Homebrewers may be tempted to add their spin to the kombucha by adding flavored tea such as floral tea and fruit tea. However, this could throw the SCOBY off by introducing substances such as fat and fiber that they cannot digest. Stick to pure black tea and green tea, within which there is a wide selection to choose from, such as Pu’er, Jasmine, and Oolong. You can always add flavor later during the second fermentation.
Pure cane sugar is the best fuel for your kombucha’s microbes. However, some sugar-conscious brewers may worry about the calories and use less sugar than advised. This will deprive the scoby of needed sucrose to thrive. As long as your fermentation process is long enough, most sugar will be metabolized and the sweetness will be gone.
Depending on the temperature, the strength of the scoby, and your preference for dryness, the fermentation process can go from two to four weeks. Although drinking a prematurely harvested kombucha that’s a week old is not dangerous, it hasn’t allowed enough metabolization to happen yet, and it’s still high in sugar content for consumption. Let the brewing go longer until almost zero sugar is the best way to consume kombucha.
The second fermentation is when we add our preferred flavors to the kombucha, whether it’s fruits, roots, or seeds. However, natural fermentation involves yeast that turns the nutrients in these ingredients into CO2. This process also produces a certain amount of alcohol depending on the nutrition profile of the ingredients. To avoid unwanted alcohol, choose ingredients lower in sugar content, and place your second fermentation in a cooler environment (such as your refrigerator)