Kombucha = Serendipitous Collective adventure Of Bacteria and Yeasts:
There are other similar looking, similar tasting beneficial ferments like Apple-Cider Vinegar (an acetic acid ferment), and Lactobacilus ferments (LAB) like Ginger Beer, and Grainfields Australia fermented probiotics. The difference is the lack of either the acetic acid and/or the gluconic acid. The fermenting method is also different. Kombucha is uniquely fermented simultaneously with yeasts and bacteria and in a aerobic (with oxygen) ferment.
of the Kombucha;
some ferments have more, less or none of them. results do vary.
An average 4 ounce (120 ml) daily dose may average NO Sodium, NO Protein, and 8 grams of sugar (as fructose) and 8 grams carbohydrates. Alcohol content depends upon length of brewing and averages (8 days) less than 1/2 of 1% (about the same as fresh squeezed orange juice). A longer brew time (14 days) reduces the sugar content and alcohol content considerably although the taste moves from sweet to semi-sweet to sour to vinegar. Michael Roussin suggested an 8 day ferment at 80F (26-27C) and Cornell University Food Study indicated 9 days at 79F (26C) for the optimum blend of taste and health. Len Pozio, long time kombucha enthusiast, likes his at 14 days and 74F (23.5C). I have found it best to keep the temperature between 74 F (23.5C) and 84F (29C). The warmer temperature produces a faster more consistent ferment while the lower temperatures produce a less harsh more mellow taste though more inconsistent and with a greater susceptibility to molds and pathogens forming. Kombucha brewing seems to work better in the summer than in the winter months. Some people make a kombucha cabinet with a light bulb or other heat source that helps maintain a perfect brew.
A live raw kombucha ferment is a true serendipitous adventure. It is never static. New acids and nutrients are constantly created and combined, into ever-changing - though predictable zymurgy. The best method to achieve the widest possible range while maintaining the fine semi-sweet elixir is the Continuous Brewing Method.
Changes in major components of tea
fungus metabolites during prolonged fermentation.
Test results for various strains can be read at: http://users.argolink.net/purfarms/komchem/teacaff.htm
The yeasts and bacteria commonly identified as Acetobacter xylinum (bacteria) and Saccharomyces yeast have been considered the key players in our SCOBY. However as research into kombucha continues and as recently as Feb 2007 specific strains of both bacteria and yeasts have been identified.
Gluconacetobacter kombuchae sp. nov., isolated from Kombucha
a new ascosporogenous yeast from Kombucha tea'.
Yeast ecology of Kombucha fermentation.
The yeast spectrum of the 'tea fungus Kombucha'.
In Michael Roussin's "Analyses of Kombucha Ferments," he reports most ferments contain an analgesic, an anti-arthritic compound, an anti-spasmodic compound, hematinic and counteractions for hepatotoxins, some anti-fungal, and several anti-microbial / anti-bacterial compounds. They also contain enzyme inhibitors of glucuronidase, heparinase, hyaluronidase, and monoamine oxidase. But what is in a ferment is not universal - except for gluconic acid, fructose, and acetic acid.
