pH level for Kombucha – What is the correct level? — 20 Comments

    • I’m not sure what you mean by “intensify’ flavors. You can add more flavorings such as berries, ginger, turmeric, chai spices, or whatever you like during the second fermentation. This might help enhance and perhaps intensify the flavors.

      • Would adding a small amount of lactic acid have the same effect as adding kombucha from a previous batch at the beggining of the Fermentation?

        • Thanks for your question Luis. One of the important reasons for adding a bit of the previous batch is to add some of the bacteria and yeast that is naturally suspended in the liquid, so I wouldn’t recommend just adding lactic acid.

  1. When we talk about pH, I just can find information about the correct pH at the end of the first fermentation. What is the recommended pH level after the second flavored fermentation. Because when you add a flavor, the pH always increases after 2 days (normally) of second fermentation. Thanks!

  2. Can Kombucha Vinegar be stored in a pantry like Braggs ACV or does it have to be refrigerated? Also, what’s the shelf life?

    • Hi Courtney, you always have to be your own food safety expert, but personally I keep my kombucha vinegar in a bottle in my pantry and use it as needed. As vinegar has a very low pH, it should be very safe to keep. Shelf life likely fairly indefinite. It may well grow a SCOBY on top again over time.

  3. You talk of 10 to 17 days for Kombucha tea brewing and some folks going up to 4 weeks. How do you manage that much acidity?
    I have been working on a 8 days / one gallon / one gallon jar cycle at room temperature that worked nicely. Then went for a two one gallon jar solution to make 1.25 to 1.5 gallons so that my wife can try some (she will drink little bit at a time as if it is black label or something!). I don’t measure the ph level but can see the scoby grow much faster perhaps because of the more open space. In the mean time, I ended with GERD and ulcer that perhaps was getting aggravated by the increased acidity (I have been trying to keep away from all drugs – legal — and I can’t talk about illegal and incriminate myself 🙂 — I am a vegetarian and even the HCL used in most tablets will give me stomach problem).
    I did not want to blame the Kombucha as I got addicted to it (I spike it with heavy ginger, like 2 OZ raw ginger extract on a 16 Oz bottle and it seemed to have done wonders to me — no illness during the last 10 years including common cold, allergy and skipped flu shots all together though I am at that so called vulnerable age! ). Finally, I gave up and started taking some PPI drug.

    • Hi Frugal
      I’ve had an ulcerated gut and was on ulcer meds for years. After awhile (and after asking the Dr) I drank a solution of 1 teaspoon of bicarbonated soda mixed into 1 glass of water before every meal and that stopped the burning.
      Hope this helps.

  4. hi my name is pam i am on my 4th batch of kombucha i just did a ph level and the test strip went blue i have a skin also growing on my scoby ,am i doing something wrong.

  5. I forgot to put my heat mat underneath my batch and after 8 days at between 72°-74° it’s still reading at 4.5. It has a bit of tartness but stilll very sweet and the buddy scoby it made is very thin and clear. I’ve just added my heat mat (on day 8). Any guess on how many days it’s going to take to get to 3? I’m going to check it every day anyway, because I’m nervous, but wanted to ask in case you had experience with this particular issue.

    • I honestly don’t use heat mats for my kombucha and temp hovers around 70 degrees in my kitchen. Not sure why yours is taking awhile but I wouldn’t worry. Are you new to kombucha making? I’d it a new scoby you’re using? Is it a really thick scoby you’ve been using awhile?

  6. Hi! Someone gave me a scoby, as I had mentioned to him that I would like to make my own kombucha. Most recipes I read say to add a bit of kombucha from the previous batch. I have no previous batch. Should I just continue on with the recipe anyways, or is there something ‘special’ I should do for the first batch? Thanks for you help!

    • If you could buy some Kombucha and add it, that might be best. Adding some kombucha lowers the pH and helps to prevent mold problems. There is also yeast suspended in the liquid which helps with fizziness. As the kombucha ferments it does that on its own. You’ll probably be just fine without but just pay closer attention. Often the first batch doesn’t come out as good as the next so you may need to be a little patient.

  7. Hi,

    Quick question: my PH seems to have risen during F2 from 2.3 (… end of F1) to now 3.5 after 7 days …. this seems counterintuitive – is this a known problem?

  8. I read in your 2nd fermentation step, you didn’t add any sugar. Only the ginger. Is that’s all that’s necessary for 2nd fermentation?
    I’m a diabetic and have been adding an ounce or two of juice to each 16oz bottle for my 2nd fermentation.
    I’d rather only use ginger for 2nd fermentation if possible.

    • In my experience, there’s still enough sugar present for the 2nd fermentation when desired. Can add juice or a little sugar too. Depends on the length of your first fermentation as to how much of the sugars are metabolized.

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