Just over 1 year ago, I made kombucha from a vinegar extract of tea. In preparing to follow that experiment with kombucha made with a homemade tea tincture (alcohol extraction), I made a series of kombucha batches with the addition of vodka. I wasn’t sure how much of the tincture I could add before the amount of alcohol would have a detrimental affect on the brew, so I gradually increased the amount of vodka until I reached the volume that my tincture would produce when it was ready. I chose vodka because it is relatively inexpensive and contains minimal “contaminants” that would flavor or be potentially harmful to the culture.
I made four 1 gallon batches, with 2, 4, 6, and 8 tablespoons of vodka. There wasn’t really a lot of variation. The acidity seemed to develop normally, with a 3.2 pH after 21 days. Overall it tasted just a little bit different from the usual, but I can’t really describe how. Interestingly, the scoby on the first two was .5″, but the last two was 1″, so the increased alcohol seems to be having some sort of effect.
The alcohol should have a sanitizing effect, killing of a variety of microbes that can’t tolerate it. So while the addition doesn’t seem to have much long-term purpose for me, the regular addition may be of use to someone who had problems with their kombucha getting contaminated. I’m not sure, but it’s worth a try.
Next up will be a side-by-side comparison of kombucha made with steeped Ceylon tea, and kombucha made with a Ceylon tea tincture. I suspect I’ll eventually follow this up with kombucha made with different distilled spirits. I’m particularly interested in trying Rum and Whisky, but I’m less confident that I can find a good product at a reasonable price.