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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 buy your SCOBY or receive it from a friend, it will likely come with starter tea, which is basically raw kombucha. The raw kombucha that your kush capital has been raised in is the perfect solution to add to fresh tea to begin the brewing process, as it is most likely at the proper pH level for SCOBY to survive.
Your SCOBY will be well used to the acidity and will begin to ferment your new brew. If you don’t have enough starter liquid, you can buy 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 color change. Compare the color against the provided chart to determine the corresponding pH level number (* Note – colors may vary depending on the strips used).
You can perform your first pH test after adding your starter liquid and SCOBY to your sweet tea. Your brew should read less than 5. If it is greater than 5, continue adding starter fluid until the level is reached. You will retest your brew just before you are ready to bottle your brew for the second fermentation process.
Before bottling the brew, if your pH is around 3, your brew is ready for the second fermentation. If it stays above 3, you can leave it for an additional day or two and start the test again. Please note that this is not an exact science as everyone has certain tastes they want to achieve.

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