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I have been brewing for a few months now and still cannot get good carbonation.

The gentleman who sent me my SCOBY also sent a bottle of his Kombucha.  It was like drinking an apple cider champagne.  It was so nicely carbonated - bubbles, bubbles bubbles.  I want that! 

My Kombucha has a great flavor, but little to no carbonation.  It isn't truly flat, as it still has a little bite on the tongue from the acid/vinegar.  I've even tried adding a little sugar when bottling... still no bubbles, not even after sitting for 7-10+ days.  Any suggestions?  All comments/ideas are appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
Rich
Coyote Ridge Farms
West-central MN

Tags: carbonation

Views: 3136

Replies to This Discussion

I have a couple pictures of a method for carbonating "anything" in a 2 litre soda bottle. They are posted under my phots, just go to my profile and look at my photos (look for the 2 litre bottles pictures). The method it simple and is listed in the caption below the pictures. You do have to have a CO2 tank to do it but once you try this you'll want to start carbonating anything and everything thereafter. You can put the fizz back in your sodas or carbonate lemonade to make cheap homeade soda.
I've seen your valve-stem photo before. It's quite clever. I guess I'm not interested in artificially carbonating anything at this time. Kombucha, water kefir, beer and the like, are naturally carbonated beverages. That's what we like about the process. I'm just curious as to why my kombucha does not carbonate on its own and how to correct it.

I do enjoy your photos. They're great. Thanks for the reply.

Rich
Coyote Ridge Farms
West-central MN
++

I have the same problem, and recently saw a similar post on a kombucha list I'm on. The reply said the original poster wasn't doing anything wrong, so I'm still wondering about this. I'm getting the same thing, eg, vinegary smell and taste, but no fizz.
If you choose to bottle condition (carbonating in the bottle), be careful. Too much sugar can cause the bottle to explode. Assuming you've done nothing at the end of the carbonation process to cause the yeast to not work again (like adding potassium Sorbate), you simply add 3/4 teasppon of sugar to each 12ounce bottle (3/4 cup per 5 gallon). If you can post the reciepe and directions I can probably tell you more about what happened or why it didn't happen.

Coyote Ridge Farms said:
I've seen your valve-stem photo before. It's quite clever. I guess I'm not interested in artificially carbonating anything at this time. Kombucha, water kefir, beer and the like, are naturally carbonated beverages. That's what we like about the process. I'm just curious as to why my kombucha does not carbonate on its own and how to correct it.

I do enjoy your photos. They're great. Thanks for the reply.

Rich
Coyote Ridge Farms
West-central MN
++

Pat

Here is the Kombucha recipe I've been using (3rd entry in thread). The recipe was given to me by the same fellow who gave me a sample. His booch was great.

Thanks for your attention on this.

Rich
Ok, let me start by saying that I am not trying to be an expert or authority. Nor am I trying to offend anyone. The receipe is a bit crude, and is missing nearly everything that would have given a specific answer to your problem. There is no mention of sanitary conditions, specific gravities, frmenting temperatures, airlocks.....Typically anyone making wine or fermented beverages would need those specifics to be able to duplicate or critique a reciepe. All that being said let me say a bit more;-) Generally yeast does not die during a fermentation. Instead it goes dormant from lack of food (sugars). Consequently, when you add sugar it has something to eat and comes back to life. So fill a bottle to about 1 inch below the top. Add a 3/4 teaspoon of sugar ( for a 12 ounce bottle). Cap the bottle tightly so that no CO2 can escape. As the yeast eats the sugar it will produce CO2 and will build up pressure inside the bottle. As the pressure builds the CO2 saturates the liquid and remains in suspension for a period of time after it is opened and poured. That's what produces the head on a beer or the fizz in a soda. One of the byproducts of carbonating in the bottle is a little sludge at the bottom of the bottle. If you allow it to sit for a few weeks and then carefully pour the liquid off , the sludge/slurry will stay in the bottle. the sludge/slury will not harm you and not give off a bad taste but it will make your drink a little cloudy. I hope I was able to help a little.

