The average fermentation time for kombucha is about a week, and during this process, the microorganisms in the SCOBY eat the sugar in the tea to give kombucha its wonderful flavour and health benefits. Yet for the avid home brewer, odds are you’ll eventually have a brew that ferments too long. When the ferementation process goes too long, the microorganisms eat too much sugar and create a sour tasting kombucha.
While you may be tempted to throw out your brew if it ferments too long, don’t act so hastily. You may not have drinkable kombucha anymore, but that doesn’t meant your brew is garbage. Instead, you can ferment all of the sugar out and have kombucha vinegar, a product that shares many similarities and uses to apple cider vinegar.
A Natural Cleaner
Unlike commercial cleaners that are full of various synthetic chemicals, vinegars such as kombucha vinegar can be a natural cleaning agent that can be used in various scenarios.
One cleaning use for kombucha vinegar is to use it with baking soda to unclog drains in sinks and bathtubs, as suggested by Ace Plumbing. Make sure to use hot water because it will help loosen any muck that is stuck in the drain. Ace Plumbing suggests pouring a half cup to a full cup of baking soda in the drain and to let it sit for a few minutes. Then, they recommend pouring a half and half mixture of hot water and vinegar and plugging the hole, so the chemical reaction can take place. Then, flush the drainage system with more hot water and that should be enough to overcome most clogs. While Ace Plumbing does not specifically say to use kombucha vinegar, it can be used in this application.
Another cleaning use for kombucha vinegar is pet accidents. According to dogster, "due to its acidic nature, vinegar can neutralize the ammonia from dog urine, helping to eliminate the smell." This can be especially useful for people who are concerned about using harsh chemical cleaners around their pets. Vinegars, such as kombucha vinegar, can be mixed with equal parts water to create a solution that cleans up not only the urine stains, but the smell as well. This is helpful for those trying to housebreak pets as it eliminates the urine smell and does not temp the pet from urinating on the same spot.
There are also other cleaning uses of kombucha vinegar as it plays the same role as apple cider vinegar. So, instead of reaching for a bottle of commercial cleaner, try the natural approach and use kombucha vinegar instead.
Dress it Up
Kombucha vinegar's uses don't end in the cleaning cabinet as it can also be used as a part of a salad dressing. Vinagrette is a very common salad dressing that is known for its lower caloric content than other dressings like ranch and Cesar. While most vinaigrette use balsamic vinegar to be mixed with oil, kombucha vinegar can also be used in place of balsamic. Just follow any vinaigrette recipe and replace the vinegar with kombucha vinegar. Remember that when combining oil and vinegar, using an emulsifier like dijon mustard can ensure that your salad dressing does not separate. Also, it is important to add the oil in slowly and vigorously mix it with the other ingredients to create a cohesive salad dressing.
In addition to salad dressing, kombucha vinegar can be used in place of apple cider vinegar in any recipe. One popular use is in BBQ sauces that aren't as sweet, but provide a more tangy, zesty flavour. Just remember to taste your food so you can adjust the amount of kombucha vinegar when used in place of apple cider vinegar.
Sour Skin Care
We've already wrote about it, but kombucha can aid in skincare as the probiotics in the drink help maintain a healthy digestive system. Healthy skin is a sign of a healthy person; consequently, maintaining good digestion will do much for healthy skin.
When it comes to kombucha vinegar, it can be used as a face wash, just like apple cider vinegar. However, it is important to note that the kombucha vinegar should be diluted with water, especially if you have sensitive skin. The amount of water used is a personal preference and you should experiment to find the right combination for your skin. Many swear by the disinfecting power of vinegar and claim that they experience healthier skin and less acne when using this face wash. Yet, please remember that moderation is key and it is not wise to wash your face with vinegar every single night.
Another role for kombucha vinegar in skin care is curing ingrown hairs, especially ones that grow on the body. People who shave areas of their bodies know very well that ingrown hairs can be an annoying and painful nuisance, especially when they become inflamed and infected. However, one solution to combat ingrown hairs when they appear is to apply kombucha vinegar to the area. First, wash the area with the ingrown hair thoroughly and dry it. Then, apply some kombucha vinegar on a cotton ball or makeup pad and place it on the infected area. After leaving it on for a few hours or overnight, the swelling and infection should subside in a few days. This is because vinegar has disinfecting properties, which makes it a great method to cure ingrown hair infections.
So, the next time you let your brew ferment too long, don't be sad! You may not have tasty kombucha, but you do have kombucha vinegar, a versatile ingredient that can be used in cleaning, cooking, and maintaining healthy skin.
If you're interested in brewing your own kombucha at home, please visit our shop page. We have everything needed for you to begin making kombucha at home.