research article available online: www.kombuca-ressearch.com
Both Michael Roussin's "Analyses of Kombucha Ferments," and the Cornell Study (below) and a study published in the International Journal of Food Science & Technology, Volume 35, Issue 2, Page 201-205, Mar 2000, doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2621.2000.00342.x titled Mineral and water soluble vitamin content in the Kombucha drink of the Biologically active substances (water soluble vitamins and minerals) in 'Kombucha' did not show significant or major amounts that could be defined as a major source of supplement. Vitamins and minerals did include B1(thiamine) B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (Pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine ), B15 (pangamic acid), Biotin (Folic Acid), Choline, Inositol, PABA (para-amino benzoic acid) , RNA (ribonucleic acid). Acetamidophenol, Acetic acid, Acetoacetic, acid, Benzoic acid, 2-amino-, 3-phenyl-2-propenyl ester Benzonitrile, 4-hydroxy-2(4H)-Benzofuranone, 5,6,7,7 a-tetrahydro-4,4,7 a-trimethyl-2,6-Bis(t-butyl) -4-(dimethylbenzyl) phenol Butanoic acid, 3-methyl 1-Butanol, 3-methyl- 2-t-Butyl-4-(dimethylbenzyl) phenol, Caffeine, Citric acid, Cyanocobalamin (B-12), Decanoic acid, D-Ribo-hexos, 2,6-dideoxy-3-0-methyl-, 2,3-Dihydro-1-methylindene, 2,5 Diketo-gluconic acid, thyl Acetate Fructose, d-Gluconic acid, Glucose, Hexanoic acid, (1H)Imidazo[2,1-f]purine-2,4(3H,8H)-dione, 8-ethyl-1-methyl-7-phenyl- Itaconic acid, 2-Keto-gluconic acid, 5-Keto-gluconic acid, 2-Keto -3-deoxy-gluconic acid, Lactic acid, 5-Methoxy-1- (3-methoxy-4-methylphenyl) -1,3,3,6- tetramethylindan, Malic Acid, Niacinamide,
Kombucha Antimicrobial Activity
Determination and characterization of the anti-microbial activity of the fermented tea Kombucha. by C.J. Greenwalt, R.A. Ledford, and K.H. Steinkraus. Ithaca, New York 14853 Department of Food Science Cornell University
The anti-microbial activity observed in the fermented samples containing 33 g/L total acid (7 g/L acetic acid) was significant against the tested gram positive and gram negative pathogenic organisms. Candida albicans was not inhibited by Kombucha. Tea, at drinkable levels, demonstrated no anti-microbial properties. The contribution of tea itself to the anti-microbial activity of Kombucha proved to be insignificant in the tested organisms, even at the highest levels tested. As a result, the anti-microbial activity of Kombucha was from the acetic acid composition.
Kombucha may be a healthful beverage in view of its anti-microbial activity against a range of pathogenic bacteria. This may promote immunity and general well being. It is recommended that Kombucha be consumed at 33 g/L total acid, 7 g/L acetic acid, to obtain these beneficial attributes.
Guttapadu Sreeramulu, Yang Zhu,* and Wieger Knol
although they recognized the antimicrobial effects of acetic acid
suggests the presence of antimicrobial compounds other than acetic
acid and large proteins in Kombucha that may be responsible for
Kombucha's antimicrobial activity. Another study ruled
out lactic acid, ethanol, or tannins (such as those found in tea) as
contributing to Kombucha's antimicrobial activity. Besides drinking
kombucha tea, the anti-inflammatory property of the kombucha
mushroom (SCOBY) itself has been studied and is often used in folk
medicine applied directly to cuts, burns or abrasions.
Note on Candida: ferment your KT as long as possible so that there is relatively little sugar remaining. Also consume it on an empty stomach as your digestion will absorb the glucose quicker than the Candida can make use of it.
The nutrients needed and generally the
discussion revolves around what type of tea (Camellia Sinensis./
Black, Green or Oolong. Purists hold the argument that kombucha must
be brewed using only Black (Russian) tea. Others more recently opted
to use green teas especially when viewed in light of cancer research
and the individuals looming concerns. Another driving force has been
the concern over caffeine content.
According to standards (and those may
vary greatly with your individual tea)
Kombucha may break down caffeine when
it is otherwise starved.
While another research of actual fermented kombucha by home brewers by Zepher found no reduction in caffeine. Also noted higher levels of caffeine in White Tea (a green tea category) Again much more depends upon the brewer.
Kombucha - Organic Acids and Caffeine
Caffeine content of other drinks from the book "The Green Tea Book"
note: that all coffee's just like all teas are not equal.
