How to Test For Sugar Concentration in Kombucha
Have you been wondering if it is possible to measure the sugar concentration in your kombucha? In this post we take a look at the two ways which one can test for sugar, as well as which method might be best suited to you.
Testing your kombucha for sugar can be a very useful brewing practice to implement. If you are on a low sugar eating plan, and wish to make sure that the kombucha which you are making and consuming does not contain overly high levels of sugar, then testing is the best way to accurately measure this. Testing your kombucha sugar concentration throughout the brewing process can also give you an eye into the compositional changes which kombucha goes through during the brewing cycle.
Testing for sugar concentration might sound complex and a bit scientific. However with the right equipment it is a simple process for the home brewer to carry out.
There are two main methods which one can use to test one’s kombucha for sugar concentration. Let’s take a look.
2 Ways to Test Sugar Concentration Within Kombucha
Here are the two main methods you can implement for testing the sugars levels in your brewing booch. Which you should choose is dependant on your needs. More on that later! For now let’s check out each our two options, hydrometer and accuvin kits.
Using a Hydrometer to Test for Sugar Concentration in Kombucha
Perhaps the most common method for measuring sugar levels in fermenting drinks, is the hydrometer. Hydrometers can also be used to measure alcohol levels. However they are just as effective at measuring those of residual sugars.
Hydrometers rank in on the more pricey end of kombucha equipment. However, what is important to consider is that they are a one time purchase – Accuvin kits – and therefore will pay themselves back if you are going to be doing a lot of testing.
Ease of Use
Hydrometers are pretty easy to use for sugar testing. The basic procedure is to dip the hydrometer into a vial of sample kombucha. The hydrometer will then show a reading which will indicate the sugar concentration of your kombucha.
Accuvin is the name of a brand which sells test kits (similar to ph stips) to measure sugar concertation. They came into being in response to a demand for easy and cheap sugar testing in the winemaking industry.
Acuvin tests are cheaper to purchase than hydrometers. They are fairly cost effective, a pack contains between 20 -100 tests, depending on what sized pack your choose to buy. This works out roughly to about 2-3 dollars per test.
Ease of Use
Brewers who have used accuvin tests report good results and ease of use. The tests are designed to be quick and simple to use with accurate readings.
Hydrometers Versus Accuvin Tests
If you are trying to decided which product to use for your sugar testing, then give some thought to the frequency of your tests, how much kombucha you make, and how often.
A high is a good option to choose if you brew big batches of kombucha, continually, and wish to do regular testing. If you are interested in the invisible goings on in kombucha, you might want to test each batch multiple times at different stages of the brewing cycle. Or perhaps you suffer from borderline diabetes which means that you will want to religiously test your kombucha for sugar concentration before drinking. If any of these premises are valid, then a hydrometer might be a good investment for you.
As mentioned above, hydrometers can also measure alcohol levels. So if those readings interest or are required by you aswell, then a hydrometer is a good buy.
Accuvin tests are a slightly less costly outlay than a hydrometer. For this reason they are great if you just want to do a few tests for sugar concentration, and not necessarily on a long term basis. They are also a good place to start if you wish to try out sugar testing to see if it is something which you wish to implement with each batch of kombucha. Accuvin tests can be a good way to try out sugar testing, and if you find that it is a tool that you do not want to brew without -then you can still invest in a hydrometer once the tests are all used up.
Accuvin tests can also be a good option if you want to do regular testing, but only make batches of kombucha intermittently.
Testing for sugar concentration in kombucha is a really handy tool to have in your belt as a kombucha brewer. Being able to test for sugar, whether with every batch or at irregular intervals, can allow you to see what is going on with your kombucha on a level that is invisible to the eye.
Taste alone is not always a reliable way to check for sugar concentration in kombucha. If enough acids build up, the sourness of these can mask residual sweetness, causing one to underestimate the amount of sugars remaining.
Lastly, if you are following a restricted sugar diet, or are making kombucha on a semi commercial level, then sugar testing can be a must!