Do Kombucha Scoby suffer from a sweet tooth?

The logic goes like this;

Premise 1: White Sugar is harmful to the body
Premise 2: Kombucha has white sugar
Conclusion: Kombucha is harmful to the body?

Yes it is true, white processed sugar is a vital ingredient in Kombucha. In fact, if you say that kombucha Scoby has a sweet you are spot on!! Before you put your arms up high and swear off kombucha for life, let me make it clear. The sugar is not for you its for the Scoby!

Hear me out. In a typical brewing process, for each liter of tea, the default amount of sugar is 80g/liter. The amount of sugar looks like this:

                          Sugar amount day 1

During the brewing process, yeast will break down sugar to fructose and glucose. The yeast will then consume the glucose producing carbon dioxide, etanol in the process. The main bacterium in kombucha, Acetobacter sp. will then oxidize ethanol to acetic acid. Fructose will still remain at a very low level in the drink.

Fast forward to day 9,
The content of sugar will reduce by 48% to around 38g per liter. (This was proven by a study done by Cornell University Cornell study) The sugar content per liter should now look something like this.

                       Sugar amount day 9

And finally for those who totally want a lower amount of sugar, double the brewing time to 18 days and the content of sugar will reduce further to 18g per liter. Every time you consume a small cup (250ml) of kombucha the amount of sugar will only be around 4g for 18day brew 8g for a 9 day brew.

In the latest recommendation by FDA, the recommended amount for an adult is 25g per day. So in essence, consuming a 9 day kombucha brew constitutes 33% of the daily recommendation while a 18 day brew constitutes only 16% of the daily recommendation of sugar.

A small cup of  milk has 13g of sugar ,orange juice has 21g and  Coca cola 40g. Kombucha at a regular 9 day brew still beats those beverages hands down when it comes to sugar content.

For those who worry about the amount of sugar in kombucha, I will recommend the following; lengthen the brewing process or reduce the initial amount of sugar from 80g to 60g. Combination of both of this will greatly reduce the amount of sugar in the final brew.

In conclusion though kombucha has sugar in it, tweaking the amount of sugar and the length of brewing will greatly reduce the amount to significantly low level.

Happy brewing!


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