How to Increase Sugar Levels in Your Kombucha
Are you interested in a sweeter kombucha with a higher sugar content? If so, read on because in this post we take a look at the three main methods you can use to sweeten up your kombucha.
Howdy guys! We have quite a lot of info regarding how to lower sugar levels in kombucha. But! For those of you who do not have a need to follow a low sugar diet, you might actually be wanting to increase sugar levels. So if you want a sweeter booch higher in sugars – then read on. Its pretty simple, but there are a couple different ways to achieve the goal of sweeter kombucha.
3 Ways to Increase Sugar Levels in Kombucha
# 1 Do Shorter Ferments
As kombucha ferments, it converts and consumes the sugar from the sweet tea. The longer the ferment is allowed to continue – the more sugar will be consumed. Organic acids are also produced. They are what gives kombucha it’s signature tanginess.
Because of this, one of the most common ways to get a sweeter kombucha is to do shorter ferments.
How to Do a Shorter Ferment
Reducing your kombucha’s fermentation time is easy. Taste your kombucha along the way, and when it reaches the perfect sweetness, stop fermentation. If you do second ferments, then you can stop it a little earlier even. This is because more sugars will still be processed into acids during the secondary fermentation.
You can also use a hydrometer to measure the exact sugar levels present in your fermenting kombucha. However this is usually more critical when wanting to reduce sugar! For example in the case of diabetics.
# 2 Do a Second Ferment and Add More Sugar / Sweetening
While cutting fermentation time short is a simple/easy way to get a sweeter booch, this will mean that your kombucha is less mature. It is thought that kombucha contains fewer probiotics when harvested prematurely. Of course….. if you leave kombucha to mature – it will get sourer!
This is where second ferments come in.
Second ferments allow fermentation to continue at a slowed down pace. This means that your kombucha has the chance to mature, while not becoming overly tart. Adding more sugar or sweetening to the second ferment is beneficial to the process, and helps to lock in carbonation. It can also render the finished kombucha sweeter.
If you are looking to sweeten your kombucha will a healthier and more nutritious alternative to sugar (such as honey, fruit, maple syrup etc) then the second ferment provides the perfect opportunity to do this. This is because the SCOBY is not present within the second ferment, and so will not be thrown out by any unusual substances being added.
How to Do a Second Ferment
Second ferments might sound complicated if you are unfamiliar with the term – but they could not be simpler. This is the basic process:
- Stop your ferment a little early.
- Transfer the kombucha (without its SCOBY) into a glass vessel (or vessels) which seal.
- At this point you can add in additional sugar – or a sweet flavoring such as fruit juice, fruit pieces pureed fruit, maple syrup etc.
- Allow the kombucha to sit at room temperature for one day, and then transfer it to the refrigerator for 7 days.
Second ferments really do a lot for kombucha. They refine its flavor and deepen the ferment. Usually without too much additional souring happening. In this case it is also a really great time to add in some more sweetening.
For some really great detailed info on second ferments read our guide How To Make Second Ferment Kombucha (And Why You Absolutely Should).
# 3 Add Sugar Just Before Your Drink
If you have some sour kombucha on your hands, and you want to sweeten it before you drink it, no problem! In fact this is a great way to enjoy the benefits of mature kombucha. If the kombucha is really super tart, what I like to do is dilute the kombucha with water (still or sparkling) and then add a little honey. You can also add fruit juice.
As you can see, if you want to add some additional sugar and sweetness to your booch, then you have got options! Cut your fermenting time a little shorter, do a secondary ferment with additional sweetening, or add a little something just before you drink.
If any of you out there have a go to method for sweetening up your kombucha, we’d love to hear from you!