Kombucha with 1/2 sugar, 1/2 glucose, with hops

I normally make kombucha with regular white sugar (sucrose), and I’ve made a few batches using glucose as the carbon source for the microbes. This time, I used half-sucrose, and half-glucose. Once it was done, I flavored it with hops.

  • 14 days: pH 3.2. Mild flavors all around, despite the acidity, though it did have a light fizziness. I decided that I didn’t really want the acidity to go below 3.2, so I bottled it.

This was the first use of my new autosiphon, and it worked beautifully. I decided that the mild flavors would make for a good test of different hops varieties, so I bottled 1 pint plain, one with 1 oz Motueka, one with 1 oz Vanguard, and one with 1 oz Simcoe. Daughter #2 likes the plain, but I find that to be drinkable but uninteresting.

  • After 7 days steeping, there was a marked difference between the three varieties of hops.
    • Motueka: light bitterness and relatively fruity.
      • I added 1/8 tsp gypsum to 1/2 qt.
      • I should have split this so that I could taste some with and without gypsum side by side. As it was, I think the hop flavor may have been a bit more focused and clear, but I’m not sure.
      • This was most like when I’ve used Mosaic hops, but with a more subtle flavor. In the end, I can’t think of any reason I’d choose this variety.
    • Vanguard: sharp, woody bitterness that lingers for 15-30 minutes. This flavor was relatively unpleasant, and doesn’t blend well with other flavors.
      • I added 1/8 tsp gypsum to 1/2 qt.
      • I should have split this so that I could taste some with and without gypsum side by side. As it was, I think the hop flavor may have been a bit more focused and clear, but I’m not sure.
      • I won’t be trying this again.
    • Simcoe: strong bitterness that seems most stereotypically beer-like of any of the hops I’ve tried. The bitterness lingered, but no so long as to be annoying.
    • I eventually combined the bottles with Motueka and Simcoe, and that flavor combination worked pretty well. I used that to create a few 50/50 blends.
    • Two of these had added gypsum, which might help the hops taste cleaner, crisper, and sharper.

I’m finding that this sugar formula makes a nice clean base for hops. It’s not the most interesting, but it allows the differences between different hops varietals to show, and it blends will with other, more interesting kombuchas.

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