As I was thinking about what to title this post, I was tempted to give it a very academic-sounding name, like “Effects of Inoculating Acids on Kombucha Flavor”, because it is clear and precise. But it seemed a bit too wordy, and since I wasn’t intending to come up with an academic title until I was struck that it sounded like one, I decided it was too much.
I generally make one post for each experiment. In this case, I started and ended these three at the same time, and none of them were particularly noteworthy. Well, almost nothing was noteworthy. Obviously I found value in noting the fact that they didn’t work.
This was a 1 quart experiment in which I steeped dried goji berries and fermented the result.
Apparently, agave syrup is 60-90% fructose. I used C&H Organic Blue Agave, but I don’t know what the fructose content was. I’ve read that fructose becomes acetic acid while glucose becomes gluconic acid. Since one of my goals is to produce a probiotic drink that doesn’t taste like vinegar, I want to better understand the process by which acetic acid is formed, and see if I can influence it. Thus, I made a batch of agave kombucha expecting it to taste very vinegary. It didn’t.
As I understand it, this is the chemistry (biology?) involved with basic kombucha, oversimplified. I’m not an expert, but I’m presenting this as my effort to work though the process of what is needed, why it is needed, and how it ends up producing something desirable.
According to the literature, human taste sensation of sourness not only depends on [acidity] but is also influenced by the shape of the molecules in question. Vinegar tastes considerably more sour than lactic acid with the same pH.
It has been suggested that one could cover the brewing container with a plate if a reduction in sour taste was desired. This would cause more lactic and less acetic acid to be produced. My experiment seemed to confirm this as far as flavor was concerned.