Coyote Ridge Farms said:
Pat

Here is the Kombucha recipe I've been using (3rd entry in thread). The recipe was given to me by the same fellow who gave me a sample. His booch was great.

Thanks for your attention on this.

Rich
Pat

No offense taken (directly or indirectly). I'm a wine maker and have been for many years now, so I get what you're saying. I guess I didn't include the fact that I did that... because I take it for granted [how yeast works, make sure things are sanitized, etc...]. I figured if the kombucha I tasted (and liked) was made from that recipe, I should use it. Even though I have tried different times, temps and sugars, I still end up with the same thing - it lacks bubbles.

As far as specific gravity... I have never seen a Kombucha recipe the gives that. Most of the recipes are nearly the same, with the exception of vinegar or no vinegar.

Oh well. Back to the drawing board. Thanks for your help.

Rich
But have you added the 3/4 teaspoon of sugar and bottled it? You'll never get carbonation unless it can further ferment under preasure to saturate the liquid or unless you force carbonate it to do the same.

Coyote Ridge Farms said:
Pat

No offense taken (directly or indirectly). I'm a wine maker and have been for many years now, so I get what you're saying. I guess I didn't include the fact that I did that... because I take it for granted [how yeast works, make sure things are sanitized, etc...]. I figured if the kombucha I tasted (and liked) was made from that recipe, I should use it. Even though I have tried different times, temps and sugars, I still end up with the same thing - it lacks bubbles.

As far as specific gravity... I have never seen a Kombucha recipe the gives that. Most of the recipes are nearly the same, with the exception of vinegar or no vinegar.

Oh well. Back to the drawing board. Thanks for your help.

Rich
3/4 teaspoon? No. 1/2 teaspoon?! Yes. A smidge more wouldn't hurt I guess.
And yes, I leave somewhere between 2 fingers and 1" head space. I've even tried no head space.
I use 2 types of bottles - both the crown cap and the EZ Cap style.
And I leave it set for 10 days [usually] after bottling (w/the added sugar). Perhaps I should try 15-20 days.
My SCOBY is smooth and creamy white, as it should be.
My tea [9 times out of 10] is unflavored black tea.

I am truly at a loss.

Again, I appreciate your time.
Rich
The recomneded amount of priming sugar is 3/4 cups per 5 gallons which translates into about .7 teaspoons. I've seen the 1/2 teaspoon per bottle recomendation many times as well. I would think anything between 1/2 & 3/4 teaspoon would be safe and result in enough carbonization for drinks.

I'm not very familiar with Kombucha and the fermentation of it. One way to be almost sure you get the CO2 would be to add a small amount of wine or beer yeast (a very small pinch) to the bottle at the same time you add the sugar.


Coyote Ridge Farms said:
3/4 teaspoon? No. 1/2 teaspoon?! Yes. A smidge more wouldn't hurt I guess.
And yes, I leave somewhere between 2 fingers and 1" head space. I've even tried no head space.
I use 2 types of bottles - both the crown cap and the EZ Cap style.
And I leave it set for 10 days [usually] after bottling (w/the added sugar). Perhaps I should try 15-20 days.
My SCOBY is smooth and creamy white, as it should be.
My tea [9 times out of 10] is unflavored black tea.

I am truly at a loss.

Again, I appreciate your time.
Rich
Pat

Adding yeast with the sugar at bottling is an excellent idea. I'm sure I have some Champagne yeast around.

Thanks much. I'll play around with my Kombucha for another month or so. If I continue to have the same problem, I'll come back here in search of more suggestions.

Thanks for your help. Have a great Turkey Day!
Rich

It might have something to do with the water that you are using. When I use highly filtered water (Reverse osmosis), my finished product is flat or slightly carbonated. When I make my booch with a lightly filtered water from tap or Spring I typically get a highly carbonated booch. Also, my booch makes more carbonation in the summer than in the Winter. Hope this helps.

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