Saturday, July 21, 2007

Malt Kombucha Bottling and Tasting

Kombucha BottlingMy method for bottling is pretty simple. I put a funnel on top of a cleaned and sanitized beer bottle, then I add in some white sugar (normally I do 3/4 of a tsp per 12 oz, but despite using a bigger bottle I kept the same 3/4 tsp for this batch to keep the carbonation closer to that of regular beer) then pour kombucha in. I figure it isn't worth being careful and siphoning lime I do with beer because I will drink this long before oxidation would become an issue. I then leave the bottles out at room temperature for a week or two, during this time the yeast will produce CO2 which will slowly dissolve into the liquid to equalize the pressure in the head space. I then put the kombucha into the refrigerator until I am ready to drink it.

Tasting of my 1st attempt at malt kombucha

Appearance - The thin white head sits onto of a cloudy yellow liquid. It isn't chill haze, but bits of the kombucha culture itself.

Aroma - Plenty of sour vinegar (acetic acid) in the aroma, but it isn't enough to be sharp or offensive (to me anyway). Behind that is an earthy note along with some hay. It is similar to my plain kombucha (which I have failed to do a full tasting of).

Taste - Tip of the tongue wake you up acidity fades to a worty sweetness in the back of the mouth. As I continue to drink, the sourness fades a bit leaving a rather smooth flavor profile.

Mouthfeel - Mild carbonation with a medium-light body. Definitely a different effect than the spritzy carbonation and ultra thin body I normally end up with on my plain kombucha batches.

Drinkability/Notes - Not the tastiest beverage I have concocted, but it certain proves that this is a viable idea. Next time I think I will leave it for more than 10 days before bottling to try to get rid of the under attenuated flavor. According to my hydrometer reading the apparent attenuation was about 50% on this batch.


Adventures of Garden Boy said...

Thanks for posting this. Using Kombucha to help sour and flavor beer (or vice versa?) is an intriguing venture.

So, did you essentially brew a batch of kombucha with tea and malt extract versus sugar?

The Mad Fermentationist (Mike) said...

I actually left the tea out of these kombucha-beer hybrids, but you could certainly use the usual amount. The malt extract provides all of the nutrients the microbes need.

Since I posted this (five years ago) a number of beers have been released commercially that blend a brewery's product with commercial kombucha: Goose Island Fleur, Vanberg & Dewulf Lambrucha, and Jester King Buddha's Brew for example.

The Imagineer said...

This thread is pretty old...... but as I am experimenting with Malt based Kombucha it's pretty relevant to me at the moment. I am in the process of cooling a wort consisting of pale malt extract, water, and some tea. I will be pitching yeast as making beer, and allowing it to ferment 4 or 5 days. It will then be fed into a continuous kombucha culture in a gallon jug by removing a liter of bottled KT, and replacing it with a liter, then in a few days when it has soured properly, repeating, etc....until the entire gallon of wort is in the KT jug.... I may repeat if I like the result. Depending on my finished flavor prior to bottling, I may make a cold infusion hop syrup as bottling sugar.

Saturday Morning Book Blog said...

I've been brewing plain, black tea Kombucha for a year or so and decided to try adding malt extract at the beginning, along with the normal cup of sugar to a gallon of water/tea. I added just under 1/4 cup of pure malt extract. It seems to be fermenting a little more slowly as the baby Scoby isn't fully developed yet. There were a few strands of what I presume to be yeast from the first days. But the Kombucha is starting to get the tangy flavor and just a hint of carbonation to it. I think it probably has some alcohol at this point too. And it has a nice malt flavor, not necessarily like beer, but like malty kombucha. I'm going to taste it daily but think it may be ready to drink in 3 or 4 days.

I have some photos if I can figure out how to post them.

When I started this I also did a 2nd ferment with some finished kombucha that had gone too long and was pretty vinegary. I added a tablespoon of the malt extract and sealed the bottle up and left it on the counter for two days. It's still too sour, but the malt gives it a nice flavor. It produced lots of sediment that's in the bottom.