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Kombucha and Reading pH Levels

By: Brew Your Bucha Posted: April 2, 2018 in Kombucha

What are pH levels?

pH measures the acidity or akalinity of substances, which ranges from 1 to 14.  A substance that has a pH value of 7 is considered neutral; acidity rises when the ph level decreases (1 being the most acidic).

Why does it matter?

Whether you are new to kombucha brewing or a veteran, it is important to know whether your Kombucha pH level is in the appropriate range for consumption.  Your SCOBY is a living organism that is susceptible to mold and contaminants that can impact your brew results.  Keeping your SCOBY and brew a the appropriate acidity level will reduce the risk of mold developing.

If you are purchasing your SCOBY or receiving it from a friend, it will most likely come with  starter tea, which is essentially raw kombucha.  Raw kombucha which your SCOBY was raised in is the ideal solution to add to fresh tea to begin the brewing process, given that it is most likely at the appropriate pH level for the SCOBY to survive.

Your SCOBY will be well accustomed to the acidity and begin to ferment your new brew.  If you do not have sufficient amount of starter fluid, you can purchase raw kombucha and add it to your brew as well.

How and When Should I Test The pH Level?

There are different ways to test your kombucha’s pH level; however, the simplest way is to use a paper strip coated in a pH indicating dye.  The range typically is from 1 to 14.  You can purchase pH Test Strips in our shop, or you can find them at your local pharmacy.

To test your brew, simply remove some of your brew in a cup and dip a single strip into the sample and wait for a colour change.  Compare the colour against the provided chart to determine the corresponding pH level number (*Note – colours may vary depending on the strips used).

You can take your first pH test reading after you add your starter fluid and SCOBY to your sweet tea.  Your brew should give a reading below 5.  If it is higher than 5 then, continue adding starter fluid until the level is reached.  You will retest your brew again just before you are ready to bottle your brew for the second fermentation process.

Before you bottle the brew, if your pH level is around 3, then your brew it ready for the second ferment.  If it remains above 3, then you can leave it for an additional day or two and retest.  Please note, that this is not an exact science given everyone has certain tastes they want to achieve.

If you have any questions, you can contact us through our contact page.

Happy Brewing!

– The Brew Your Bucha Team

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