you can filter the liquid to make it cleaner.

If you have been fermenting in a 3 liter jar of Mai Kombucha Kit, you can transfer the liquid to a new container and filter it before bottling. You can use a sieve or a fine mesh strainer. It is also possible to filter with tea towels (nylon or cotton), coffee filters or vegetable milk strainers.

It is important to remember that if very severe filtration is carried out, the amount of microorganisms present will be reduced. This point is important for anyone who wants to second fermentation and naturally carbonate Kombucha, because the presence of yeast is necessary for the transformation of it into carbon dioxide.

A wake-up call - At this stage it is important to guarantee the starter tea and the new SCOBY's for the next recipe, as this is the most important factor for the success of the fermentation. Always save at least 15% of your Kombucha for future productions and let it ferment/acidify for a few more days to have a more potent starter.

The starter tea serves to colonize the sweet tea environment with its live microorganisms, to promote the transformation process and to acidify the new tea, thus protecting it from contamination and unwanted micro-organisms. 

In the case of starter tea, filtration is not necessary because the more microorganisms that inhabit that environment, the better. However, if there are too many strands of yeast or deposits, they can always be filtered. 

Flavoring and Second Fermentation

Once you have the liquid clean, separated from the SCOBY's and starter tea, you can bottle or flavor your Kombucha.

Contrary to what we teach in the base recipe, at this stage you can be creative and create infinite combinations.

After choosing the flavors, we move on to the gasification, Better known as second fermentation (F2), without the presence of oxygen (anaerobic), and in which we want to keep the carbon dioxide produced inside the bottle so that it integrates into the liquid.

Making Kombucha at Home

No industrial tools needed to make a good Kombucha at home. Just follow the process and development of the fermentation cycle, and experience your Kombucha with good judgment.


We hope you enjoyed this post about Kombucha fermentation and harvest times. 

Any questions you have in the manufacturing process of the Kombucha, Do not hesitate to contact us! Our team is ready to answer all your questions about the different variables that can affect fermentation time, or what kind of tea is best for making a batch of Kombucha.

You also have access to our online store where you can find a wide range of products, from starter kits to organic teas, so you can get started right away. 

Click here for more information on these products - or click elsewhere on the site - to learn more about other aspects of Kombucha.

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