Q&A with Kombucha
Natural Health Expert, Kristen Pavez
By Rory Streeter and Kristen Pavez
Last week we talked kombucha with Kristen Pavez and discussed some important tips for those considering making their own kombucha at home. Kristen is a whole food and mindset coach who is passionate about informing others about the fermentation process as well as the benefits of consuming fermented foods and beverages. She is also a long time supporter and spirited brand advocate for Kommunity Brew!
Read our Q&A below for some expert insights into how you can get the most out of your Do-It-Yourself Home Brew Culture Kit.
How and when did you come to hear about Kommunity Brew (KB)? What drew you to the brand?
I met Mason (Kommunity Brew’s founder) at an event we were both working at, and loved the ethos behind the brand - it resonated with my own brand and ethics. I love that KB is brewed Traditionally, with minimal residual sugars, and that medicinal herbs are used to add extra goodness to the brew.
Why would someone who loves kombucha choose to make their own?
Because it's super easy and cost effective to brew your own, plus you can have it on tap, for whenever you get thirsty.
Can you explain why kombucha begins to taste like vinegar if it’s left to brew for too long?
Because the SCOBY has eaten all the sugar from the brew. It's important to taste your brew regularly so that this doesn't happen. However, if your brew does go too far, and becomes vinegar, you can bottle that and use it for your salad dressing.
For someone who hasn’t tried kombucha before, how would you describe its taste?
Slightly tangy, and sometimes fizzy, sometimes not.
Do I need to refrigerate my kombucha once I’ve bottled it? What happens if I leave it warm?
I bottle my Kombucha, add some fruit and herbs, then leave on the bench for a few days. Once those 2 days elapse, it goes into the fridge. If you don't refrigerate it, it will continue to ferment, and you'll be tasting some vinegar pretty soon!
Once I’ve made a batch, do I have to drink it in one go? How much should I drink? How do I store it?
I drink no more than 150ml per day. Make sure you keep the lid on your bottle, and store in the fridge.
Do I need to filter/strain my kombucha when I’m done brewing?
I don't, but this is a personal preference. I like to follow the path of least resistance and make things as easy for myself and my workshop attendees.
How can I make my kombucha last longer once I’ve brewed it?
Pop your brews in the fridge, and they'll keep for months, if you can resist drinking it!
Is my homebrew kombucha alcoholic?
It can have minute traces of alcohol.
What can I do to look after my SCOBY and keep it happy and healthy?
Feed it with regular brews of tea, sugar and boiled and cooled water.
Where/how should I store my SCOBY if I’m taking a break from brewing but want to use it again in the future?
In the fridge - it'll go to sleep and be ready for you when you next need to brew.
How can I flavour my kombucha after my initial ferment? Should I use flavour concentrates or is fresh fruit better?
Fresh is always best. I love to use fresh fruit, passionfruit and basil is my personal favourite. I add about 2 TBSP of passionfruit pulp and a few leaves of fresh basil torn up.
Do you have any special/secret flavour recipes for a delicious homebrew kombucha?
I always use an organic Chai tea blend when making my Kombucha, this gives the Booch the additional benefits of spices, which are so great for our health. Once my initial ferment is done, I add fresh fruit - strawberry or passionfruit are my favourite with the chai tea.
Is there anyone who shouldn’t drink kombucha?
It's best to ask your medical practitioner about this, but as a general rule, those who are sensitive to caffeine or alcohol, as well as pregnant and breast feeding Mothers.