I’ve taken notes on quite a few different batches of kombucha that aren’t yet documented in a blog post. This is one of those…
I made a batch of kombucha using maple syrup as the sugar. The maple syrup was made by my late father in law from the trees on his property in southern Illinois.
The pH was 3.6, so this wasn’t as acidic as I usually bottle. The flavor had a round sourness (maybe lactic acid?), was kinda sweet and slightly bitter, with very little astringency. The scoby was thin and irregular.
I flavored a quart with Gingerbread Spice, and it was okay, but a little harsh. I flavored another with Harvest Pumpkin, and it was better. It was definitely a little sweeter than the gingerbread, and maybe that’s what made it nicer. But since the plain kombucha was relatively sweet to begin with, I would expect a sweeter flavor to be more of a hinderance than a help, so maybe not. Neither was great.
I’m not sure that the scoby is a useful indicator of culture health, but between the scoby, the bitterness, and the relative expense of maple syrup, I don’t think I’ll be trying this again.