Caffeine in 4 ounces of liquid:
Coffee (brewed) 60-160 mg
Coffee (decaf) 1-5 mg
Soft drinks 40-70 mg
Black Tea 20-90mg
Oolong Tea 10-45 mg
Green Tea 6-30 mg
Tea (instant or iced) 10-45 mg
Chocolate (per ounce) 1-15 mg
Hot Chocolate 2-20 mg
to the American FDA for teas to be labeled decaffeinated, the
caffeine content may not exceed 0.4% by dry weight, which is
equivalent to approximately 4 mg of caffeine per 170 ml serving.
Regular tea has average 28–44 mg caffeine Coffee 100 mg per cup.
A lot of interest in this
acid. Here is a link to
We routinely have our mushrooms tested (San Rafael Chemical Services, Inc). Especially for three key markers. 1. Acetic acid, Gluconic acid and 2-keto-Gluconic acid - which what appears to be what most other kombucha researchers have been referring to as "Glucuronic acid". see Analysis Report of the HappyHerbalist's kombucha mushroom.
While all our strains show consistent high marks we are proud that our White Kombucha has the highest marks. (for example 15.3 g/L acetic acetic, 29.6 g/L gluconic acid, and 2.37 g/L 2-keto-Gluconic acid. The higher the values the greater concentration of beneficial acids. These ratios are also critical. The higher the value of gluconic acid compared to acetic acid the smoother the taste (less sharpness). Compared to the typical kombucha ferment in the Cornel Study our White kombucha has almost twice the beneficial acids while maintaining a pleasant taste. We achieve even higher ratios, almost doubled of our White Kombucha with our Concentrated Kombucha Tea Extract (example 35.4 g/L acetic acetic, 53.0 g/L gluconic acid, and 2.97 g/L 2-keto-Gluconic acid). Our Concentrated Kombucha Tea Extract has about 25 times that of the typical kombucha brewed tea. However, there is a stronger vinegar taste although still some sweetness to it. Concentrated Kombucha Tea Extract does not contain live probiotics (bacteria and yeasts) as does the fresh brewed kombucha tea, nor does it contain or need any chemical preservatives.
Kombucha Mushroom Tea is really great. With a little effort you can make it taste just as you like it and unlike other elixirs you can direct its health benefits to your specific concerns. Really Amazing for something that cost so little and so easy to make. see Kombucha Cautions and Safe Brewing tips.
links to our other articles
The importance of Time and Temperature in Kombucha Ferment
a fermenting kombucha mushroom at the www.HappyHerbalist.com natural pharmacy
Although the mushroom can be eaten it is tough and fibrous. During wartime European used to make shoes. Today quite a few people have used it for leather craft. The mushroom is pressed extracted and the liquid is used as a health tonic. Most people simply filter (or not) and drink as a tea.
Pure Pressed Kombucha Drops - Tea - Extracts - Capsules
Taste & Benefit -
The Optimum Kombucha Brew
To Your Health and Longevity
Ed Kasper LAc, and family
the Happy Herbalist,
California Licensed Acupuncturist & Medicinal Herbalist. Creating people friendly botanicals.
Medicinal herbal teas are medicine.
If you have a disease it is very important to have a correct diagnosis. Medicinal herbs may overwrite symptoms. For example if blood in the stool is treated with oak bark, (a western herb) or San Qi (a Chinese herb) bleeding may stop but a possible cancer growth may continue to develop and early detection (when looking for the cause of the bleeding) may be delayed. www.HappyHerbalist.com offers a Free Online Pre-Diagnosis This is a A Confidential TCM pre-diagnosis by Ed Kasper L.Ac., acupuncturist and herbalist. A California licensed primary health care provider. TCM Diagnosis follows established protocols established under California law. Our office is located at 417 Laurent St. Santa Cruz, CA. 95060 and appointments are available via email eddy@HappyHerbalist.com
Ed Kasper L.Ac, Acupuncturist & Herbalist
417 Laurent St. Santa Cruz, CA 95060
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