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8 Ways to Improve Kombucha Carbonation

When looking to take your Kombucha game to the next level, carbonation is something worth considering. However, when starting out it can be difficult to know which is the best way forward.

We know it can be difficult and confusing when getting started, but we have 8 tips for you that will help ensure your Kombucha is naturally carbonated and ready to bottle and drink!

It's easy once you get the hang of it. Follow these steps on how to carbonate kombucha in a natural way. You will see results in no time! Let us show you how to properly prepare your next batch of Kombucha so it comes out perfectly every time.

RelatedHow to make Kombucha at home

What is Gasification?

When carbon dioxide (CO2) is dissolved in a liquid and held at a specific pressure, it causes gasification. Bubbles dissipate when pressure is released.

How to Carbonate Kombucha in a Natural Way?

This phase is called the second fermentation (F2), without the presence of oxygen (anaerobic), where the microorganisms of the Kombucha culture will work to give life to a naturally carbonated and effervescent drink. In this phase, the predominant work is that of the yeasts, since there is no oxygen for the action of the bacteria.

The formula behind this chemical reaction is easy: the yeast turns the residual sugar into alcohol and carbon dioxide gas. Fermentation takes place at room temperature and inside a properly sealed bottle.

During this time, carbon dioxide gas is produced and incorporated into the liquid. THE second fermentation in the bottle is the technique most used by master Kombucheiros artisans and results in the best drink flavor.

kombucha gasification

Important points for gasification:

  • Good Base – Ensure that the base income was duly respected, with the desired ingredients and quantities for a healthy fermentation.
  • Transformer Ingredient - Ensure that there is residual or additional sugar for processing into CO2
  • right bottle - It is important to use bottles that do not let gas escape - with a mechanical cap.
  • Temperature – One of the main accelerators of the process is the higher the temperature, the faster it will be.

Transformer Ingredient

Sugar is the transformer of this process and temperature the accelerator. When you taste Kombucha after F1, you have to be able to feel the sugar in the drink. We divide it into two types of sugars:

Residual sugar – After harvesting, it is desired that there is still an amount of sugar available to be fermented by the yeasts present there.

Added sugar - when ingredients that have sugar are added, such as fructose from sweet or dried fruits, whole juices or pulp. With the added sugar, the yeast will have more nutrients to turn it into CO2 (gas).

We do not recommend adding pure sugar to the second fermentation, since the Kombucha it can become explosive and alcoholic, but if you wish to do so, do not exceed 10 grams of sugar per litre.

Fostering Ingredients

There are ingredients that, even without sugar, stimulate carbonation because they contribute with other types of nutrients that promote fermentation.

This is the case with ginger, which has wild yeasts, as well as pineapple, which contributes yeast and fructose. Hibiscus flower, yerba mate, coffee also have a stimulating factor due to the presence of nitrogen, tannins and caffeine.

Using the Right Bottle to Make Kombucha

bottle to make kombucha

The use of bottles that help to gasification nature is fundamental in this process. Often, Kombucha has all the conditions to become effervescent, but all the gas produced at this stage ends up escaping due to the use of inappropriate bottles.

The most recommended bottles are those with mechanical caps, which can ensure that the gas does not escape and remains completely inside.

For those just starting out in the world of Kombucha, we recommend reusing a PET bottle because you can feel the bottle's pressure and understand the amount of gas created, which makes the process safer and prevents dangerous explosions.

When you feel safer, you can switch to Flip top bottles, which have a mechanical cap that ensures that the gas produced does not escape. You can even do both simultaneously. In this way, it is possible to know when the process will be finished.

The plastic bottle tip is simple and effective. Leave 3 fingers of space between the liquid and the top of the bottle. Before closing, squeeze the bottle so that the liquid rises and close well. Leave it at room temperature and you'll notice in a day or two that your bottle will slowly expand until it gets to a point where it's all swollen and hard. At this point, there is no longer any doubt that your drink is carbonated.

It is recommended to leave a small space in the bottle for the formation of gas, before filling and going to the second fermentation of Kombucha. A maximum of 2 fingers of space is enough to ensure more security when opening the bottle. You don't want too much space and oxygen inside the bottle for the natural gasification, since less CO2 will be incorporated into the liquid.

How to Open the Bottle Safely?

For those who have had a long second fermentation, it is recommended to open the bottle after a few hours in the cold or preferably below 4°C. The cold stabilizes the action of microorganisms and reduces the agitation of the gas particles. Thus, it is much safer to open the bottles at low temperature.

When we already know that the Kombucha is well carbonated, in addition to opening it cold, we also recommend opening it little by little, inside a sink and understanding the level of carbonation. If the gas comes out of the bottle, it better be in an appropriate environment.

open a bottle of Kombucha well carbonated at room temperature without opening it little by little can be dangerous or at least unpleasant, because it leaves the house all dirty.

8. Tips for Greater Gasification

  1. Use correct bottles, such as bottles with a mechanical cap to prevent gas loss.
  2. Reuse a PET bottle to do second fermentation tests and learn about the variables - residual sugar, temperature and time.
  3. Ensures the existence of residual or added sugar to be processed.
  4. It uses ingredients that stimulate carbonation, such as ginger and pineapple.
  5. Fill the bottle to the top without leaving much space for the CO2 to be absorbed by the liquid
  6. Fermentation in a warm place (between 22 and 27°C)
  7. Be patient and don't open the bottle every day to see if there is gas. Whenever you open it, the gas escapes and is not incorporated.
  8. Open it cold and carefully so that no accidents happen!

kombucha carbonation

    What is the Ideal Time for Second Fermentation?

    After explaining the main points, it is possible to understand that it is not an easy answer. When people ask us what is the ideal time for the second fermentation, we always have to answer with more questions like:

    • How much sugar did you use in the F1 recipe?
    • How long and what is the temperature of the first fermentation?
    • what ingredients added in flavoring and what is your quantity?
    • What is the average temperature of the second fermentation?

    Without these answers, it is impossible to give a time estimate for F2. The most important thing in this process is to understand the chemistry behind the process, get an idea of ​​the ambient temperature and know how much residual (or added) sugar will be before the second fermentation.

    As a result, knowing these variables, it is possible to carry out experiments in order to acquire the necessary skills to identify the optimal secondary fermentation time for its Kombucha, crossing the variables: sugar X temperature.

    The more you know about the science behind natural gasification, the better your Kombucha!

    Conclusion

    Now that you have the tips for more carbonation, are you ready to start brewing? If so, be sure to follow us on social media @mai.kombucha so that we can follow each other's progress in making this wonderful drink.  




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