How to Filter Your Kombucha to Remove Yeasty Stuff
Thinking of straining your kombucha to get rid of yeastie beasties? In this post we look at different straining methods and additional brewing perks of straining. We also have a look at when is the best time to sieve your kombucha.
During its brewing cycle, kombucha produces free floating yeast colonies which manifest themselves as brown strings, particles and sediment. While there is nothing wrong with these brown bits (in fact they are good for you) they can be off putting to the drinker!
For this reason many people choose to strain their kombucha before bottling. However besides aesthetics, there are a couple other motivators for sieving your kombucha.
Reasons To Sieve Kombucha (Besides Looks)
So if you are thinking of sieving your kombucha you will be pleased to know that there are some additional advantages to this besides making your kombucha more palatable to look at. These advantages are most noticeable if you have been struggling with high levels of yeast in your brew. They include:
- Reduced volatility of second ferment
- Smoother tasting kombucha
- Reduced booziness
- Reduced secondary ferment explosion risks
- Slower secondary ferment
- Less risk of exploding bottles of stored kombucha
Reasons to Not Sieve Kombucha
If you are in two minds about whether or not too sieve, here are some of the reasons why people do not sieve.
- Supposed reduced probiotic count (whether or not this is anything substantial is unknown)
- Loss of carbonation
- More time needed for second ferments
To reassure you quickly, the loss of carbonation can be made up by sieving before the second ferment. As for the last point, slower secondary ferments are a good thing – all you gotta do is time your booch accordingly so that you always have kombucha on hand.
3 Easy Ways to Sieve Your Kombucha
If we didn’t lose you to the above points, then let’s get into what are some easy ways to sieve your booch!
#1 Coffee filter and Pour Over Manual Coffee Maker
This is a quite a handy way to filter your kombucha, you can can filter it straight into your bottling or secondary ferment containers – even ones with narrow mouths. You might want to have some helpful soul around to hold it in place while you pour, as the bases do not fit all container mouths snugly.
Great for Reducing Loss of Carbonation!
One of the best aspect of this coffee filter trick is that it helps to reduce loss of carbonation. The reason for this is that you only have to pour the kombucha once. And at the same time it gets filtered. If you pour it through a sieve into a bowl or jug, and from that container into your bottles or jars, more carbonation is lost with every transfer.
#2 Ordinary Sieve
If you do not have one of these manual coffee makers, then you can also use a regular sieve. If you find that the holes in the mesh are abit too big for thorough filtering, you can add a layer of wide mesh cloth.
Best for Sieving Before the Secondary Ferment
As mentioned above, this method can cause a bit more carbonation to be lost. However if you are filtering prior to doing a second ferment (as opposed to just before you bottle) then the secondary ferment process should remedy this and build up new levels of carbonation.
#3 Large Funnel and Piece of Wide Mesh Cloth
This is similar to the coffee filter method, only better suited to large batches. All you need is a large funnel, and a big piece of muslin, cheesecloth or some other wide meshed material. Simply stick the funnel into the container which you want to bottle or second ferment in. Place the cheesecloth inside the funnel and grasp the corners. Pour the kombucha through. Again, you might want some assistance while pouring, so that the whole setup does not go toppling over.
Best for Large Batches (also good for reducing loss of carbonation)
As mentioned above, this is really great for large batches as you can get it all down quickly. The funnel mouth should be able to fit snugly inside most containers mouths, making for mess free sieving. Because you can strain directly into your containers, again, this is a great method for reducing carbonation loss.
When to Sieve
Before we leave you to pick out your sieving method, let’s take a look at when is the best time to sieve. You can either sieve before the second ferment, or before you bottle up the kombucha for consumption.
Sieving Before the Second Ferment
This is a good time to sieve because any lost carbonation will be made up again in the second ferment. Sieving can also improve the second ferment by slowing it down and reducing the harshness that excessive levels of yeast can bring. Sieving can also render the results of the second ferment more consistent.
There is one reason why you might not wish to sieve before the second ferment, and that is as follows: If you have low levels of yeast present in your kombucha, then reducing these too much before the second ferment could really grind the process to a standstill. Slow second ferments are good, but there is a limit. ; )
Sieving Before Bottling
As mentioned above, sieving before bottling has the benefit (if it is needed) of allowing the yeasts to continue working at full power on the second ferment.
Can results in lower carbonation. If there is high levels of yeasts present in your brewing kombucha, then leaving them in until bottling can render the second ferment harsh in taste and variable in results.
And there you have it, the lowdown on whether or not to sieve kombucha and if so how to do it. Remember guys, while we might give detailed instructions and lots of info on simple things like sieving, kombucha making is a resilient process. You can’t mess up too bad when you have the indestructible SCOBY on your team.
However you can tweak your booch making (and in this case sieving) to render you a ferment which you are just crazy about. Happy brewing all.